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Arecibo Message: Google Doodle Celebrates Anniversary Of Interstellar Message

Forty-four years ago today, a group of scientists gathered at the Arecibo Observatory amidst the tropical forests of Puerto Rico to humankind’s first attempt at communication with intelligent life beyond our own planet, Google said.

November 16 2018 marks 44 years since researchers sent humankind’s first interstellar radio message – an achievement Google is celebrating with a Google Doodle.

The Arecibo Message, sent from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in 1974, is a three-minute message of exactly 1,679 binary digits – which, if arranged in a specific way, can explain basic information about humanity and earth to extraterrestrial beings.

Scientists sent the message via frequency modulated radio waves to a cluster of stars 25,000 light years away to demonstrate the power of the Arecibo radio telescope, which was the largest and most powerful in the world at the time.

“It was a strictly symbolic event, to show that we could do it,” Cornell University professor of astronomy Donald Campbell recalled of the momentous event.

The event moved some present to tears as researchers contemplated their own existence and knowledge of planets and solar systems.

The hope is that, in many thousands of years, it may reach another living being.

The actual message was devised by a team of researchers from Cornell University led by astronomer and astrophysicist Dr Frank Drake.

When received, the message could be arranged in a grid 73 rows by 23 columns to form a pictograph that represents facts about mathematics, human DNA, planet earth, and humans.

From top down, the seven-part message can show the numbers one to 10, atomic numbers of elements including hydrogen and oxygen, the formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA, a graphic of the DNA double helix structure, a figure of a human and the population of earth at the time, a graph of the solar system, and a graph of the telescope.

Since the Arecibo message was sent, the message has travelled just 259 trillion miles – a fraction of its journey to its intended destination, which will take roughly 25,000 years to complete.​

Source www.independent.co.uk

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Space

China’s Next Lunar Mission Will Be a Visit of Moon’s Far Side

Will there be any unexpected surprises? Might they find evidence of alien visitors on the far side…

via unexplained-mysteries:

China’s latest space mission will, for the first time, see a spacecraft attempt to land on the Moon’s far side.

Known as Chang’e-4, the mission will attempt to unravel some of the mysteries of this relatively unexplored region of the lunar surface which remains facing permanently away from the Earth.

It will launch on December 8th and land at a predetermined site sometime early next year. To maintain communications with Earth, a satellite will be used to relay data and messages back and forth.

According to reports, the lander will be carrying a payload of seeds and silkworm eggs inside a ‘lunar mini biosphere.’ If the eggs actually manage to hatch, then they will produce the first living creatures from Earth to have ever been born on another world.

The mission will also attempt to carry out a low-frequency radio-astronomical study – an intriguing prospect as the far side of the Moon is sheltered from interference from Earth’s ionosphere.

Meanwhile, an accompanying rover will conduct a mineralogical and topographical study of the area around the landing site while taking photographs as it goes.

The mission’s target will be the Von Karman Crater within the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin.

It will certainly be interesting to see what it finds there.

Unexplained-Mysteries

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NASA’s InSight lander records the Martian wind

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The audio is decidedly eerie.

NASA has released the first ever recording of the wind buffeting a spacecraft on the surface of Mars.

While photographs taken on the Red Planet have helped us to build up a picture of what it might be like to stand on the surface of another world, there has always been one thing missing – sound.

Now NASA has posted up an audio clip recorded on December 1st of the InSight probe’s seismometer and air pressure sensor vibrating as the Martian wind blew across them at the landing site.

The recording begins at 00:35 in the video, but will require headphones and a subwoofer to hear properly. A processed and more audible version of the sound can also be heard at 00:58.

“The seismometer readings are in the range of human hearing, but are nearly all bass and difficult to hear on laptop speakers and mobile devices,” the caption reads. “We provide the original audio and a version pitched up by two octaves to make them audible on mobile devices.”

Source: Newsweek.com

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NASA prepares for ‘7 minutes of terror’ on Mars

Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Can InSight make it down on to the surface of Mars ?

The space agency’s InSight lander will be descending 80 miles through the Martian atmosphere on Monday.

Having traveled more than 89 million miles since its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base back in May, the ambitious spacecraft is currently on track to reach Mars on November 26th.

Actually getting the probe safely on to the Martian surface however is no easy task – it has to slow from 12,300mph to just 5mph during a make-or-break descent referred to as ‘7 minutes of terror’.

“Landing on Mars is hard. It takes skill, focus and years of preparation,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“Keeping in mind our ambitious goal to eventually send humans to the surface of the Moon and then Mars, I know that our incredible science and engineering team – the only in the world to have successfully landed spacecraft on the Martian surface – will do everything they can to successfully land InSight on the Red Planet.”

If InSight does survive the descent, the $1 billion lander will attempt to learn more about what lies beneath the surface of the Red Planet using an array of instruments including a burrowing temperature sensor and a seismometer designed to detect Marsquakes.

“This mission will probe the interior of another terrestrial planet, giving us an idea of the size of the core, the mantle, the crust and our ability then to compare that with the Earth,” said NASA chief scientist Jim Green.

“This is of fundamental importance to understand the origin of our solar system and how it became the way it is today.”

Source: NASA.gov

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