If astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell's calculations are correct, the cosmic boundary where the laws of airspace suddenly give way to the laws of orbital space might be a lot closer than we think -- a full 12 miles closer than previous estimates suggest.
GOES-17 took this stunning, full-disk snapshot of Earth’s Western Hemisphere from its checkout position at 12:00 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2018, using the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument. GOES-17 observes Earth from an equatorial vantage point approximately 22,300 miles above the surface.
The 1990s era hardware wasn’t up to the task of gathering the data scientists want, but the agency deployed the first of its new generation GOES-R satellites in 2016. Earlier this year, a second GOES satellite went into orbit. It has just sent back its first stunning images of Earth, but there are some glitches that keep the system for working at full capacity.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a collection of satellites, each containing a powerful and precise atomic clock, that broadcasts their time every 30 seconds. Handheld receivers, like your smartphone, can collect this data and perform calculations to figure out their position on the surface of the Earth.
The massive asteroid that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs was one of the most significant events in Earth's history, and without it there's a really good chance humans might never have existed at all. With that in mind, it's hard to imagine how the space rock's impact could have been even more devastating than scientists have assumed, but new research suggests exactly that, and paints an even more dire picture of what life was like on Earth in the years that followed.
OSIRIS-REx took a picture of the Earth-moon system on Monday (Sept. 25), a few days after performing a "gravity-assist" flyby of our planet that boosted its speed and helped set its course toward the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) asteroid Bennu.
The design process is being headed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The goal is to use a refrigerator-sized object to smash into and deflect an asteroid from Earth. Of course, there’s no way such a mission could stop an asteroid that’s poised to smack into the planet in the near future. However, a little nudge early enough might alter an object’s orbit and cause it to miss an impact with Earth.
An international scientific team recently published a new map of the ocean floor based on Earth’s gravity field, and it is a particularly useful tool. Such seafloor maps can aid submariners and ship captains with navigation, particularly in previously uncharted areas. They are helpful to prospectors scouting for oil, gas, and mineral resources. And the maps comprise nearly 80 percent of the seafloor that you see when you scroll through Google Earth.