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Preview: EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:45:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

Study finds that gravity, 'mechanical loading' are key to cartilage development

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Missouri-Columbia) Mechanical loading is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading.

A silent search for dark matter

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Results from its first run indicate that XENON1T is the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth. The sensitivity of the detector -- an underground sentinel awaiting a collision that would confirm a hypothesis - stems from both its size and its 'silence.'

Turning human waste into plastic, nutrients could aid long-distance space travel (video)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) Imagine you're on your way to Mars, and you lose a crucial tool during a spacewalk. Not to worry, you'll simply re-enter your spacecraft and use some microorganisms to convert your urine and exhaled carbon dioxide into chemicals to make a new tool. That's one goal of scientists developing ways to make long space trips feasible. The researchers will present their results today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

HRL receives NASA award to 3-D print ceramic rocket engine components

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(HRL Laboratories) HRL Laboratories has received an award as part of NASA's Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion program to develop additive manufactured (3-D printed) ceramic rocket engine components.

Satellite watches remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey near Honduras

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NOAA's GOES-East satellite has been watching the remnants for former Tropical Storm Harvey as it tracks west across the Caribbean Sea. Early on Aug. 21 the remnants were just off the coast of eastern Honduras.

NASA sees major Hurricane Kenneth in Eastern Pacific

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Former Tropical Depression 13E has strengthened into a Major Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Kenneth and captured an image that showed a well-developed storm with a visible eye.

In Neptune, it's raining diamonds

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) Researchers at HZDR have managed to demonstrate 'diamond showers' forming in the ice giants of our solar system. Using the ultra-strong X-ray laser and other facilities at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, they simulated the conditions inside the cosmic giants. For the first time ever, they were able to observe the fission of hydrocarbon and the conversion of carbon into diamonds in real time. They published their results in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Analysis of a 'rusty' lunar rock suggests the moon's interior is dry

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - San Diego) The moon is likely very dry in its interior according to a new study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UC San Diego analyzing fragments of the 'Rusty Rock,' a rock collected from the moon's surface during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.

Scientists create 'diamond rain' that forms in the interior of icy giant planets

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists were able to observe 'diamond rain' for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions. Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these planets to form solid diamonds that sink slowly down further into the interior.

Dino-killing asteroid could have thrust Earth into 2 years of darkness

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to the mass extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.

NJIT researchers will follow in the moon's slipstream to capture high-res sunspot images

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(New Jersey Institute of Technology) While much of the research around the eclipse on Monday will focus on the effects of the Sun's brief, daytime disappearance on Earth and its atmosphere, a group of solar physicists will be leveraging the rare event to capture a better glimpse of the star itself.

Satellite sees the formation of eastern Pacific's Tropical Depression 13E

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The thirteenth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season formed on Aug. 18. NOAA's GOES-Wet satellite captured an image of the new storm.

OU astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Oklahoma) A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist, Mukremin Kilic, and his team have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. White dwarfs are the remnants of Sun-like stars, many of which are found in pairs, or binaries.

NASA looks at rainfall in Tropical Storm Harvey

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical Storm Harvey is now moving into the eastern Caribbean Sea. NASA's GPM core satellite examined the soaking rainfall the new tropical storm was generating along its path.

NASA gets a final look at Hurricane Gert's rainfall

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of next week's eclipse

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center) Researchers from Predictive Science Inc. used NASA and National Science Foundation-supported supercomputers to run highly-detailed forecasts of the Sun's corona -- the aura of plasma that surrounds the sun -- at the moment of the eclipse. The team combined data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, magnetic field maps, solar rotation rates and cutting-edge mathematical models to predict the state of the Sun's surface. The simulations are the largest produced by the group and include new physics.

Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Austin) A research team from Predictive Science Inc. (PSI) used the Stampede2 supercomputer at The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse. The findings shed light on what the eclipse of the sun might look like Aug. 21 when it will be visible across much of the US, tracing a 70-mile-wide band across 14 states.

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) The model focuses mainly on the nature of Fermi bubbles and explains the spectral distribution of the observed cosmic rays flux. It can be said that the processes they described are capable of re-accelerating galactic cosmic rays generated in supernova explosions. Unlike electrons, protons have a significantly greater lifetime, so when accelerated in Fermi bubbles, they can fill up the volume of the Galaxy and be observed near the Earth.

RIT astrophysics Ph.D. student wins competitive NASA fellowship

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rochester Institute of Technology) Rochester Institute of Technology graduate student Chi Nguyen was selected for a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship in Astrophysics Research. She is one of eight fellowship recipients selected from 141 applicants to the Astrophysics Science Research Program, a division of the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program.

NASA sees potential Tropical Cyclone 9 form east of Lesser Antilles

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NOAA's GOES-East Satellite spotted potential Tropical Cyclone 9 organizing east of the Lesser Antilles.

Satellites show Hurricane Gert being affected by wind shear

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert. Both images showed the storm was being affected by wind shear and had become elongated.

UTA astrophysicists predict Earth-like planet in star system only 16 light years away

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Arlington) Astrophysicists at the University of Texas at Arlington have predicted that an Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system just 16 light years away. The team investigated the star system Gliese 832 for additional exoplanets residing between the two currently known alien worlds in this system. Their computations revealed that an additional Earth-like planet with a dynamically stable configuration may be residing at a distance ranging from 0.25 to 2.0 astronomical unit (AU) from the star.

NASA protects its super heroes from space weather

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Johnson Space Center) When astronauts travel in space they can't see or even feel radiation. However, NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is studying the effects radiation plays on the human body and developing ways to monitor and protect against this silent hazard.

An unusual white dwarf may be a supernova leftover

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Astronomers have identified a white dwarf star in our galaxy that may be the leftover remains of a recently discovered type of supernova.

TDRS: An era of continuous space communications

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) When NASA created Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system in the 1980s, it revolutionized space communications. As NASA launches the 13th TDRS satellite, it looks forward to the next communications innovation.