A few months ago, the CAT Thruster--a very promising water-propelled micro satellite--failed to achieve its Kickstarter goal (despite the incredible support I might add). The project then went on a hiatus, a period of re-thinking what went wrong with the campaign (on Kickstarter, of course, as the actual development in the engineering department at the University of Michigan never actually stopped.) Now, however, the hiatus is over, and the team has returned with a much more thought-out (and realistic) Kickstarter page! For more information on the project and why you should support it click here! And, if I managed to convince you, click on the link below to pledge your support:
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
The 2013 Leonid meteor shower will peak on the morning of November 18th. It will be visible around the world, with 15 to 20 meteors per hour streaking across the night sky in average. Unfortunately, this shower will occur just one day after a full moon, so it may be difficult to observe the fainter Leonids. As in previous years, I recommend visiting Spacedex for tips, tricks, and to find out about optimum viewing conditions in your area.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This weekend, the Orionid Meteor Shower will peak. Although it is not the most spectacular of the annual meteor showers, the Orionids can still produce around 15 to 20 "falling stars" per hour. Appear to be radiating from the constellation Orion, this meteor shower occurs annually when the Earth moves into the debris left behind by Halley's Comet. It is a wonderful show that is visible from both hemispheres; so, I urge anyone to look up at the night sky weekend. As in previous years, I recommend visiting Spacedex for tips, tricks, and to find out about optimum viewing conditions in your area.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
All right people, the Hearthstone beta key giveaway has come to an end, and it is time to announce the winner. I numbered all entries on Facebook and put them through a random number generator. So, without further ado, here is the winner:
Congratulations Douglas! I sent you the code via private message on Facebook (check your inbox)! I'd also like to thank everyone who played; it was fun to see so many people professing interest in the game. Unfortunately, there could have been only one winner, but for all those who did not win: the open beta is just around the corner. Keep your chin up!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
After waiting for months to get into the beta of Blizzard newest game, Hearthstone, I recently received not one but two beta keys. Since I only need one, I decided to give away the other. To win it, all you need to do is like this website on Facebook and leave a comment on this post, but please make sure you include your real name (or whatever name you use on Facebook) somewhere in the comment, so I can identify you among the Facebook likes.
I will select a winner between the eligible commenters via a random number generator tomorrow at 2:00 PM Eastern Time and send the code on Facebook via private message. The key is for the North American region, so please do not play if you know you won't be able to use it.
Please don't leave your e-mail addresses in the comments! I do the giveaway via Facebook because I don't want anyone to fall pray to spammers!
Monday, September 30, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Even though the University of Michigan Kickstarter for the CAT engine—a revolutionary idea for cubesat propulsion—had failed to reach its funding goal, the project did not die. Yesterday, the team had posted an update on their Kickstarter page, detailing future plans for the project:
Thursday, September 12, 2013
About a year ago, the twin Voyager spacecrafts possibly reaching the boundaries of our solar system had begun to surface. But scientists needed time to confirm the data. Well, today NASA has announced that Voyager 1 has indeed left the solar system and is now in interstellar space. The following is an excerpt from the official announcement from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
"Now that we have new, key data, we believe this is mankind's historic leap into interstellar space," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "The Voyager team needed time to analyze those observations and make sense of them. But we can now answer the question we've all been asking -- 'Are we there yet?' Yes, we are."
At about 12 billion miles (19.3 billion kilometers) from Earth, well beyond the orbit of Pluto, the 36 year old spacecraft is our farthest ambassador, a truly remarkable accomplishment of all of humanity. What is most remarkable, however, is that Voyager 1 still has power estimated to last until 2025, relaying back data about the conditions of interstellar space, further advancing our knowledge and understanding of the universe. After that, it will orbit the center of our galaxy until the end of times. Just imagine: when we are long gone, Voyager 1 will still be out there, crossing the great void, with messages from a long forgotten civilization, on a tiny golden record.
Science is amazing!
* Illustration and video are from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory