Category Archives: Space

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare ‘Selenelion’

“The little-used name for this effect is called a “selenelion,” a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.”

Observers of Wednesday morning’s total lunar eclipse might be able to catch sight of an extremely rare cosmic sight.

On Oct. 8, Interested skywatchers should attempt to see the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun simultaneously. The little-used name for this effect is called a “selenelion,” a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.

And indeed, during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky. In a perfect alignment like this (called a “syzygy”), such an observation would seem impossible. But thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon are apparently lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction. This allows people on Earth to see the sun for several extra minutes before it actually has risen and the moon for several extra minutes after it has actually set. [How to See the Total Lunar Eclipse (Visibility Maps)]

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare ‘Selenelion’

Stratcom: China Continuing to Weaponize Space with Latest Anti-Satellite Missile Shot | Washington Free Beacon

China last month conducted another test of a satellite-killing missile that reflects Chinese efforts to weaponize space, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said Wednesday.

“It’s very problematic to see China working to weaponize space in tests like this one they just had, and so [it’s] very concerning to me as the U.S. Strategic Command commander, and to our nation at large, given our dependency on that capability,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Strategic Command chief.

Haney, speaking to reporters after remarks to a Stratcom-sponsored conference on nuclear deterrence, also voiced worries about the recent increase in Russian strategic nuclear bomber incursions into U.S. air defense identification zones near Alaska and close to U.S. territory.

Stratcom: China Continuing to Weaponize Space with Latest Anti-Satellite Missile Shot | Washington Free Beacon

[US] Space race a security threat to China, warns PLA think tank report | South China Morning Post

“A few countries have speeded up development of spacebased offensive weapons, setting up space combat forces, issuing space war doctrines as well as organising space offensive and defensive drills,” the report said, according to China News Service.

It said the report also claimed that space superpowers had actively developed space-to-land, space-to-sea and space-to-air attack capabilities using ballistic missiles, near-space aircraft, spacecraft and atmospheric vehicles as well as other new space weapons.

These “have caused critical threats to China’s space security”, the report said.

It did not name which nations had challenged China, but military experts say it hinted at the United States.

“China feels a great threat from the US, which is increasingly monitoring Beijing through its mature reconnaissance technologies,” said Professor He Qisong , an expert on space at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. These included optical and radar-imaging technologies and satellites that delivered early warnings on missile launches, He said.

Space race a security threat to China, warns PLA think tank report | South China Morning Post

Russia may carry out joint astronautic projects with China – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin – The Voice of Russia

“We may take on a project with China. We’ve agreed upon holding negotiations with our Chinese colleagues during the upcoming Universal Exposition in the city of Harbin, China, in June,” Rogozin said. Moreover, Russia may work on some projects with other countries, like India.

As for China, Rogozin said that the country “is making progress very fast; Russia congratulates its Chinese colleagues with their success in the astronautic sphere.”

Russia still doesn’t see any commercial sense in its participation in the ISS project after 2020, as the project requires one third of the budget allotted to the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Dmitry Rogozin told journalists.

Russia may carry out joint astronautic projects with China – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin – The Voice of Russia

Russia wants to restrict U.S. from space station over Ukraine sanctions | New York Post

Russia cast doubt on the long-term future of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation, as it retaliated on Tuesday against U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow would reject a U.S. request to prolong the orbiting station’s use beyond 2020. It will also bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites.

Moscow took the action, which also included suspending operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites on its territory from June, in response to U.S. plans to deny export licences for high-technology items that could help the Russian military.

Russia wants to restrict U.S. from space station over Ukraine sanctions | New York Post

Experts: China Boosts Space Warfare Capabilities | Washington Free Beacon

China is developing anti-satellite missiles and other exotic weapons that can destroy or disrupt vital U.S. military and commercial communications, space warfare experts told Congress on Tuesday.

“The current and evolving counterpace threat posed by China to U.S. military operations in the Asia Pacific theater and outside is extremely serious,” said Ashley J. Tellis, a former State Department and National Security Council strategic specialist.

“And the threat ranks on par with the dangers posed by Chinese offensive cyber operations to the United States more generally,” said Tellis, now with the Carnegie Endowment.

Experts: China Boosts Space Warfare Capabilities | Washington Free Beacon

General: Strategic Military Satellites Vulnerable to Attack in Future Space War | Washington Free Beacon

U.S. strategic military satellites are vulnerable to attack in a future space war and the Pentagon is considering a major shift to smaller satellites in response, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said Tuesday.

Gen. William Shelton said in a speech that China currently has a missile that can destroy U.S. satellites and warned that the threat of both space weapons and high-speed orbiting debris is growing.

The threat of attack to large communications and intelligence satellites is prompting a major study on whether to diversify the current satellite arsenal of scores of orbiters.

General: Strategic Military Satellites Vulnerable to Attack in Future Space War | Washington Free Beacon

Hope still for ‘dead’ Comet Ison | BBC News

Comet Ison, or some part of it, may have survived its encounter with the Sun, say scientists.

The giant ball of ice and dust was initially declared dead when it failed to re-emerge from behind the star with the expected brightness.

All that could be seen was a dull smudge in space telescope images – its nucleus and tail assumed destroyed.

But recent pictures have indicated a brightening of what may be a small fragment of the comet.

BBC News – Hope still for ‘dead’ Comet Ison

A New Threat from Space

The biggest threats to man are not something new. They come from things that we thought we knew, but didn’t. Japan thought it understood the threat of earthquakes but then there was the Fukushima catastrophe. Economists thought they understood the threat of economic crisis but then the 2008 financial crash happened. The US security experts thought they understood the threat from terrorists but then 9/11 happened. Japanese economists thought they understood the Japanese economy but then the country had two lost decades and counting.

Now another threat comes along from something we know – small asteroids. We all know big asteroids are a problem but apparently small ones are too. And that is something new.

Prior to the Chelyabinsk event experts thought near Earth asteroids had to be at least one kilometer in diameter to be a significant threat to Earth. The unexpected explosive force of the Chelyabinsk meteor has shifted more of the concern to smaller bodies with diameters between 10 and 50 meters.

The explosion generated a great deal of heat and a bright flash. In addition the event produced many small fragmentary meteorites and a powerful shock wave. Fortunately, the atmosphere absorbed most of the energy, estimated as the equivalent of approximately 440 kilotons of TNT. This is 20 to 30 times more energy than released at Hiroshima at the end on WW II.

A New Threat from Space

Here are three things that the vast majority of people know are true:

  1. A great-power nuclear war is just about impossible.
  2. There is virtually no threat from communism today in the US.
  3. Does the devil even exist? And if he does he is certainly no threat.

Check out the associated links to get an alternate viewpoint.

China Testing New Space Weapons | Washington Free Beacon

China last week conducted a test of a maneuvering satellite that captured another satellite in space during what Pentagon officials say was a significant step forward for Beijing’s space warfare program.

The satellite capture took place last week and involved one of three small satellites fitted with a mechanical arm that were launched July 20 as part of a covert anti-satellite weapons development program, said U.S. officials familiar with reports of the test.

One official described the satellite-grabbing spacecraft as a “mobile satellite launch vehicle.”

China Testing New Space Weapons | Washington Free Beacon