Space news isn’t slowing down anytime soon. NASA recently released several interesting stories recently that could change how we view the solar system.
A 2 mile wide asteroid, the asteroid in Armageddon was 600 miles wide, will pass within 16 million miles of Earth, NASA says. For comparison, the moon orbits at around 240,000 miles. Asteroid 86666 is not a danger but it is the nearest object to pass earth since 2014-YB35 in March of this year which came as close as 2.8 million miles.
In other news, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has taken color images of pluto for the first time, revealing a blue haze to the atmosphere.
“Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? It’s gorgeous,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado.
The particles in Pluto’s atmosphere are likely gray or red but scatter blue light similar to the way our nitrogen molecules do here on Earth.
Color images also reveal red areas on the surface which coincide with areas of water ice on the planet. Scientists at SwRI are still trying to figure out why water appears in some places and not in others. Read the full story over at the NASA site.
Finally, NASA has released a report titled ‘Journey to Mars’ detailing their plan to establish an earth-independent colony by the 2030’s. It seems The Martian may become a reality in our lifetime.
In the very colorful 36 page report they go on to explain “in the next few decades, Nasa will take steps toward establishing a human presence beyond Earth.”
The report also states “our goal is not bound by a single destination.” This is certainly only the beginning of man extending its reach into the solar system. As the world gets smaller it is only logical that our next aim is to make our solar system smaller in turn.