CBS provides a live-time rebroadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing, beginning with today’s launch, fifty years later.
I’m old enough to remember. A good deal of promise remains to be fulfilled.
From Scientific American:
At six simultaneous press conferences around the globe, astronomers on Wednesday announced they had accomplished the seemingly impossible: taking a picture of a black hole, a cosmic monster so voracious that light itself cannot escape its clutches.
This historic feat, performed by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)—a planet-spanning network of radio observatories—required more than a decade of effort. The project’s name refers to a black hole’s most defining characteristic, an “event horizon” set by the object’s mass and spin beyond which no infalling material, including light, can ever return.
The discovery of organic matter and methane on Mars does not prove that the planet does or once did support living organisms, but it bolsters that case significantly.
You can check out the entire launch and recovery of the craft (minus its payload of one Tesla Roadster) here (The actual launch happens a little before the 30 minute mark).
Astronomers identified Oumuamua, the cigar-shaped extrasolar object passing through our solar system, back in October. More recently, it has made the news because its unusual qualities make for cool sensationalist headlines. Stephen Hawking, et al have not actually said the thing is an alien craft, and probably aren’t betting it is, but its unusual shape and nature mean that scientists have to check all possibilities.
It’s more likely just an unusually-shaped asteroid from another system.
Or a space whale. It could totally be a space whale, right?
In an unrelated development, NASA will make an announcement later today regarding the Kepler Space Telescope and its ongoing scanning of the galaxy for signs of inhabited planets.
UPDATE: With Google-based “machine intelligence” helping to analyse the Kepler data, NASA confirms an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system, making it the first to tie our system in the number of known planets.
Can’t get outside or not in a part of the world where you can see the eclipse? Not to worry, PBS is live-streaming the event starting at 12:30p EDT (4:30p GMT).
The implications for natural history– and the possibility of life elsewhere, given harsh Terran conditions 3.7 billion years ago– are significant.