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Space News - Space, Astronomy, Space Exploration



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



 



Image: Saturn's B ring peaks

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:33:01 EST

While the Winter Olympics is in full swing in PyeongChang, South Korea, and many winter sport fanatics head to snow-clad mountains to get their thrills on the slopes this ski-season, this dramatic mountain scene is somewhat off-piste – in Saturn's rings to be precise.



Astrophotographer captures Musk's Tesla Roadster moving through space

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:30:01 EST

An astrophotographer in California has captured images of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster on its journey around our sun. In the early morning of February 9th, Rogelio Bernal Andreo captured images of the Roadster as it appeared just above the horizon. To get the images, Andreo made use of an impressive arsenal of technological tools.



Astronomers conduct a multi-frequency study of the Milky Way-like spiral galaxy NGC 6744

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:00:01 EST

An international team of astronomers has conducted a multi-frequency study of NGC 6744, one of the most Milky Way-like spiral galaxies. The new research, published February 8 in a paper on arXiv.org, identifies radio and X-ray sources in NGC 6744 and estimates its star formation rate.



Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on precautionary standby status

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:31:36 EST

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), at Mars since 2006, put itself into a precautionary standby mode on Feb. 15 in response to sensing an unexpectedly low battery voltage.



Earth holds the key to detecting life beyond our solar system

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:10:28 EST

New research in to how Earth's atmosphere evolved over time could hold the key to detecting life on exoplanets, according to scientists from the University of St Andrews and Cornell University.



Jupiter's swirling cloud formations

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:02:03 EST

See swirling cloud formations in the northern area of Jupiter's north temperate belt in this new view taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft.



Will the X3 ion thruster propel us to Mars?

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:51:28 EST

X3 is a powerful ion thruster that could one day propel humans beyond Earth. The thruster was successfully tested few months ago, and could be selected by NASA as a crucial component of propulsion system for future Mars missions.



Charged oxygen in ionosphere may offer biomarker for exoplanets

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:49:05 EST

On January 9, 1992, astronomers announced a momentous discovery: two planets orbiting a pulsar 2,300 light years from our sun. The two planets, later named Poltergeist and Draugr, were the first confirmed "exoplanets"—worlds outside our solar system, circling a distant star. Scientists now know of 3,728 (confirmed) exoplanets in 2,794 systems, each one begging the question: "Is anyone else out there?"



Satellite launch from California is delayed

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:13:39 EST

A SpaceX satellite launch from California that could create a spectacular aerial display has been delayed.



Light pollution threatens Chile's dark skies

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:41:50 EST

It seems nothing can escape the inexorable spread of light pollution—not even the giant telescopes probing the heavens above northern Chile, a region whose pristine dark skies, long considered a paradise for astronomers, are under increasing threat.



Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:00:01 EST

In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs - and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining.



ASU professor addresses why we have yet to find extraterrestrial life

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:56:20 EST

Are we alone in the universe? Few questions have captured the public imagination more than this. Yet to date we know of just one sample of life, that which exists here on Earth.



Spacewalking astronauts finish months of robot arm repair

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:08:15 EST

Spacewalking astronauts wrapped up months of repair work Friday on the International Space Station 's big robot arm.



Image: Sentinel-2 captures Beijing

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:28:27 EST

Today, 16 February, upwards of 20% of the world's population will be celebrating Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. According to the traditional Chinese calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle and the position of the Sun, the New Year changes each year, but always falls between 21 January and 20 February. There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals that represent years, and 2018 is the year of the dog.



Long-lived Mars rover Opportunity keeps finding surprises

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:20:02 EST

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity keeps providing surprises about the Red Planet, most recently with observations of possible "rock stripes."



Solar-powered rover approaching 5,000th Martian dawn

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:09:53 EST

The sun will rise on NASA's solar-powered Mars rover Opportunity for the 5,000th time on Saturday, sending rays of energy to a golf-cart-size robotic field geologist that continues to provide revelations about the Red Planet.



Tesla shot into space will likely collide with Earth or Venus—in millions of years: researchers

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:25:32 EST

The Tesla Roadster that was recently shot into space as part of SpaceX's rocket test flight will likely collide with Earth or Venus eventually, according to new University of Toronto research.



Japanese, US astronauts end spacewalk to fix robotic arm (Update)

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:21:10 EST

A Japanese and an American astronaut floated for hours outside the International Space Station Friday on a spacewalk to repair the orbiting outpost's robotic arm and move some equipment into storage.



Supermassive black holes are outgrowing their galaxies

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:44:25 EST

The growth of the biggest black holes in the Universe is outrunning the rate of formation of stars in the galaxies they inhabit, according to two new studies using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes and described in our latest press release.



Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:36:54 EST

Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm - once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal - is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.



Kepler scientists discover almost 100 new exoplanets

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:02 EST

Based on data from NASA's K2 mission, an international team of scientists has confirmed nearly 100 new exoplanets. This brings the total number of new exoplanets found with the K2 mission up to almost 300.



3-D NASA animation displays a surface pit eroded by stars in the Orion nebula

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:32:15 EST

When professor Frank Israel graduated at Leiden Observatory some forty years ago, little did he know that one of his theories would be making headlines in 2018—in the form of a 3-D animation on the Internet, no less.



Image: Vapour trail of the 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:34:54 EST

Vapour cloud trail left by the Chelyabinsk asteroid as seen by M. Ahmetvaleev on 15 February 2013.



Russian cargo ship docks at International Space Station

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:57:19 EST

An unmanned Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the International Space Station, delivering a fresh batch of supplies for the crew.



Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:32:54 EST

A new simulation of supermassive black holes—the behemoths at the centers of galaxies—uses a realistic scenario to predict the light signals emitted in the surrounding gas before the masses collide, said Rochester Institute of Technology researchers.



Milky Way ties with neighbor in galactic arms race

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:00:01 EST

Astronomers have discovered that our nearest large neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way. It had been thought that Andromeda was two to three times the size of the Milky Way, and that our own galaxy would ultimately be engulfed by our supposedly bigger neighbour. But the latest research, published today, evens the score between the two galaxies.



Andromeda galaxy was formed in 'recent' star crash: study

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:46:58 EST

The Milky Way's neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda, was formed in a colossal crash between two smaller star systems no more than three billion years ago when Earth already existed, researchers said Wednesday.



Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:00:04 EST

The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere, commonly known as the Northern Lights, has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists. While the cause of these colorful auroras has long been hypothesized, researchers had never directly observed the underlying mechanism until now. The results have been published in Nature.



NGC 3344 galaxy: A lonely beauty

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:47:35 EST

Beauty, grace, mystery—this magnificent spiral galaxy has all the qualities of a perfect galactic Valentine. Captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy NGC 3344 presents itself face-on, allowing astronomers a detailed look at its intricate and elegant structure. And Hubble's ability to observe objects over a wide range of different wavelengths reveals features that would otherwise remain invisible.



Farewell to a pioneering pollution sensor

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 10:05:24 EST

On Jan. 31, NASA ended the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer's (TES) almost 14-year career of discovery. Launched in 2004 on NASA's Aura spacecraft, TES was the first instrument designed to monitor ozone in the lowest layers of the atmosphere directly from space. Its high-resolution observations led to new measurements of atmospheric gases that have altered our understanding of the Earth system.