What on Earth... I mean space!?

During a routine spacewalk on the ISS, astronauts meant to clean the exterior of the space station but ended up finding living organisms. They had expected to find nothing more than fuel residue but instead found sea plankton they believe came from Earth. However, they can't figure out how they got there or how they even survived. 

The little creatures in question are most similar to tardigrades here on Earth but no one has been able to confirm this theory since they can't even explain how they got there. Tardigrades are also know as water bears are very resilient in nature. They can withstand radiation amounts hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and pressure six times the amount that is found in the depths of the ocean and space. 

It is interesting to see that any kind of organism can survive the harshness of space where there is zero gravity, crazy temperature conditions, and unshielded cosmic radiation.  

More Resources

http://tass.ru/en/non-political/745635

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/188479-astronauts-find-living-organisms-clinging-to-the-international-space-station-and-arent-sure-how-they-got-there

http://www.appliedtechnotopia.com/post/134027131524/mindblowingscience-the-tardigrade-genome-has-been

Hundreds of Exoplanets Twirl Around Their Stars

All of the Kepler multi-planet systems (1705 planets in 685 systems as of 24 November 2015) on the same scale as the Solar System (the dashed lines). The size of the orbits are all to scale, but the size of the planets are not. For example, Jupiter is actually 11x larger than Earth, but that scale makes Earth-size planets almost invisible (or Jupiters annoyingly large). The orbits are all synchronized such that Kepler observed a planet transit every time it hits an angle of 0 degrees (the 3 o'clock position on a clock).

Planet colors are based on their approximate equilibrium temperatures, as shown in the legend.Source code to make your own can be found here: https://github.com/ethankruse/kepler_...
 

The Universe Is Much Bigger Than We Thought

Scientists have been working on mapping over 8000 galaxies to try to figure out where we actually are in the universe. By doing this, they have discovered that the universe is so much larger than we could even imagine. 

Check out the video that delves into this. 

This video shows the detailed universe. From Earth to the ever expanding space. It is beautiful.


No Strange Signals From 'Alien Megastructure'

The SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) was recently used to seek out artificial signals from Tabby's Star. Alas, no signal was detected. SETI Institute

The SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) was recently used to seek out artificial signals from Tabby's Star. Alas, no signal was detected.

SETI Institute

After the weird transit signal was spotted by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, the SETI Institute decided to expedite plans to point a powerful radio antenna at the nearby star in the hope of detecting any artificial transmissions.

Full article available

http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/alien-megastructure-seti-spies-no-intelligent-signals-151106.htm

Best Explanation for that 'Alien Megastructure'

Artist's concept of a Dyson Sphere. Photo credit: Kevin M. Gill

Artist's concept of a Dyson Sphere. Photo credit: Kevin M. Gill

The star called KIC 8463852 can only be seen by us from light curves. Scientists noticed that there were strange structures that kept blocking out the light and it has caused many people to speculate as to what it may be. Many people believe that this alien mega structure is potentially a Dyson Sphere,  an enormous group of solar panels orbiting a star to harvest its energy. However, research has shown that some stars do not have uniform brightness due to the fact that they are irregularly shaped, providing an alternative explanation that does not involve E.T.

Growing Food On Mars

Astronaut Mark Watney harvests his potatoes on Mars in 2015 science fiction film "The Martian." 20th Century Fox

Astronaut Mark Watney harvests his potatoes on Mars in 2015 science fiction film "The Martian."
20th Century Fox

Bruce Bugbee, director of the Plants, Soils & Climate Department at Utah State University, discusses the real life implications of growing food on Mars.  He has a long-term relationship with NASA and was responsible for the lettuce that was grown and eaten in space earlier this year. In this article, he discusses the real world aspects that the movie, "The Martian," does not quite grasp. 

Full article available

http://www.cnet.com/news/leaf-on-mars-could-we-grow-a-garden-on-the-red-planet/

Earth 2015

Check out this amazing footage put together from NASA footage taken between January and February. Film maker, Phil Selmes, has really given us a breathtaking experience.  

International Space Station Flyover in HD, compilation NASA footage. All footage captured during Jan/Feb 2015. All footage courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Centre.