Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep - An international team of scientists from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules—95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization far more advanced than our own. From Popper
The Curiosity Rover Makes Its Way Up A Martian Mountain - Curiosity is making us giddy by showing us some of the most amazing vistas we have ever seen on Mars. The rover is exploring the neighborhood in between the "Murray Buttes" rock formations at the lower reaches of Mt. Sharp From Supreeth
Earth-Like Planet Found Orbiting the Nearest Star - Astronomers just discovered the closest possible Earth-like planet outside our solar system. It orbits our closest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri. The planet is warm enough for liquid water, is almost certainly rocky and terrestrial, and could even have an atmosphere. At just 4.2 light years away, scientists are even wondering if this may be the closest home for life outside our solar system From Surfer
The Atmosphere of Venus Is More Terrifying Than We Imagined - Scientists have long suspected that all planets with an atmosphere also have an electric field, generated by a layer of charged particles in the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. But so far, on every planet where weâ€™ve looked, including our own, weâ€™ve been unable to detect it. The working theory is that these electric fields are very, very weakâ€”Earthâ€™s is thought to be in the range of one to two volts. From X Isle
Universe Likely Has Many Extinct Civilizations: Study : Discovery News - s there life in the universe? If there is, can it communicate â€” and does it want to talk to us? If such a civilization is out there, how long could it survive? These are some of the fundamental questions astronomers regularly consider when they think about aliens. From X Isle
$100-Million Plan Will Send Probes to the Nearest Star - Scientific American - â€śBreakthrough Starshot,â€ť the program Milner is backing, intends to squeeze all the key components of a robotic probeâ€”cameras, sensors, maneuvering thrusters and communications equipmentâ€”into tiny gram-scale â€śnanocraft.â€ť These would be small enough to boost to enormous speeds using other technology the program plans to help develop, including a ground-based kilometer-scale laser array capable of beaming 100-gigawatt laser pulses through the atmosphere for a few minutes at a time, and atoms-thin, meter-wide â€ślight sailsâ€ť to ride those beams to other stars. Each pinging photon of light would impart a slight momentum to the sail and its cargo; in the microgravity vacuum of space, the torrent of photons unleashed by a gigawatt-class laser would rapidly push a nanocraft to relativistic speeds. From X Isle
Hot On The Trail Of Alien Moons : The Two-Way : NPR - Finding a new planet that orbits a distant star isn't such a big deal anymore â€” astronomers have discovered around 2,000. But no one knows if any of these planets has a moon.That might change this year, if a moon-hunting project goes as planned. From X Isle
This Is The Defining Image Of The Commercial Space Age (So Far) | Popular Science - See that? That's an image of the International Space Station in orbit from NASA's live webcast earlier this morning. To the casual observer it may not look much different than countless other images we've seen in the 15 years the space station has been active. But it's a historic image for one big reason: we're looking at SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon spacecraft attached to the station on the very left (the squat, white funnel-like craft with the solar fin sticking out) and Orbital ATK's uncrewed Cygnus to its right (the one that looks like it has an umbrella). This is the first time these two private spacecraft have both been attached to the space station at the same time. From X Isle
Mysterious Gravitational Tug on Orbiter May Help Find Planet Nine - Scientific American - The hunt is on to find â€śPlanet Nineâ€ťâ€”a large undiscovered world, perhaps 10 times as massive as Earth and four times its sizeâ€”that scientists think could be lurking in the outer solar system. After Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, two planetary scientists from the California Institute of Technology, presented evidence for its existence this January, other teams have searched for further proof by analyzing archived images and proposing new observations to find it with the worldâ€™s largest telescopes. From X Isle
Pluto's Wonders Come into Focus - Scientific American - Last July, NASAâ€™s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto, the last unvisited world of the classical solar system. As the largest known member of the Kuiper belt, Pluto is also the gateway to a new frontier, a scarcely studied collection of primordial icy bodies far from the sun that constitutes the â€śthird zoneâ€ť of the solar system after the realms of the inner rocky planets and the outer gas giants. From X Isle
Visions of the Future - Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future. Click on any of the thumbnails below to learn more and download a free poster sized image. From cw
10 Years at Mars: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Best Images [Slide Show] - Scientific American - Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of NASAâ€™s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiterâ€™s (MRO) arrival into Martian orbit, on a mission that would revolutionize our views of the planet. Ancient river valleys and flow channels first seen by orbiters in the 1970s told scientists Mars had briefly been a warm, wet world nearly four billion years ago. But after that short spate of activity the planet had apparently lapsed into senescence, becoming little more than an inert, rusty rock. From X Isle
An Armchair Astronaut%u2019s Guide to the ExoMars Launch | WIRED - On March 14, approximately 6,000 miles from your desk, the first mission of the ExoMars program will launch from the grasslands of Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Think thatâ€™s far? Just think how the mission will travel: 48 million miles, all the way to its final destinationâ€”Mars. From X Isle
Watch The Splashdown Test Of Boeing's Astronaut Capsule | Popular Science - Thereâ€™s no point in sending people to space if they canâ€™t survive the landing. While the early days of space testing are littered with the ghosts of animals who entered orbit before humans, modern testing makes sure the capsule can survive the trip back to Earth before putting anything alive inside. Last week, at NASAâ€™s Langley Research Center, Boeing tested its Starliner capsule in a splashdown landing. From X Isle
Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto - The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune but as yet unseen orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar systemâ€™s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today. From cw
NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today's Mars - New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times. From cw
US astronauts drink recycled urine aboard space station but Russians refuse - Ninety-three percent of all water onboard the ISS is reclaimed from condensate, which, for Nasa astronauts, includes urine..
In Hadfield’s video, he defended the consumption of filtered urine and condensate.
“Before you cringe at the thought of drinking your leftover wash water and your leftover urine, keep in mind that the water that we end up with is purer than most of the water that you drink at home,” he said. “That makes the International Space Station its own self-contained environment. That’s a critical step towards living for long periods off of planet Earth.”
New Horizons Pluto Science Update Set for July 24 - Members of NASA’s New Horizons team will hold a science update at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, July 24, to reveal new images and discuss latest science results from the spacecraft’s historic July 14 flight through the Pluto system... From Supreeth
New Horizons Pluto Science Update Set for July 24 - Members of NASA’s New Horizons team will hold a science update at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, July 24, to reveal new images and discuss latest science results from the spacecraft’s historic July 14 flight through the Pluto system... From Supreeth
Pluto has ice mountains and water!! - Before New Horizons was launched, scientists thought Pluto probably had a rocky core surrounded by a mantle of water ice. But they were having a hard time finding evidence of the water ice, Weaver said. He he expects more data from the spacecraft will confirm that the ice mountains mean there is lots of water on Pluto. From Supreeth
This new NASA video lets you fly over Pluto's massive ice mountains - The simulated video shows what NASA is informally calling the "Norgay Montes" (or Norgay Mountains) as well as the frozen plains of the Sputnik Planum. All of the images used to create the visualization were taken during New Horizons' closest approach to Pluto, and were captured by the spacecraft's LORRI camera — the same camera that took this now-famous image of Pluto. From Supreeth
Flyby Pluto! - On July 14, After a journey of nine and a half years and three billion miles, the New Horizons spacecraft is to go past Pluto, once the ninth and outermost planet, the last of the known worlds to be explored. From Supreeth
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash - This is the second blow for the private spaceflight industry this week. On Tuesday, an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded soon after liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket was supposed to carry 2.5 tons of supplies, equipment and experiments to the International Space Station as part of its $1.9 billion contract with NASA. From Supreeth
'God particle' could destroy universe, says Stephen Hawking - Either all of space-time exists on this razor's edge between a stable and unstable universe, or the calculation is wrong, Lykken said.
If the calculation is wrong, it must come from a fundamental part of physics that scientists have not discovered yet. Lykken said one possibility is the existence of invisible dark matter that physicists believe makes up about 27 percent of the universe. Discovering how dark matter interacts with the rest of the universe could reveal properties and rules physicists don't know about yet.
The other is the idea of "supersymmetry." In the Standard Model, every particle has a partner, or its own anti-particle. But supersymmetry is a theory that suggests every particle also has a supersymmetric partner particle. The existence of these other particles would help stabilize the universe, Lykken said. From Supreeth
This is the most detailed map yet of our place in the universe - In a fascinating new study for Nature, a team of scientists mapped thousands of galaxies in our immediate vicinity, and discovered that the Milky Way is part of a jaw-droppingly massive "supercluster" of galaxies that they named Laniakea.This structure is much, much, much bigger than astronomers had previously realized. Laniakea contains more than 100,000 galaxies, stretches 500 million light years across From cw
Milky Way connected to a vast network of galaxies - Astrophysicist R. Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and colleagues sifted through data describing the positions and velocities of over 8,000 galaxies to get a fresh look at the Milky Way’s place in space. After accounting for the motion caused by the expansion of the universe, the team created a three-dimensional view of how gravity molds the galaxy’s cosmic neighborhood.
Watch Laniakea Supercluster to see how the Milky Way fits into this complex network of galaxies. From Supreeth
Update: Sex Geckos on Russian Space Satellite All Reported Dead - If you, like us, have been gleefully following the story of the fornicating gecko-filled satellite that briefly lost contact with Earth a few months ago, then we've got bad news for you: According to Roskosmos space agency, all the geckos on the satellite have gone to that big lizard orgy in the sky. From cw
Galileo satellites go into wrong, lower orbit - The European Space Agency (Esa) says the latest two satellites for Europe's version of the American GPS satellite navigation system have not gone into the correct orbit. From cw
NASA Nears Multibillion-Dollar Decision on Commercial Space Taxis - So who will come out on top?
"May the best company win," "I'm convinced it's Boeing, but in any case we have to get this country back in the business of taking people into space. We want American jobs launching American rockets up to the space station. It's time to bring the business back home." - Ferguson From Supreeth
Collapsing 4D Star Could Have Spawned Universe - There could be a gaping hole in the Big Bang theory. Or rather, a giant, colossal black-hole caused by the collapse of a four-dimensional star.One of the main problems with the Big Bang is that the temperature of the universe is nearly uniform. If a â€śbig bangâ€ť event had created the universe, then according to some explanations, there hasnâ€™t been enough time between then and now for it to have reached that temperature equilibrium. From cw
The hackers who recovered NASA's lost lunar photos - The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) has since 2007 brought some 2,000 pictures back from 1,500 analog data tapes. They contain the first high-resolution photographs ever taken from behind the lunar horizon, including the first photo of an earthrise (first slide above). Thanks to the technical savvy and DIY engineering of the team at LOIRP, it's being seen at a higher resolution than was ever previously possible. From Popper
When Curiosity v2.0 touches down............ - 7 amazing experiments on NASA's Curiosity v2 Mars rover planned – including oxygen generation
NASA said: the 2020 rover's predecessor has shown Mars had an atmosphere that could have supported life. The new space tank will now try to find it.
How Wheel Damage Affects Mars Rover Curiosity's Mission - It turns out that the tough-as-nails culprit playing havoc with Curiosity's wheels is "caprock," which is quite resistant to weathering and erosion
In addition to picking less troublesome trails, engineers can upload software upgrades that enable greater control over the wheels. Driving backward can also help, as can minimizing turns. From Supreeth
Radio-burst discovery deepens astrophysics mystery - The discovery of a split-second burst of radio waves by scientists using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico provides important new evidence of mysterious pulses that appear to come from deep in outer space. From cw
A zombie ship is returning from space - For 17 years, it has been drifting on a lonely course through space. Launched during the disco era and shuttered by NASA in 1997, the spacecraft is now returning to the civilization that abandoned it. From Supreeth
A ‘Beast’ to fly by earth today - Astronomers say their main concern is that the Beast was only detected in April before its nearest approach to the Earth despite space surveillance systems scanning outer space for asteroids and other threats. From Supreeth
How NASA might build its very first warp drive - A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks â€” and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity. We contacted White at NASA and asked him to explain how this real life warp drive could actually work. From cw
Magnifying the Universe - This interactive infographic from Number Sleuth accurately illustrates the scale of over 100 items within the observable universe ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. Numerous hot points along the zoom slider allow for direct access to planets, animals, the hydrogen atom and more. As you scroll, a handy dial spins to show you your present magnification level. From cw
NASA Readies Inflatable 'Flying Saucer' for June Test Launch - The space agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle is now fully assembled at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
NASA is gearing up to test this inflatable, saucer-shaped vehicle that could help astronauts explore the surface of Mars.
NASA Now Streaming Live HD Camera Views of Earth from Space - If the screen is black, don't worry — the space station is likely just on Earth's night side. (The station completes one orbit every 90 minutes, so you won't have to wait too long for our gorgeous planet to roll into view once again.) From Supreeth
Hubble revisits the Monkey Head Nebula for 24th birthday snap - In April of this year, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope will be celebrating 24 years of observing. To celebrate this milestone, the observatory is releasing a brand new image of part of NGC 2174, otherwise known as the Monkey Head nebula. This new Hubblecast episode showcases this beautiful image, which views a colourful region filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust. From Supreeth
Flower power: NASA reveals spring starshade animation - Working in conjunction with a space-based telescope, the starshade is able to position itself precisely between the telescope and the star that’s being observed, and can block the starlight before it even reaches the telescope’s mirrors. From Supreeth
Famous Star Explosion Lit by Ultrafast Mach 1,000 Shock Wave - Astronomers studying the remnants of a well-known stellar explosion discovered a blisteringly fast shock wave that is rushing inward at 1,000 times the speed of sound, lighting up what remains of the powerful cosmic explosion.
As this expelled material impacted the surrounding interstellar gas, it created a shock wave that functions similar to a cosmic sonic boom. This shock wave is still expanding today, swelling outwards at 300 times the speed of sound, according to the researchers. These dynamics also triggered a reverse shock wave that is traveling inward at Mach 1000.
"It's like the wave of brake lights that marches up a line of traffic after a fender-bender on a busy highway," study co-author Randall Smith, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement. From Supreeth
Mariner reveals Mars - The unmanned Mariner missions gradually revealed Mars's extreme landforms. Perhaps most impressive was Olympus Mons, a volcano three times the size of Mount Everest. From Supreeth
Stunning Volcano Eruption View from Space - On June 12, 2009, the International Space Station happened to be passing over the Sarychev Volcano just as it was beginning to erupt. A newly released video based on several stunning snapshots taken by astronauts reveals the beauty and power of the erupting volcano. From Supreeth
Grey is the New Black Hole: Is Stephen Hawking Right? - In reality, the headlines should not be “black holes don’t exist” but “black holes are more complicated than we thought, but we are not going to really know how complicated until gravity and quantum mechanics try to get along” --- nothing new.. From Supreeth
Sleeping Rosetta spacecraft wakes up for historic comet rendezvous and landing - A European probe awoke from a deep sleep Monday to gear up for an unprecedented comet rendezvous and landing this year that will cap a 10-year voyage across the solar system
When the time comes, Philae will be ejected from the Rosetta mothership and spiral down toward the 2.4-mile-wide (3.9 km) comet's core. When it reaches the surface, Philae will fire a harpoon to anchor itself and counter the rebounding force of its touchdown.
No probe has ever landed on a comet before, so success is far from assured. But if all goes well, Philae will study 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko up close with its 10 science instruments, using a drill to snag samples up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) beneath the comet's surface.
Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole - Wheeler’s postulate and Hawking’s theory of black hole radiation make conceivable an entirely new type of interstellar spacecraft, one whose propulsion and/or power systems would be fed by a Schwarzschild Kugelblitz From Supreeth
Space fishing: Japan to test 'magnetic net' for space junk - Tokyo’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Nitto Seimo Co, a company with almost a century-long experience in fishing net manufacturing, have already developed a space net measuring 1 kilometer long and 30cm wide in a bid to clear Earth’s orbit from some 100 million pieces of man-made junk. Made of three strong and flexible lengths of metal fiber, the net is scheduled to be first tested in orbit in February. During the first phase a satellite will unreal a wire net of some 300 meters long that will use a specially generated magnetic field to reel-in the debris just above our atmosphere. From supreeth
410-meter asteroid ‘may collide’ with Earth in 2032 - The asteroid has been added to the List of the Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, which includes celestial bodies with orbits closer than 7.5 million kilometers from the Earth’s orbit.
However, the threat posed by the 2013 TV135 is minor. Updated estimates show that it has a one in 14,000 chance of colliding with our planet, which is five times as probable as the initial estimate of 1 in 63,000, but still negligible
Scientists will be able to better evaluate the impact risk of 2013 TV135, and even determine its possible impact site on Earth by 2028.....
Wow! Hubble Space Telescope snaps super-deep view of the universe - Released as the first "Frontier Fields" view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the new images mark the deepest-ever observations of a cluster of galaxies. The photos center on Abell 2744, a group of several hundred galaxies 3.5 billion light-years away from Earth.
The images also capture background galaxies more than 12 billion light-years away, whose light has been magnified and brightened by the immense gravity of Abell 2744 in a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, researchers said From Supreeth
Space vehicle designs - Although, in future, new-technology air-breathing rocket engines may come to be used for some part of passenger launch vehicles' flight to orbit, it's difficult to make a convincing case that vehicles using technology that doesn't exist yet will be competitive with ones using known technology for at least the next few decades. Henry Ford didn't wait for the V-8 engine to be invented and developed before he started selling cars! From Supreeth
What Is It Like to Live in Space? - All kinds of things are happening to your body. Your vestibular system is all messed up—your inner ear isn't working at all, and it's sending garbage signals to your brain. Your heart, which is used to pumping against gravity to do its most important job, delivering oxygenated blood to your brain, is now pumping too much and your head gets all puffed up. (I woke up in the middle of my first night in orbit and wondered why I was standing on my head for a few seconds, until I realized, no—I was just in space.) When you close your eyes to go to sleep, you see lightning flashes inside your eyeballs.
And you have a hard time just moving around. The first day is filled with apologies as you inevitably kick or elbow your crewmates as you thrash around like a fish out of water.
But eventually you get the hang of it, and for those of us who were lucky enough to do long-duration missions, about a month into flight, you finally really get used to it. Then you wake up in the morning, float out of your sleeping bag, shoot across the space station like superman, and turn a few somersaults on the way to the galley for breakfast.
Now you are a real spaceman! From Supreeth
Report: Humanity Leaves the Solar System Or Maybe Not - It was a threshold crossed in the deepest reaches of space: A spacecraft launched from Earth has now entered new and unexplored territory that may or may not be outside our solar system. A press release issued at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday morning by the American Geophysical Union noted that Voyager I had exited our solar system, sparking excitement in the scientific community. From cw
Confirmed! Newfound Particle Is the Higgs - A newfound particle discovered at the world's largest atom smasher last year is, indeed, the Higgs boson, the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass, scientists reported today (March 14) at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy.
Physicists announced on July 4, 2012, that, with more than 99 percent certainty, they had found a new elementary particle weighing about 126 times the mass of the proton that was likely the long-sought Higgs boson. The Higgs is sometimes referred to as the "God particle," to the chagrin of many scientists, who prefer its official name. From Popper
Largest Infrared Telescope In Space Running Out of Time - After nearly four years mapping the cosmos, ESA's prolific Herschel Space Observatory is expected to exhaust its vital supply of liquid helium coolant in the coming weeks. Once that runs out, the Herschel observatory will no longer be able to continue its scans of the cold, early universe, ESA officials said.
Named for astronomer William Herschel, the space telescope launched in May 2009 and is the most powerful, infrared telescope ever sent into space. The Herschel observatory has a main mirror about 11.5 feet (3.5 meeters) across — nearly 1.5 times larger than Hubble Space Telescope — and was built to map the universe in the far-infrared to sub-millimeter wavelengths of light. From Popper
NASA data may have uncovered galaxy's youngest black hole | Cutting Edge - CNET News - Black holes are created when a supernova explosion destroys a massive star. Scientists have discovered dozens of black holes, but all of them are already formed. So, when scientists recently saw different distorted remains of a supernova, they knew it something special.What the scientists believe they observed was the infant phases of a black hole, or the youngest black hole ever recorded in the Milky Way galaxy. From cw
Billions of Earthlike Planets Crowd Milky Way? - Earlier research suggested that rocky planets might be much more abundant around small stars than sunlike ones. (Also see "New 'Super Earth' Found at Right Distance for Life.")
But a fresh analysis of data from NASA's Kepler mission, which launched in 2009, suggests this is not the case, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California.
Nasa considers capturing an asteroid, setting it to orbit the moon - the idea behind the asteroid relocation may tie in with the Obama administration's enthusiasm for sending a manned mission to a near-Earth asteroid. If Nasa robotically fetches and places an object in orbit around the moon, a crewed space craft could practice engaging with it without needing to move beyond the range of a rescue mission. From cw
Never-Before-Seen Stage of Planet Birth Revealed - Astronomers studying a newborn star have caught a detailed glimpse of planets forming around it, revealing a never-before seen stage of planetary evolution.
Large gas giant planets appear to be clearing a gap in the disk of material surrounding the star, and using gravity to channel material across the gap to the interior, helping the star to grow. Theoretical simulations have predicted such bridges between outer and inner portions of disks surrounding stars, but none have been directly observed until now. From popper
Most Extreme Space Discoveries of 2012 - Astronomical discoveries in 2012 have reshaped what we know about the universe and pushed some instruments to the very limits of their observing power.
Scientists discovered a galaxy that harbors an enormous central black hole 17 billion times more massive than the sun. Another research group spotted a scorching-hot rocky planet in the closest star system to our own. Meanwhile, the records for most massive galaxy cluster and most distant galaxy were shattered. From Popper
'Habitable' planet discovered circling Tau Ceti star - A planet with conditions that could support life orbits a twin neighbour of the sun visible to the naked eye, scientists have revealed.The world is one of five thought to be circling Tau Ceti, a star just 12 light years away that is almost identical to the sun.Astronomers estimate the Tau Ceti planets to be two to six times bigger than Earth. One of them, with five times the Earth's mass, lies in the star's "habitable zone". From cw
The Trash We've Left on the Moon - Megan Garber - many of the objects that reside on the moon are there because humans have selected them, specifically, to be relics of the long history of human exploration. Swirled somewhere in the gray powder of Tranquility Base, there is an olive branch, wrought of gold and human industry. From cw
Tau Ceti: Potentially Habitable Planet Found Orbiting Nearby Star, Study Suggest - Astronomers have detected five possible alien planets circling the star Tau Ceti, which is less than 12 light-years from Earth -- a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. One of the newfound worlds appears to orbit in Tau Ceti's habitable zone, a range of distances from a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface. From Popper
Earth-sized planet with a molten surface discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri B - The Alpha Centauri system is one of the brightest stars in our night sky, exceeded in brightness only by Sirius and Canopus. At a distance of 1.34 parsecs (4.37 light years) it is the nearest stellar system to our Solar System. It is actually a triple star – a system consisting of two stars similar to the Sun orbiting close to each other, designated Alpha Centauri A and B, and a more distant and faint red dwarf known as Proxima Centauri or Alpha Centauri C (C is called Proxima at times because it is the closest of the three stars in the Alpha Centauri system, at 1.29 parsecs (4.24 light years) distance). From Popper
Mars Curiosity Rover to scoop up and analyze shiny Mars material - After taking high resolution images of the first “shiny object,” the JPL team decided it was likely a piece of plastic or wire either from the rover or the craft that carried the rover to Mars. However, after Curiosity picked up its second scoop, the team saw other pieces of reflective material within the clumps of Martian dirt.
That smooth SpaceX launch? Turns out one of the engines came apart - Those of us who watched the live feed of last night's Falcon 9 launch could be forgiven for assuming that everything went according to plan. All the reports that came through over the audio were heavy on the word "nominal," and the craft successfully entered an orbit that has it on schedule to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday. But over night, SpaceX released a slow-motion video of what they're calling an "anomaly." From cw
Moon, Venus still close together in September 13 morning sky | Tonight | EarthSky - The brightest and second-brightest orbs of nighttime â€“ the moon and the planet Venus, respectively â€“ have been glorious in our sky the past few days and still adorn the eastern predawn sky on Thursday, September 13. They are visible throughout the world. Both the waning crescent moon and Venus will be shining brightly in front of the constellation Cancer the Crab. From X Isle
Are solar storms dangerous to us? | Space | EarthSky - Throughout 2012, the sun has been in an active part of its 11-year cycle of activity. Those using telescopes equipped with special solar filters to peer at the sun â€“ or photograph it â€“ have seen dark sunspots dotting the sunâ€™s surface. Space observatories have been detecting short-lived but brilliant and powerful solar flares â€“ intense bursts of radiation and our solar systemâ€™s largest explosive events â€“ lasting minutes to hours on the sunâ€™s surface. Occasional, powerful coronal mass ejections, or CMEs â€“ giant bubbles of gas and magnetic fields from the sun, containing up to a billion tons of charged particles that can travel up to several million miles per hour â€“ have been released into the interplanetary medium. This solar material has streamed out through space, and sometimes has struck Earth. Is this dangerous? Should we be worried? From X Isle
Behold, the Toothbrush That Just Saved the International Space Station - It was a little like Apollo 13 -- if its mission to the moon had been saved by a tool of good oral hygiene, that is. Yesterday the International Space Station, having battled electrical malfunctions for over a week, was repaired by a combination that MacGyver himself would have been proud of: an allen wrench, a wire brush, a bolt ... and a toothbrush. From cw
IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER - On July 18 of 1969, as the world waited anxiously for Apollo 11 to land safely on the surface of the Moon, speechwriter William Safire imagined the worst case scenario as he expertly wrote the following sombre memo to President Nixon's Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman. Its contents: a contingency plan, in the form of a speech to be read out by Nixon should astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become stranded on the Moon, never to return, followed by some brief instructions relating to its broadcast. Luckily for all those involved, the memo was never needed. From Popper
Hunt Is On for Gravity Waves in Space-Time - Because black holes are impossible to see, one of scientists' best hopes to study them is to look for the ripples in space-time, called gravitational waves, that they are thought to create. From Guest_2012
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror - YouTube - Mars Science Laboratory (or Curiosity) is a Mars rover launched by NASA on November 26, 2011. Currently en route to the planet, it is scheduled to land in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012. Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.
From X Isle
The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech - A new type of amplifier for boosting electrical signals that can be used for everything from studying stars, galaxies, and black holes to exploring the quantum world and developing quantum computers has been developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).* "This amplifier will redefine what it is possible to measure," says Jonas Zmuidzinas, Caltech's Merle Kingsley Professor of Physics, the chief technologist at JPL, and a member of the research team. An amplifier is a device that increases the strength of a weak signal. From X Isle
spaceengine - SpaceEngine - is a free space simulation software that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies. Areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by human astronomy are generated procedurally. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets! From X Isle
Oldest galaxy discovered so far in the Universe is 12.91 billion years old - Using the Subaru and Keck optical/infrared telescopes on Hawaiiâ€™s Mauna Kea, a 4,200 metre-high summit which houses the worldâ€™s largest observatory for optical, infrared and submillimeter astronomy, a team of Japanese astronomers claim in a recently published paper that theyâ€™ve discovered the earliest galaxy found thus far in the known Universe â€“ it is 12.91 billion years old or 12.91 billion light years away. From X Isle
Humanity escapes the solar system: Voyager 1 signals that it has reached the edge of interstellar space | Mail Online - With absolutely no attempt at hyperbole at all, it is fair to say that this is one of - if not the - biggest achievement of the human race.For, as we speak, an object conceived in the human mind, and built by our tools, and launched from our planet, is sailing out of the further depths of our solar system - and will be the first object made by man to sail out into interstellar space.The Voyager 1, built by Nasa and launched in 1977 has spent the last 35 years steadily increasing its distance from Earth, and is now now 17,970,000,000km - or 11,100,000,000miles - away, travelling at 10km a second.Indications over the last week implies that Voyager 1 is now leaving the heliosphere - the last vestige of this solar system. From X Isle
The Moon's Peculiar Dust Gets More Peculiar Still - That dust, the Apollo crewmen found when they went out to play in it, did some strange things: it rose above the surface when disturbed and hung there far longer than could be explained by the moon's weak gravity; it crept deep into the weave and cracks of virtually anything it touched and clung there as if adhesively attached. What's more, it was filled with exquisitely fine green and orange glass beads -- the products of the superheated melting and cooling that followed impacts. From cw
Europe votes to build world's biggest telescope to explore distant rocky planets - A coalition of 15 European countries has announced plans to build the biggest telescope in the world.The mirror inside the telescope will measure 39metres across - four times wider than today's biggest telescope - and it will be so powerful that astronomers will even be able to observe dark, rocky planets far beyond our solar system. From cw
8 modern astronomy mysteries scientists still can't explain - To round up some of the most enduring mysteries in the field of astronomy, the journal Science enlisted help from science writers and members of the Board of Reviewing Editors to choose eight puzzling questions being asked by leading astronomers today. From Popper
Milky Way Headed for Huge Galactic Crash in 4 Billion Years - Our Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy, researchers announced today (May 31). Over time, the huge galactic smashup will create an entirely new hybrid galaxy, one likely bearing an elliptical shape rather than the Milky Way's trademark spiral-armed disk. From cw
Preserving our Dark Skies - One of my favorite quotations comes from Neil Degrasse Tyson when he is describing his first view of a truly dark sky. He notes that his first thought is how much it reminds him of the Hayden Planetarium, not the other way around! Many of us never forget that first experience of seeing a truly dark sky; seeing so many stars above that the world seems wrapped in a blanket of light. Without the lights below, a passing cloud looks like a giant black hole eating a portion of the sky as it passes overhead. Strange as it may seem, if you have experienced this, you are lucky. Many kids and even many adults never experience that wonder, and one can only imagine what the consequences of this are. From cw
Period of the Sun's Orbit around the Galaxy (Cosmic Year) - The sun is one of hundreds of billion of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The galaxy is composed of gaseous interstellar medium, neutral or ionized, sometimes concentrated into dense gas clouds made up of atoms molecules, and dust. All of the matter -- gas, dust, and stars -- rotate around a central axis perpendicular to the galactic plane. The centrifugal force caused by the rotation balances out the gravitational force, which draw all the matter toward the center. From cw
Light from Alien Super-Earth Seen for 1st Time - Light from an alien "super-Earth" twice the size of our own Earth has been detected by a NASA space telescope for the first time in what astronomers are calling a historic achievement. From Popper
Super Moon? How About a Super Sun! - On May 5, 2012, while everyone else was waiting for the “Super Moon” astrophotographer Alan Friedman was out capturing this super image of a super Sun from his back yard in Buffalo, NY!
Taken with a specialized telescope that can image the Sun in hydrogen alpha light, Alan’s photo shows the intricate detail of our home star’s chromosphere — the layer just above its “surface”, or photosphere. From Popper
This Weekend's 'Supermoon' Will be Year's Largest | Supermoon Full Moon | Space.com - kywatchers take note: The biggest full moon of the year is due to arrive this weekend. The moon will officially become full Saturday, May 5. And because this month's full moon coincides with the moon's perigee - its closest approach to Earth - it will also be the year's biggest.
The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon. From X Isle
Scientists prepare to take first-ever picture of a black hole - The Event Horizon Telescope is an Earth-sized virtual telescope powerful enough to see all the way to the center of our Milky Way, where a supermassive black hole will allow astrophysicists to put Einstein’s general theory of relativity to the test. From Popper
Carolyn Porco flies us to Saturn - Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, focusing on its largest moon, Titan, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice.Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, focusing on its largest moon, Titan, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice. From Guest_2012
Japan astronomers find most distant galaxy cluster - Japanese astronomers said Wednesday they had found a cluster of galaxies 12.72 billion light-years away from Earth, which they claim is the most distant cluster ever discovered.Using a powerful telescope based in Hawaii, the team peered back through time to a point just one billion years after the Big Bang, the birth of the universe. From cw
Survey finds no hint of dark matter near Solar System - In the largest survey of its kind to date, astronomers scouring the space around the Solar System for signs of dark matter — the hypothetical material believed to account for more than 80% of the mass in the Universe — have come up empty-handed. From Guest_2012
Dark matter no-show confronts supersymmetry - After months of battling radioactive contamination that threatened to swamp its detector, the XENON100 collaboration has managed to place the strongest limits yet on the detection of dark matter. The no-show, announced today at a seminar in Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, places constraints on supersymmetry, the leading alternative to the standard model of particle physics. From Guest_2012
Huge, Mysteriously Silent Satellite Spotted by Another Spacecraft - A massive European satellite the size of a school bus that has mysteriously stopped communicating with Earth has been spotted by another satellite in orbit.
The giant Envisat satellite, which is the world's largest imaging satellite for civilian use, was photographed in stunning detail by a French spacecraft that is also designed to snap high-resolution images of Earth, officials with the European Space Agency (ESA) said Friday From Guest_2012
'Extreme Universe' puzzle deepens - The mystery surrounding the source of the highest-energy particles known in the Universe has grown deeper.The particles, known as cosmic rays, can show up with energies a million times higher than the biggest particle accelerators on Earth can produce. From cw
Top 10 Really Cool Infrared Images from Spitzer - The Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) is a cool camera, no matter what temperature in which it operates! For 1,000 days now, the camera has been continuously taking images of the Universe – from its most distant regions to our local solar neighborhood. The IRAC is now operating in a “warm” version of its mission, as after more than five-and-a-half years of probing the cool cosmos, in 2009 it ran out of liquid helium coolant that kept its infrared instruments chilled. From Popper
Intelligent Advanced Versions of Earth's Dinosaurs May Have - New scientific research raises the possibility that advanced versions of T. rex and other dinosaurs â€” monstrous creatures with the intelligence and cunning of humans â€” may be the life forms that evolved on other planets in the universe. "We would be better off not meeting them," concludes the study, led by Ronald Breslow, University Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biology at Columbia University. From X Isle
Destroying an Incoming Killer Asteroid With a Nuclear Blast | Popular Science - One way or another, it's on everyone's minds, living somewhere in the back of our collective consciousness. Hollywood knows it, and continues to plumb it for box office numbers. The fossil record shouts warnings across millennia about it. Even the dinosaurs developed a particular, albeit brief, loathing for it.
The killer asteroid - the one that we might never even see coming - could end life on this planet and there would be nothing humans could do about it. It creates a kind of helplessness that's difficult to even think about. But simulations show how unleashing Earth's destructive arsenal into deep space could save the planet. From X Isle
Stardust recycling mystery solved - While stars like our Sun are known to eject much of their mass in their final years, it has remained unclear just how the dust is blown away.Scientists reporting in Nature describe an astronomical study of extraordinary resolution to tackle the mystery.They found dust grains of nearly a millionth of a metre across, big enough to be pushed out by dying stars' light. From cw
Heh, Heh, Heh. You Said Uranus - Gaze for a moment, if you will, on the featureless disk that is Uranus. The discovery of Uranus ranks as one of the top scientific finds of history. In fact, we can safely say that science today would be entirely different, if it wasn't for Uranus. From X Isle
From the 'X-Files' Dept: NASA's Alien Contact Scenarioch - Extraterrestrial beings monitoring Earth might view changes in our atmosphere as symptomatic of a a self-destructing civilization and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, according to a highly speculative scenario developed last year by scientists at NASA and Penn State University. From X Isle
Monster Martian Dust Devil Caught On Camera - The spinning column of dust and warm air extends nearly 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the sky, casting a dark shadow on the reddish, rocky Martian surface. From Guest_2012
Kepler Mission extended to 2016 - With NASA's tight budget, there were concerns that some of the agency's most successful astrophysics missions might not be able to continue. Anxieties were rampant about one mission in particular, the very fruitful exoplanet-hunting Kepler mission, as several years of observations are required in order for Kepler to confirm a repeated orbit as a planet transits its star. But today, after a long awaited Senior Review of nine astrophysics missions, surprisingly all have received funding to continue at least through 2014, with several mission extensions, including Kepler. From cw
Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturns Enceladus - Enceladus has always been thought of as one of the more remarkable members of Saturn's marble bag of satellites. For one thing, it's dazzlingly bright. The percentage of sunlight that a body in the solar system reflects back is known as its albedo, and it's determined mostly by the color of the body's ground cover. For all the silvery brilliance of a full moon on a cloudless night, the albedo of our own drab satellite is a muddy 12%, owing mostly to the gray dust that covers it. The albedo of Enceladus, on the other hand, approaches a mirror-like 100%. Such a high percentage likely means the surface is covered with ice crystals -- and, what's more, that those crystals get regularly replenished.. From X Isle
Mercury Has a Liquid Core - NASA’s Messenger spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury one year ago this week, and the spacecraft has been hard at work. It has captured nearly 100,000 images, mapped Mercury’s gravity field, and taken sensitive altimetry measurements that are shedding light on the planet’s surface features like never before. This week, scientists on the Messenger mission published another round of new findings about the innermost planet, which turns out to be an altogether weirder world than we'd thought. From Guest_2012
NASA - Mapping the Infrared Universe - The Entire WISE Sky - Nasa released an image of the entire sky as observed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The sky can be thought of as a sphere that surrounds us in three dimensions. To make a map of the sky, astronomers project it into two dimensions. The projection used in this image of the sky, called Aitoff, takes the 3-D sky sphere and slices open one hemisphere, and then flattens the whole thing out into an oval shape.
In the mosaic, the Milky Way Galaxy runs horizontally across this map. The Milky Way is shaped like a disk and our solar system is located in that disk about two-thirds of the way out from the center. So we see the Milky Way as a band running through the sky. From X Isle
Near-Miss Asteroid Will Return Next Year, Even Closer - When it whizzes past Earth in 2013, a newly discovered asteroid is going to miss our planet -- but not by much. The 50-meter space rock is expected to come closer than many satellites, highlighting the growing need to keep watch on hazards from above. From Guest_2012
Did life on Earth actually come from the Red Planet? - Given the same raw materials, Mars would have been a better host for life to arise than Earth, which some scientists believe was too flooded for the chemistry of life to gain a toehold.
Without at least occasional dry land, the chemistry needed to get life started doesn’t work very well because the molecules to support genetics, such as RNA, are chemically unstable in many ways, particularly in water. From Popper
NASA | Evolution of the Moon - From year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn't always look like this. Thanks to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we now have a better look at some of the moon's history.
From X Isle
The Soviet and Russian space programmes in pictures - Russia will finally send a team of cosmonauts to the Moon – more than 40 years after Neil Armstrong's Apollo effectively ended the US-Soviet space race. The Roscosmos space agency also plans to deploy research stations on Mars. In this gallery, we look back at the history of the The Soviet and Russian space programme. From Guest_2012
NASA - NASA Mars Orbiter Catches Twister in Action - [img]http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/628440main_pia15116-673.jpg[img]
An afternoon whirlwind on Mars lofts a twisting column of dust more than half a mile (800 meters) high in an image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.HiRISE captured the image on Feb. 16, 2012, while the orbiter passed over the Amazonis Planitia region of northern Mars. In the area observed, paths of many previous whirlwinds, or dust devils, are visible as streaks on the dusty surface.The active dust devil displays a delicate arc produced by a westerly breeze partway up its height. The dust plume is about 30 yards or meters in diameter. From X Isle
NASA - Sunspot 1429 Not Done Yet - Releases 2 More M-Class Flares - On March 10, 2012, the sun released another two M-class flares. One, rated as an M5.4, peaked at 12:27 AM EST. The second, rated as an M 8.4, peaked at 12:44 PM EST.These two flares came from the same Active Region (AR) on the sun, designated number 1429, that has already produced three X-class and numerous M-class flares over the past week. From cw
Scale of the Universe 2 - The Scale of the Universe is an animation of the universe made by Cary Huang. Zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime and learn about everything in between. Drag the scroll bar to zoom in and out. Click on objects to learn more. From X Isle
New Time-Lapse Gives Rare Glimpse at Atacama%u2019s Starry Nights %u2013 News Watch - Itâ€™s cold, itâ€™s dry, the air is thin. The nearest city is miles away across a barren landscape of boulder-strewn hills. At night, the only lights to guide you are the stars in the sky. Astronomers, welcome to paradise.Known as the driest place on Earth, Chileâ€™s Atacama Desert has long been recognized as an ideal spot for ground-based telescopes. The skies are free of light pollution, and the high plains enjoy long stretches of steady atmospheric conditions, allowing astronomers to peer deeply into the cosmos without having to worry about turbulence distorting the data.
From X Isle
Oxygen envelops Saturn's icy moon - The discovery supports a theory that suggests all of the moons near Saturn and Jupiter might have oxygen around them.Researchers say that their finding increases the likelihood of finding the ingredients for life on one of the moons orbiting gas giants. From cw
Supernova Blast: Giant Star Eta Carinae to Explode Any Day - Weighing at least a hundred times as much as our sun, it will go out more like an adolescent suicide bomber, blazing through its nuclear fuel in a mere couple of million years and exploding as a supernova, a blast so violent that its flash will briefly outshine the entire Milky Way. The corpse this kind of cosmic detonation leaves behind is a black hole. From cw
Mysterious radio waves emitted from nearby galaxy - There is something strange in the cosmic neighbourhood. An unknown object in the nearby galaxy M82 has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before. From cw
Kepler’s surprise: The sounds of the stars - Most astronomers gaze at the heavens and see stars. William Chaplin hears an orchestra — a celestial symphony in which the smallest stars are flutes, the medium-sized ones are trombones and the giants are reverberating tubas.... From Guest_2012
Human mission to Mars by 2035: Is it possible? - If you are to believe the second man to land on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, we ought to start packing for Mars. Aldrin-who landed on the moon just 15 minutes after Neil Armstrong-says the US government should soon start sending the first bunch of human settlers to Phobos, Mars' inner moon. Eventually, they could get to the Red Planet itself by as soon as 2035. From Guest_9
Earthlike Planet Found Orbiting at Right Distance for Life - A possible Earth twin has been confirmed orbiting a sunlike star 600 light-years awayâ€”and the new planet may be in just the right spot for supporting life, NASA announced Monday.Discovered by the Kepler space mission, the new planetâ€”dubbed Kepler-22bâ€”is the first world smaller than Neptune to be found in middle of its star's habitable zone. From cw
NASA's Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star - NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets. From cw
Kepler 22-b: Earth-like planet confirmed - The planet, Kepler 22-b, lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22C.
It is the closest confirmed planet yet to one like ours - an "Earth 2.0".
However, the team does not yet know if Kepler 22-b is made mostly of rock, gas or liquid.
Could dark matter not matter? - An Italian mathematician has come up with some complex formulae that can, with remarkable similarity, mimic the rotation curves of spiral galaxies without the need for dark matter. From cw
Scientists Discover Strange New 'Species' of Galaxy Unlike Any Ever Seen - ..... the galaxies can be this red for a number of reasons. For starters, the galaxies may be simply so far away that a process called redshifting may cause them to appear red due to the expansion of the universe. That is, the galaxies may be moving away from Earth, which would cause the wavelengths of the light given off to become longer (and therefore more red).
Alternatively, the galaxies could be filled with old red giant stars that are near their deathbed, or the galaxies might be very dusty and obscuring the visual range waves from Hubble...... From Guest_9
2011 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar - Alan Taylor - In Focus - The Atlantic - Continuing with a holiday tradition I started a few years ago, I'm happy to bring you the 2011 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Every day until Sunday, December 25, this page will present one new image of our universe from NASA's Hubble telescope. Be sure to bookmark this calendar and come back every day until the 25th, or follow @in_focus on Twitter, or me on Google , for daily updates. I hope you enjoy these amazing and awe-inspiring images and the efforts of the science teams who have brought them to Earth. I feel fortunate to have been able to share photo stories with you all year, and I wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and peace on Earth to all. (Also, choosing the "1280px" viewing option below, if you can support it, will be a good option.) [25 photos - eventually] From cw