Since the space race, NASA’s discoveries go unreported in traditional media. Space shuttle launches are no longer new and interesting enough for the front page of the paper, but when Chris Hadfield’s viral guitar song from the space station came out everyone started to pay more attention to NASA once again. 2013 saw many discoveries from outer space and more are being uncovered weekly. New planets are being uncovered as well as new potential for foreign life forms.
In June 2009, NASA launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the moon probe has returned lots of valuable data since it began its mission. One of the biggest discoveries is that there is water on the moon locked away in ice and rocks across the moon’s surface. Other discoveries include two holes in the moon’s surface where a subterranean lava tube collapsed and that the dark side of the moon should simply be called the other side of the moon because it gets just as much light as the surface we can see from earth.
Recently some interesting discoveries have come from space, including a bus sized asteroid that passed in between the moon and the Earth, but didn’t pose a threat to our planet. It was about 25 feet in diameter and at its closest was over 186,000 miles from Earth, while the moon is usually 238,855 miles away. Discoveries made from space can have an impact on our planet and be important in the future as well as being just plain cool. Everything seems small in comparison to the vast depths of outer space.
1 METEOR SMOKE CLOUDS
Scientists have discovered a telecommunications link between the north and south poles. The weather in one area of the world can alter the weather at the opposite end of the planet. The link is made from clouds of ice water in the mesosphere that collect dust from meteors as they speed past the planet. These clouds made of water and meteor dust act as a regulator between the weather in the two hemispheres and is the reason why the polar vortex in North America in January caused a reduction in clouds in Antarctica a few weeks later, making it warmer and drier. This shows how the Earth is far more connected than previously thought. The clouds are the ones that glow a bright blue high in the night sky.