Betelgeuse Is Shapeshifting, And The Scientists Are Baffled

With the latest actions of the massive star, scientists don’t know what to believe anymore. Is it Betelgeuse diminishing even more or only partly? The red supergiant has been dimming significantly over the last few months, and according to its current status, things got worse, as it seems to be shapeshifting now.

From one of the 11th brightest star, now reaches only the 24th! Such a situation led to many debates and the possibility of Betelgeuse turning into a supernova. For now, those chances are improbable.

Betelgeuse’s State Is Unknown

Betelgeuse is known as a variable star, so modifying its brightness sometimes is normal. It can do that up and down by a low percentage, generally on an approximately 420-day cycle. As for the factors, it can depend.

Sometimes the uppermost atmosphere of the bloated star catches heat and light, modifying its dimension and brightness. Again, all of that is normal for such a massive star. Currently, however, it seems not even Betelgeuse is sure of what to do. Back in December 2019, scientists utilized the Very Large Telescope packed with the excellent SPHERE camera to catch a glimpse of the red supergiant. What they captured was quite intriguing yet strange.

Betelgeuse’s Recent Behavior Puzzles The Scientists

Betelgeuse displayed its actual disk, appearing more dimmer in its lower half due to the massive diminishing of almost 50 % of its usual brightness. Scientists knew that Betelgeuse is fading more and more, but with the latest discovery, it’s hard what to believe anymore.

The pictures show how only one part is dimming, while the upper part remains bright. How can it be possible? Well, such a star got a deep convective cover. So, a bit of its atmosphere where cooler gas wastes and hot gas increases.

These things can get magnetic fields embodied in them, which can get trapped together, conflicting with the standard convective method. Then, those groups of a hot gas increase, arriving at the surface, cooling and darkening. They can’t return, however, because of the magnetic field.

Mars 2020 Rover is Going Through Final Preparations Before Launching to the Red Planet

Planet Mars remains the best candidate from our solar system for sustaining life. Whether we’ll be the first ‘Martians’ or there already are some forms of life dwelling on the Red Planet, it’s certain that we will unveil the mystery.

Therefore, NASA won’t quit in its effort to explore Mars as much as possible. The Mars rover 2020 belongs to NASA’s Mars Exploration Program with a planned launch soon, on 17 July 2020. It will land on the Jezero crater from Mars on 18 February 2021.

Final preparations

The Mars 2020 rover has been delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, along with the cruise stage, the descent module, and the Mars Helicopter. They are scheduled for final assembly, fueling, and mounting atop of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

John McNamee, NASA’s Mars 2020 project manager, said:

Our rover has left the only home it has ever known,

The 2020 family here at JPL is a little sad to see it go, but we’re even more proud knowing that the next time our rover takes to the skies, it will be headed to Mars.

Inside the PHSF cleanroom from the Kennedy Space Center, teams will be testing mission hardware in order to ensure that all systems remain at an optimal level of performance. Technicians will load hydrazine to feed maneuvering thrusters, which will guide the rover’s trajectory toward Mars after being launched from Cape Canaveral.

The vehicle will be encapsulated inside a 5.4-meter (17.7-foot) diameter payload fairing. It’s of ULA’s Atlas 5 launcher, and it will all be transported to the Vertical Integration Facility near pad 41. Cranes will lift and position the payload on the Atlas 5 inside the vertical hangar.

The Mars 2020 Mission will cost an enormous amount of $2.6 billion, but it will be worth the money even if, for the next several decades humanity won’t be able to colonize the Red Planet.

NASA Will Soon Start Another Round of Exploring the Wonders of the Solar System

NASA has already provided humanity tremendous help in understanding how the Universe works. Just bear in mind that a century ago, we didn’t know about the existence of other galaxies nor other planets beyond our own solar system (aka exoplanets). We didn’t even know that the Universe had a beginning.

But until exploring truly exoplanets and other galaxies, we should make sure that we unveiled all the wonders from our own backyard – the solar system. Therefore, NASA’s next missions will try to uncover some more mysteries about several nearby cosmic objects.

Venus, Jupiter, and two moons are targetted

There are four cosmic objects involved in NASA’s new round of explorations: our neighboring planet Venus, the gas giant Jupiter, Neptune’s moon called Triton, and the supervolcanic moon Io. More precisely, NASA dubbed these future explorations as “Discovery missions”.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, spoke in a statement about the importance of the Discovery missions of NASA:

These selected missions have the potential to transform our understanding of some of the solar system’s most active and complex worlds,

Exploring any one of these celestial bodies will help unlock the secrets of how it, and others like it, came to be in the cosmos,

Surprisingly enough, the costs for these missions will be of low-budget.

Venus may be hot, but not hot enough to stop NASA’s plans

DAVINCI Plus (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging Plus) will send a probe through the Venusian thick air, so that it will be gathering data about our hot neighbor’s atmosphere. The goal is to understand how that atmosphere changed over time.

The VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy) mission will be mapping the surface of Venus from the orbit in order to figure out more about the planet’s geologic history and to conclude if volcanoes and plate tectonics from the planet are active in the present.

Hopefully, the future NASA missions will provide us some irrefutable answers about the solar system.

Voyager 1’s Iconic Photo of Earth From Space is at its 30th Anniversary

There’s a big world we live in, considering that all of our actions, all of the places, cities, countries and seas, all of the events in history, all of the movies and documentaries, and all of our memories are related to it. But even so, our planet is literally just a tiny dot in the solar system when viewed from far away.

It has been proved by NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe since 30 years ago. On February 14, 1990, the probe showed us how fragile our planet really is by taking a photo of it from a staggering distance of 3.7 billion miles away:

While it looks just like a tiny blue dot, there you have nothing else than our beloved planet Earth. You could say that all of the wars, achievements, inventions, and disasters humans had ever witnessed are on that pale blue dot. Whether we like it or not, Earth is just a tiny outpost in an outrageously big Universe.

We only have one planet

Candy Hansen from the Arizona-based Planetary Science Institute, reminds us how critically important the “pale blue dot” is for us all:

And we need to remind ourselves again that there’s one planet that is hospitable to humans. Even if we colonize the moon or Mars one day, neither one of those bodies is really going to be able to support seven billion of us. So, we need to take care of this planet.

Voyager 1 launched shortly after its ‘twin’, Voyager 2, back in 1977. The difference in time was of only several weeks. The two probes had the mission of exploring the solar system’s giant planets. Therefore, they flew by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Today, February 14, 2020, we are celebrating 30 years from the moment Voyager 1 took the photo of Earth from space. We should prove to ourselves how deeply in love we are with our beautiful planet.

Best 4 Mario Games out There to Enjoy With Your Friends

Mario is, without a doubt, one of the most popular video game characters of all time. it’s been about 35 years since Mario first made its appearance in 1981 in “Donkey Kong,” and it’s been all about games ever since. We got “Super Mario World” and “Hotel Mario” and “Mario’s Time Machine.” You can also play on your smartphone.

We have written this article to give you a list of the best four Mario games out there.

Super Mario 3D World

We believe that this one is the best game made in the last five years. Its design is perfect, and you won’t get bored. And nostalgia in this one is strong.

You can choose to play Luigi, Mario, Peach, or Toad, and every one of them has a unique ability which they also had in the original NES game. You’ll also see the same overworld map concept from “Super Mario World,” and it is full of secrets.

You can also play this game co-op with friends, which is a beautiful surprise.

You can find this game on the Wii U, in the eShop, or in-store on disc.

Super Mario Odyssey

This one indeed shows the evolution, if we are to take a look at Nintendo’s long history with this character.

This one is the newest game – Mario uses his hat to get different objects. You will get to play some things, like a massive T-Rex, or a bright fireball with Mario’s mustache. It is basically a scope of Odyssey, which makes it unique.

You can find this game on the Nintendo Switch eShop and at all the retail stores out there.

Super Mario Bros

None of these games would have been here if it weren’t for the original “Super Mario Bros.”

The design of the game was made to teach the basic skills, such as taking running leaps. Then, challenges would make their way, and players needed to use those basic skills. This design has inspired other games out there. This game hits really close to home, and we are still enjoying it.

You can find this game on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 took the theme from the first Galaxy game, and they added new game mechanics for their levels. It is safe to say that this game is a masterpiece in 3D platforming, quite the testament for Nintendo’s game design expertise. It is easy and fun to play.

You can find this game on the Wii U, or digitally, or in-store on disc.