Tag Archives: space

Space Debris

blog_entry_0924784001479135493Trash isn’t only a problem on planet earth, we have a serious debris problem in space as well. This may seem distant and a bit “out of sight out of mind”, however this could pose a big problem for space travel.

In less than 25 years, the size of space garbage has become sufficiently huge enough to decimate a shuttle has dramatically increased. The enormous concern is that gathering space garbage may prompt something many refer to as the Kessler syndrome, a chain response of crashes that exponentially expands the measure of garbage. An impact between two satellites may make a large number of smaller items. Those a huge number of trash items could crash into millions more objects, et cetera. The final product is an invulnerable billow of flotsam and jetsam that would make space travel so much harder.

Scientists have a problem on their hands to solve to make sure that we can safely continue to navigate space.

The Mysterious Ceres

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The search for habitable planets has always run into one big problem: no water on these space bound spheres. Water is a vital source of life, finding it on another planet is always a big boon in the ideas of trying to get out there to colonize another world.

Well, now NASA can add a new planet—albeit a dwarf one—to the list of planets with a form of water on the surface: Ceres. First discovered in 1772 by Johann Elert Bode, Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt that sits between Mars and Jupiter. It has a rocky core and now is confirmed to have water ice in one of its many shadowy regions that never see the light of day. These regions are about 350 degrees below zero!

Water ice is common on the dwarf planet, much more than previously thought—there could even be ice volcanoes that spout ice mixed with mud and salt. All of this makes it clear that at some point Ceres had liquid water.

What does this mean for us? Not much now, but as time goes on and space travel gets increasingly more common for us as humans we could find ourselves ready to look into a little planet that has the possibility for liquid water.