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Space News - Space, Astronomy, Space Exploration



Phys.org provides the latest news on astronomy and space exploration.



 



Fermi finds possible dark matter ties in Andromeda galaxy

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:00:50 EST

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found a signal at the center of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy that could indicate the presence of the mysterious stuff known as dark matter. The gamma-ray signal is similar to one seen by Fermi at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.



Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:49:15 EST

New planetary formation models from Carnegie's Alan Boss indicate that there may be an undiscovered population of gas giant planets orbiting around Sun-like stars at distances similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn. His work is published by The Astrophysical Journal.



New data about two distant asteroids give a clue to the possible 'Planet Nine'

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:40:59 EST

The dynamical properties of these asteroids, observed spectroscopiccally for the first time using the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, suggest a possible common origin and give a clue to the existence of a planet beyond Pluto, the so-called 'Planet Nine.'



Tune your radio: Galaxies sing when forming stars

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:37:31 EST

A team led from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has found the most precise way ever to measure the rate at which stars form in galaxies using their radio emission at 1-10 Gigahertz frequency range.



Data from Mars probe suggests possibility of proto-ring development

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:40:01 EST

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with the Physical Research Laboratory in India studying data sent back from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe has found possible evidence of the development of rings around the planet. In their paper published in the journal Icarus, Jayesh Pabari and P. J. Bhalodi describe the data, what the probe has measured, and the likelihood that some of the dust that surrounds Mars may one day accumulate into a set of rings encircling the planet.



'Gravitational noise' interferes with determining the coordinates of distant sources

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:20:07 EST

Our galaxy's gravitational field limits the accuracy of astrometric observations of distant objects. This is most apparent for objects that are obscured behind the central regions of the galaxy and the galactic plane, where the deviation can be up to several dozen microarcseconds. And more importantly, the effect of this gravitational "noise" cannot be removed. This means that beyond a certain point, it will no longer be possible to improve the accuracy of determining the position of reference objects that are used to define the coordinates of all other sources.



The brightest, furthest pulsar in the universe

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:17:28 EST

ESA's XMM-Newton has found a pulsar – the spinning remains of a once-massive star – that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible.



Mapping the family tree of stars

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:41:30 EST

Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees looking at how the stars formed and how they are connected to each other. The signatures act as a proxy for DNA sequences. It's akin to chemical tagging of stars and forms the basis of a discipline astronomers refer to as Galactic archaeology.



John Glenn still inspires 55 years after his 1st orbit

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:59:51 EST

John Glenn is continuing to inspire 55 years after becoming the first American to orbit Earth.



Image: Star formation on filaments in RCW106

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:20:44 EST

Stars are bursting into life all over this image from ESA's Herschel space observatory. It depicts the giant molecular cloud RCW106, a massive billow of gas and dust almost 12 000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Norma, the Carpenter's Square.



Scientists readying to create first image of a black hole

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:07:55 EST

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from around the world is getting ready to create what might be the first image of a black hole. The project is the result of collaboration between teams manning radio receivers around the world and a team at MIT that will assemble the data from the other teams and hopefully create an image.



New insights on the nature of the star V501 Aurigae revealed

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:00:01 EST

(Phys.org)—Astronomers have presented the results of new photometric and spectroscopic observations of the star V501 Aurigae (V501 Aur for short), providing new insights into the nature of this object. The findings show that V501 Aur, previously considered to be T-Tauri star, is most probably a field binary. The study was published Feb. 15 in a paper available on arXiv.org.



The universe has a lithium problem

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:55:35 EST

Over the past decades, scientists have wrestled with a problem involving the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory suggests that there should be three times as much lithium as we can observe. Why is there such a discrepancy between prediction and observation?



An Interview with former NASA astronaut Mike Fossum

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:50:03 EST

Mike Fossum is a shining example for astronaut wannabes shooting for the stars. His story undeniably proves that dreams of space voyages come true if you have the motivation and courage to pursue them. In an interview with Astrowatch.net, the veteran NASA astronaut talks about his successful astronaut career, recollecting unforgettable and thrilling moments in space.



Image: Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon spacecraft vertical at Launch Complex 39A

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:50:01 EST

NASA provider SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are vertical at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff of SpaceX's tenth Commercial Resupply Services cargo mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for 10:01 a.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.



New legal powers could send UK scientists into space to research vaccines and medicines

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:48:29 EST

British scientists will be able to fly to the edge of space to conduct vital medical experiments under new powers unveiled this week.



Image: liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon from Launch Complex 39A

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:45:50 EST

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.



ESA's six-legged Suntracker flying on a Dragon

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:34:58 EST

Tomorrow, a Space-X Dragon cargo ferry will be launched to the International Space Station packed with supplies, experiments, tools and food for the six astronauts living and working high above Earth. In the unpressurised cargo hold is a new NASA sensor that will monitor our atmosphere with a helping hand from ESA.



Dating the Milky Way's disc

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:34:27 EST

When a star like our sun gets to be very old, after another seven billion years or so, it will no longer be able to sustain burning its nuclear fuel. With only about half of its mass remaining, it will shrink to a fraction of its radius and become a white dwarf star. White dwarfs are common, the most famous one being the companion to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. As remnants of some of the oldest stars in the galaxy, white dwarfs offer an independent means of dating the lifetimes of different galactic populations.



Art and space enter a new dimension

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:30:02 EST

ESA's involvement in the world of art is entering a new dimension, thanks to the cooperation with the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, with the idea of making space activities as inclusive as possible for more of the public on Earth.



Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:33:13 EST

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. This will allow Juno to accomplish its science goals, while avoiding the risk of a previously-planned engine firing that would have reduced the spacecraft's orbital period to 14 days.



LIGO veteran gives talk about gravitational waves

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:01:15 EST

Caltech's Stan Whitcomb, who has been involved with nearly every aspect of the development and ultimate success of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), will give a talk about the project's historic detection of gravitational waves on February 19 at the American Associate for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Boston.



Roaming telescope brings Kenyan kids views of night sky

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:55:12 EST

Thousands of schoolchildren in Kenya are getting a rare opportunity to look at the stars.



SpaceX launches rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:52:51 EST

A SpaceX rocket soared from NASA's long-idled moonshot pad Sunday, sending up space station supplies from the exact spot where astronauts embarked on the lunar landings nearly a half-century ago.



Examining exploding stars through the atomic nucleus

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:11:51 EST

Imagine being able to view microscopic aspects of a classical nova, a massive stellar explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star (about as big as Earth), in a laboratory rather than from afar via a telescope.



SpaceX aborts launch after 'odd' rocket engine behavior

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:18:31 EST

SpaceX aborted its planned Dragon cargo launch to the International Space Station just seconds before liftoff Saturday due to a "slightly odd" technical issue with the Falcon 9 rocket engine.



SpaceX poised to launch cargo from historic NASA pad

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 06:00:01 EST

An unmanned SpaceX spaceship carrying food and equipment to the astronauts living at the International Space Station is poised to blast off from a historic NASA launch pad on Saturday.



Moonshot pad roaring back into action with SpaceX launch

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:20:44 EST

The launch pad used to send Americans to the moon and shuttle astronauts into orbit is roaring back into action.



Hubble spotlights a celestial sidekick

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:01:38 EST

This image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), a highly efficient wide-field camera covering the optical and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. While this lovely image contains hundreds of distant stars and galaxies, one vital thing is missing—the object Hubble was actually studying at the time!



NASA selects proposals for first-ever space technology research institutes

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:50:02 EST

NASA has selected proposals for the creation of two multi-disciplinary, university-led research institutes that will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system.