2 posts tagged science
2 posts tagged science
Satellite Finds Evidence of Antimatter Belt Around Earth
Data from the cosmic ray satellite PAMELA has added substantial weight to the theory that the Earth is encircled by a thin band of antimatter.The satellite, named Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics, was launched in 2006 to study the nature of cosmic rays — high-energy particles from the Sun and beyond the solar system which barrel into Earth.
When those cosmic rays smash into molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, a shower of smaller particles is created. Physicists have assumed that a small number of those resulting particles will be anti-protons.
Most of those will be instantly annihilated when they collide with particles of ordinary matter. But those which don’t collide should get trapped in the Earth’s torus-shaped Van Allen radiation belt, and form a layer of antimatter in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Reblogged from sciencecenter
Study: Space Debris Has Reached A ‘Tipping Point’ |
The National Research Council released a report today that sounds an alarm about the amount of debris orbiting Earth. The report recommends that NASA develop a formal strategy to track and perhaps remove debris to “mitigate risks.”
In its summary, the Council said the debris has reached a “tipping point, with enough currently in orbit to continually collide and create even more debris, raising the risk of spacecraft failures…”
“The current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts,” Donald Kessler, chair of the committee that wrote the report and retired head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, said in a statement. “NASA needs to determine the best path forward for tackling the multifaceted problems caused by meteoroids and orbital debris that put human and robotic space operations at risk.”
The problem is very real. In its story today, USA Today recountstwo minutes in June when the crew of the International Space Station was about ready to evacuate. A piece of debris — perhaps the remnants of a rocket or an old spacecraft or satellite — was about to collide with the space station. Luckily, the space shuttle was docking at that same time and when it did, it moved the station just enough to get it out of the way of the debris. continue reading
photo caption: “In June, the International Space Station had a near miss with some debris.”
Reblogged from cozydark