Teen space explorers enter Google Science Fair regional finals

Teen space explorers enter Google Science Fair regional finals

Young space explorers from Europe and the United States became regional finalists in the 2015 Google Science Fair with projects ranging from spacecraft engineering to astrophysics to exobiology (life on other worlds).

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Teen research projects lost in space

After the explosion of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket last week, media across the country focused on the teenagers who lost their science projects in the accident. But failure won’t get in the students’ way - Nasa and its partners have committed to getting the students’ research into space.

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Citizen scientists' roles change as Big Data sweeps astronomy

Crowdsourced projects like Galaxy Zoo and Mercury Mappers exist because amateurs combine strength in numbers with visual perception skills better than computer algorithms. But next-generation observatories will erode those strengths. The role of citizen scientists will change, but it will remain critical for the future of science.

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Help Chicks In Space take plants for a spin in space

Help Chicks In Space take plants for a spin in space

Welcome to the new American space program. Chicks In Space are teenage sisters with a 6-year history of space research. They want to send nanoEton, their spinning plant growth experiment, to the International Space Station. But they need your help.

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Truth from Space: Satellite images help journalists and humanitarians

Truth from Space: Satellite images help journalists and humanitarians

The Antares rocket explosion destroyed 26 satellites that were supposed to add to Planet Lab’s growing fleet in Earth orbit. Although the month ended badly, Planet Labs already has over 70 satellites in orbit. Fleets of satellites from Planet Labs and competitors like Skybox and DigitalGlobe take pictures of Earth daily. A growing number of journalists and humanitarian organizations use satellite images to uncover facts that would otherwise remain hidden. Here’s a recap of October’s satellite truth-seekers.

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Recon's student space explorers will peer into the Solar System's far frontier

Recon's student space explorers will peer into the Solar System's far frontier

By this time next year a network of 40 high schools across the American West will start exploring the most remote regions of the Solar System thanks to  $1 million in National Science Foundation grants. Dr. Marc Buie and Dr. John Keller are the two co-investigators in Recon, the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network. They spoke with me about how the project combines citizen science, education outreach, and planetary science.

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Mars One candidates may join the year-long Mars Arctic 365 mission

Mars One candidates may join the year-long Mars Arctic 365 mission

The Mars Society announced the finalists for Mars Arctic 365, its year-long simulation of a mission to Mars. A few of the 21 finalists have a more on the line. As candidates for the Mars One Project - the daring one-way journey to settle Mars - joining the MA365 mission could give them a leg-up over the other 700 Mars One candidates.

 

 

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Make stellar images with the Bradford Robotic Telescope

Make stellar images with the Bradford Robotic Telescope

I didn't have to spend $10,000 on my own telescope to create this image of the Orion Nebula. Thanks to the Bradford Robotic Telescope it only cost me £3 (about $5). Created by scientists at the University of Bradford to support British primary and secondary schools, anyone can subscribe to their service and create dozens of images every month.

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MilkyWay@home's volunteers rescue the crowdsourced search for dark matter

MilkyWay@home's volunteers rescue the crowdsourced search for dark matter

The MilkyWay@home Project lets more than 160,000 amateur space explorers create a virtual global supercomputer that’s mapping the Milky Way’s invisible dark matter and simulating the Galaxy’ collisions with other galaxies. Now America’s science funding crunch puts MilkyWay@home in jeopardy. Can the crowdsourced project’s volunteer community come to the rescue?

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European Space Agency wants you to Learn Earth Observation

European Space Agency wants you to Learn Earth Observation

Earth observation - using satellite images to study our own planet - isn’t just for spies any more. The European Space Agency wants more people to use orbital data to improve European economies and societies, but getting the most out of the images requires skills that most people don’t learn in school. 

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Space images lets you see burning oil fields around the world and close to home

Space images lets you see burning oil fields around the world and close to home

SkyTruth’s Global Flaring Visualization project maps nighttime satellite images of the Earth to show the full extent of the oil industry’s natural gas flaring - a practice that wastes billions of dollars and adds to our carbon footprint.

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3D Printing in Space - Hype, Limits, and Opportunities

3D Printing in Space - Hype, Limits, and Opportunities

The National Research Council released an early draft of “3D Printing in Space” earlier this week. The report found that most there's too much hype around 3D printing, especially its use in space. But turning 3D printing into a useful technology may not be as straightforward as the report concludes. The limits Nasa faces in everything it does could stretch it research out over decades. Could that create gaps where amateurs can play?

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