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Space News - Space, Astronomy, Space Exploration



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



 



Report: NASA should develop US strategy for international space station beyond 2024

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:19:28 EST

Although NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration. This heightened priority is particularly important given the limited remaining lifetime of the International Space Station (ISS) - the most significant destination for microgravity research - and because the U.S. currently does not have a strategy for the station beyond 2024, says a new midterm assessment report by the National Academies.



Space station research explorer on NASA.gov launches phase one

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:05:40 EST

Researchers, prospective partners, media professionals, students, and space enthusiasts now have more space station science at their fingertips with Space Station Research Explorer on NASA.gov (SSRE on NASA.gov). The new information exploration tool enables researchers, practiced and amateur alike, to stay up-to-date with the science being conducted aboard the International Space Station.



In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship (Update)

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:17:36 EST

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight.



The Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 07:59:04 EST

The design for the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) includes two separate channels to detect light in the blue (350 to 560 nm) and the red (530 nm to 1050 nm) portions of the visible wavelength spectrum. KCWI-Blue was commissioned and started routine science observations in September 2017 and is obtaining superb and exciting new results while operating flawlessly.



Researchers design mock galaxies and more to prepare for sky-mapping instrument

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 07:06:31 EST

Seeing is believing, or so the saying goes.



A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:35:46 EST

Astronomers have come up with a new and improved method for measuring the masses of millions of solitary stars, especially those with planetary systems.



Discovery of new planet reveals distant solar system to rival our own

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:35:07 EST

The discovery of an eighth planet circling the distant star Kepler-90 by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google's Christopher Shallue overturns our solar system's status as having the highest number of known planets. We're now in a tie.



No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:30:25 EST

No alien signals have been detected from an interstellar, cigar-shaped space rock discovered travelling through our Solar System in October, researchers listening for evidence of extraterrestrial technology said Thursday.



Dawn of a galactic collision

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:44:17 EST

A riot of colour and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256. Its smoke-like plumes are flung out in all directions and the bright core illuminates the chaotic regions of gas and dust swirling through the galaxy's centre. Its odd structure is due to the fact that this is not one galaxy, but two—in the process of a galactic collision.



Mars upside down

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:58:48 EST

Which way is up in space? Planets are usually shown with the north pole at the top and the south pole at the bottom. In this remarkable image taken by ESA's Mars Express, the Red Planet is seen with north at the bottom, and the equator at the top.



Dark energy survey offers new view of dark matter halos, physicists report

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:09:21 EST

Dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that makes up about 80 percent of the mass of the universe, has evaded detection for decades. Although it doesn't interact with light, scientists believe it's there because of its influence on galaxies and galaxy clusters.



Researchers study impact of space radiation on bone and muscle health

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:30:01 EST

New research by Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and School of Engineering Foundation Professor at the VCU School of Engineering, suggests that space radiation may cause astronauts in outer space to lose additional bone but not more muscle.



Image: The fault in our Mars

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:20:24 EST

This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of northern Meridiani Planum shows faults that have disrupted layered deposits. Some of the faults produced a clean break along the layers, displacing and offsetting individual beds (yellow arrow).



Next-generation GRACE satellites arrive at launch site

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:12:42 EST

A pair of advanced U.S./German Earth research satellites with some very big shoes to fill is now at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin final preparations for launch next spring.



Space capsule with 3 astronauts returns to Earth

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:13:55 EST

Three astronauts returned to Earth on Thursday after nearly six months aboard the International Space Station, landing on the snow-covered steppes outside of a remote town in Kazakhstan.



New discovery finds starving white dwarfs are binge eaters

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:13:18 EST

University of Canterbury astrophysicist Dr Simone Scaringi has made an unexpected and exciting new discovery related to the way white dwarfs grow in space.



Rapid-response program to explore a double neutron star merger

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:13:08 EST

Two years ago, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves for the first time, proving Einstein's theory of relativity and his prediction of their existence. The waves were triggered by two black holes colliding.



Will Trump send Americans to the Moon? Money talks: experts

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:31:32 EST

US President Donald Trump's decision this week to return Americans to the Moon makes sense as a way to develop technology to one day reach Mars, but only if Congress allocates the money, experts say.



ANU astronomers create best map of the southern sky

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:51:30 EST

Astronomers at ANU have created the most comprehensive map of the southern sky that can be viewed online by anyone around the world.



Major space mystery solved using data from student satellite

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:00:05 EST

A 60-year-old mystery regarding the source of some energetic and potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts is now solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by University of Colorado Boulder students.



Mars mission sheds light on habitability of distant planets

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:38:00 EST

How long might a rocky, Mars-like planet be habitable if it were orbiting a red dwarf star? It's a complex question but one that NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission can help answer.



Spanning disciplines in the search for life beyond Earth

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:32:08 EST

The search for life beyond Earth is riding a surge of creativity and innovation. Following a gold rush of exoplanet discovery over the past two decades, it is time to tackle the next step: determining which of the known exoplanets are proper candidates for life.



Giant storms cause palpitations in Saturn's atmospheric heartbeat

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:30:24 EST

Immense northern storms on Saturn can disturb atmospheric patterns at the planet's equator, finds the international Cassini mission in a study led by Dr Leigh Fletcher from the University of Leicester.



'Mannequin Skywalker' rides Blue Origin's new crew capsule (Update)

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:22:04 EST

Blue Origin's 'Mannequin Skywalker' has rocketed almost all the way to space, just in time for the new Star Wars movie.



Oh my stars! Stage set for 'spectacular' meteor show

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:10:56 EST

A thin, waning moon should allow for uninterrupted views Wednesday night of the annual Geminid shooting star show, set to be "spectacular" this year, astronomers say.



How crashing neutron stars killed off some of our best ideas about what 'dark energy' is

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:54:53 EST

There was much excitement when scientists witnessed the violent collision of two ultra-dense, massive stars more than 100m light years from the Earth earlier this year. Not only did they catch the resulting gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime – they also saw a practically instantaneous flash of light. This is exciting in itself and was the first direct evidence for a merger of neutron stars.



NASA biology experiments are space station-bound

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:20:01 EST

Several bioscience experiments developed at NASA's Ames Research Center, in California's Silicon Valley are about to launch to the International Space Station on SpaceX's 13th commercial resupply services mission for NASA



Image: 3-D-printed satellite imager design

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:08:17 EST

Weirdly organic in appearance, this prototype is the first outcome of an ESA project to develop, manufacture and demonstrate an optical instrument for space with 3D printing.



Bright areas on Ceres suggest geologic activity

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:47:36 EST

If you could fly aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the surface of dwarf planet Ceres would generally look quite dark, but with notable exceptions. These exceptions are the hundreds of bright areas that stand out in images Dawn has returned. Now, scientists have a better sense of how these reflective areas formed and changed over time—processes indicative of an active, evolving world.



Stellar nursery blooms into view

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:00:01 EST

The OmegaCAM camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula.