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Space News - Space, Astronomy, Space Exploration provides the latest news on astronomy and space exploration.


SpaceX's Elon Musk elaborates on plan to colonize Mars

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:04:41 EDT

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has given more details about his plan to colonize Mars.

To uncover the secrets of exoplanets, try listening to them

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:29:15 EDT

From rainfall patterns to share price performance, the usual way to analyse any data that shows something changing over a period of time is to put it into a graphic. Making data visual usually makes it much easier to understand the trends – but not always.

A rare opportunity for planet hunting in Alpha Centauri A predicted for 2028

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:24:02 EDT

A very rare gravitational lensing event, set to occur in 2028, has been predicted by a team of French astronomers led by Pierre Kervella of the CNRS/Universidad de Chile. It will provide an ideal opportunity to look for evidence of a planet around a nearby star.

Image: Hubble spins a web into the Red Spider Nebula

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:20:02 EDT

Huge waves are sculpted in this two-lobed nebula called the Red Spider Nebula, located some 3,000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius.

Hotspots in an active galactic nucleus

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:03:34 EDT

The nucleus of a so-called "active" galaxy contains a massive black hole that is vigorously accreting material. As a result, the nucleus often ejects bipolar jets of rapidly moving charged particles that radiate brightly at many wavelengths, in particular radio wavelengths. Active galaxies display a range of dramatically different properties, and the ones that are bright in the radio can beam as much as one trillion solar luminosities of radiation into space at those wavelengths.

'Heartbeat stars' unlocked in new study

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:59:30 EDT

Matters of the heart can be puzzling and mysterious—so too with unusual astronomical objects called heartbeat stars.

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:59:20 EDT

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be two tiny, previously undiscovered moonlets orbiting near two of the planet's rings.

Kepler has caught hundreds of asteroids

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:29:28 EDT

Previously, the Kepler space telescope looked straight out from the solar system in a direction almost perpendicular to the ecliptic and the plane of the planets. This way, it could observe the same spot all year long, as the sun, and most of the solar system, were out of its field of view. But since the start of K2 mission, it has been observing parallel to that plane in order to better balance against the radiation pressure of the sun. This new strategy has two important consequences: One is that Kepler has to change its field of view every three months to avoid the sun; the other is that our own solar system, unexpectedly, has become a target for the exoplanet-hunting telescope.

Space station accepts first Virginia delivery in two years

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 13:10:14 EDT

The International Space Station received its first shipment from a private, Virginia-based company in more than two years Sunday following a sensational nighttime launch observed 250 miles up and down the East Coast.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:56:50 EDT

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.

European craft crashed on Mars, possibly exploded: ESA

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:28:02 EDT

A tiny lander despatched to Mars on a trial run had crashed and possibly exploded on the Red Planet, mission control said Friday, confirming Europe's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface.

Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded (Update)

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:54:45 EDT

Europe's experimental Mars probe hit the right spot—but at the wrong speed—and may have ended up in a fiery ball of rocket fuel when it struck the surface, scientists said Friday.

Photonics dawning as the communications light for evolving NASA missions

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:53:17 EDT

A largely unrecognized field called photonics may provide solutions to some of NASA's most pressing challenges in future spaceflight.

Oldest known planet-forming disk: Citizen scientists and professional astronomers join forces

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:39:40 EDT

A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers, including Carnegie's Jonathan Gagné, joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk—a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate—or is it?

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:18:49 EDT

Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery, in the late 1990s, that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

Going out in a blaze of glory—Cassini's grand finale

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:50:01 EDT

With the conclusion of the international Cassini mission set for September 15, 2017, the spacecraft is poised to soon begin a thrilling two-part endgame.

Soyuz capsule docks with International Space Station

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:40:03 EDT

A Soyuz space capsule carrying astronauts from Russia and the United States has docked with the International Space Station after a two-day voyage.

Did 40-year-old Viking experiment discover life on Mars?

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:01 EDT

(—In 1976, two Viking landers became the first US spacecraft from Earth to touch down on Mars. They took the first high-resolution images of the planet, surveyed the planet's geographical features, and analyzed the geological composition of the atmosphere and surface. Perhaps most intriguingly, they also performed experiments that searched for signs of microbial life in Martian soil.

Image: Jupiterrise

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 07:10:03 EDT

This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist (Alex Mai) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. JunoCam's raw images are available at for the public to peruse and process into image products.

Cassini sees dramatic seasonal changes on Titan

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:50:01 EDT

As southern winter solstice approaches in the Saturn system, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been revealing dramatic seasonal changes in the atmospheric temperature and composition of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Second research flight into zero gravity

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 03:25:58 EDT

Saturday, a parabolic flight is set to take off from Swiss soil for the second time. It will be carrying experiments from various Swiss universities on board to research the effects of zero gravity on biological and physical processes, and test technologies. With this flight, the second from the air force base in Dübendorf within one year, the Swiss Research Station for Zero Gravity initiated by the University of Zurich has got off to a flying start.

First results from long-term, hi-res tracking of eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:30:01 EDT

Jupiter's moon Io continues to be the most volcanically active body in the solar system, as documented by the longest series of frequent, high-resolution observations of the moon's thermal emission ever obtained.

Did it crash or land? Search on for Europe's Mars craft

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:34:48 EDT

Europe's second attempt to reach Mars' surface appeared in peril Thursday as initial analysis suggested the latest lander may have plummeted to its demise.

Citizen scientists seek south pole 'spiders' on Mars

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:32:34 EDT

(—Ten thousand volunteers viewing images of Martian south polar regions have helped identify targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide and erosional features known as "spiders."

Mars: graveyard of broken dreams and landers

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:40:49 EDT

Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has become a veritable graveyard for landers and rovers despatched to its surface from neighbouring Earth.

Russian observatory once closed to public houses art exhibit

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:39:28 EDT

A remote Russian observatory housing what was once the world's largest mirrored telescope has become the setting for an art installation that explores the near-infinite reaches of both outer space and the human imagination.

Tracking waves from sunspots gives new solar insight

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:30:20 EDT

While it often seems unvarying from our viewpoint on Earth, the sun is constantly changing. Material courses through not only the star itself, but throughout its expansive atmosphere. Understanding the dance of this charged gas is a key part of better understanding our sun - how it heats up its atmosphere, how it creates a steady flow of solar wind streaming outward in all directions, and how magnetic fields twist and turn to create regions that can explode in giant eruptions. Now, for the first time, researchers have tracked a particular kind of solar wave as it swept upward from the sun's surface through its atmosphere, adding to our understanding of how solar material travels throughout the sun.

Europe's Mars lander: What do we know?

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:22:56 EDT

Scientists and engineers were piecing together clues Thursday to the fate of Europe's "Schiaparelli" Mars lander, which fell silent just seconds before its scheduled touchdown on the Red Planet.

Schiaparelli descent data—decoding underway

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:20:02 EDT

Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module's descent to the Red Planet's surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.

Either stars are strange, or there are 234 aliens trying to contact us

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:10:01 EDT

We all want there to be aliens. Green ones, pink ones, brown ones, Greys. Or maybe Vulcans, Klingons, even a being of pure energy. Any type will do.