Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:10:11 ESTWhat would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip down onto the surface of Pluto—starting with a distant view of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon—and leading up to an eventual ride in for a "landing" on the shoreline of Pluto's informally named Sputnik Planitia.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:20:37 ESTSpaceX was able to celebrate a successful return to flight this week with a picture-perfect launch of the Falcon 9 rocket on January 14, 2017 that successfully delivered a fleet of ten advanced Iridium NEXT mobile voice and data relay satellites to orbit. But the icing on the cake was the dead-center landing and recovery of the Falcon 9 booster on their drone barge (named "Just Read The Instructions") in the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of California.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:20:04 ESTIt's always a welcome thing to learn that ideas that are commonplace in science fiction have a basis in science fact. Cryogenic freezers, laser guns, robots, silicate implants… and let's not forget the warp drive! Believe it or not, this concept – alternately known as FTL (Faster-Than-Light) travel, Hyperspace, Lightspeed, etc. – actually has one foot in the world of real science.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:30:14 ESTGalaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South Pole Telescope (SPT), has made it possible to identify faint galaxy clusters over large fractions of the sky using an effect first recognized by Rashid Sunyaev and Yakov Zel'dovich in 1969: When hot electrons in the cluster gas interact with light from the ubiquitous cosmic microwave background they increase its brightness very slightly.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:30:01 ESTThe STO2 telescope with Dutch detectors on board that circled around the South Pole in December 2016 to investigate gas clouds between the stars landed safely on 30 December.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:21:30 ESTResearchers at Uppsala University plan to manufacture a new type of coronagraph for the VLT, the Very Large Telescope in Chile. The coronagraph is a key component of the telescope which will be used to search for planets in the neighbouring star system Alpha Centauri.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:20:01 ESTIs it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is the International Space Station as it flies in front of the moon as seen from ESA's space science centre near Madrid, Spain, on 14 January.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:59:40 ESTThe ability to penetrate subsurfaces and collect pristine samples from depths of tens of meters to kilometers is critical for future exploration of bodies in our solar system. SMD is supporting development of a deep-drill sampler called the Auto-Gopher for potential deployment in future space exploration missions.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:56:15 ESTWhere should NASA's Juno spacecraft aim its camera during its next close pass of Jupiter on Feb. 2? You can now play a part in the decision. For the first time, members of the public can vote to participate in selecting all pictures to be taken of Jupiter during a Juno flyby. Voting begins Thursday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) and concludes on Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. PST (noon EST).
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:53:43 ESTOn 20 January 2017, the completed eROSITA X-ray telescope boarded a cargo plane and was transported from Munich, where it had been built at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, to Moscow. Like any other passenger, it had to pass customs before journeying onwards towards the premises of Lavochkin Association, in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, where it is expected to arrive on 25 January. There it will be further tested and integrated with the 'SRG' spacecraft in preparation for launch in spring 2018. It will then take another three months to arrive at its final destination, about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth. From there, eROSITA will produce a new map of the Universe in X-rays, revealing how the largest cosmic structures evolve.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:20:01 ESTNext-generation astrophysics research using the moon as home base and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as its world-class data center are the goals of a multiyear, $237 million NASA satellite mission proposed by a UAH astrophysicist's collaborative group.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:46:43 ESTThis stunning image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), shows part of the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The region is rendered in exquisite detail—deep red and bright blue stars are scattered across the frame, set against a background of thousands of more distant stars and galaxies. Two features are particularly striking: the colors of the stars, and the dramatic crosses that burst from the centers of the brightest bodies.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:59:04 ESTLockheed Martin is helping NASA begin the hunt for dark energy, a mysterious force powering the universe's accelerating expansion. An instrument assembly the company is developing, if selected by NASA for production, will be the core of the primary scientific instrument aboard the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), whose mission aims to uncover hundreds of millions more galaxies and reveal the physics that shapes them.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:51:30 ESTThe appearance of small bodies in the outer solar system could be deceiving. Asteroids and dwarf planets may be camouflaged with an outer layer of material that actually comes from somewhere else.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:50:03 ESTThe wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small moon obtained yet.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 04:18:51 ESTCrammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 02:16:44 ESTSix carefully selected scientists have entered a man-made dome on a remote Hawaii volcano as part of a human-behavior study that could help NASA as it draws up plans for sending astronauts on long missions to Mars.
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:28:29 ESTIs there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It's also the driving force behind San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane's research into exoplanets—planets that exist outside Earth's solar system.
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:50:01 ESTIf you ask yourself what the biggest threat to human existence is you'd probably think of nuclear war, global warming or a large-scale pandemic disease. But assuming we can overcome such challenges, are we really safe?
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 04:52:50 ESTThe European Space Agency opened an investigation on Thursday into anomalies that have affected five of the first 18 Galileo satellites in orbit.
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 03:21:53 ESTA group of NASA-funded researchers is poised to enter an isolated geodesic dome on a remote Hawaii volcano to study human behavior in long-term space exploration, including a planned voyage to Mars.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:50:05 ESTNanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has successfully launched its 7th satellite into space from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday evening (16 Jan).
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:40:44 ESTThe daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:37:15 ESTAt a ceremony today at ESO's Headquarters four contracts were signed for major components of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) that ESO is building. These were for: the casting of the telescope's giant secondary and tertiary mirrors, awarded to SCHOTT; the supply of mirror cells to support these two mirrors, awarded to the SENER Group; and the supply of the edge sensors that form a vital part of the ELT's huge segmented primary mirror control system, awarded to the FAMES consortium.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:30:01 ESTESA's proposed e.Deorbit mission, shown left, using a robotic arm to catch a derelict satellite – the baseline capture method for what would be the world's first active space debris removal mission, in 2024.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:00:01 EST(Phys.org)—Astronomers report the discovery of three new gas giant planets using the SuperWASP-South Observatory in South Africa. Two of the newly detected alien worlds were classified as the so-called "warm Jupiters," while one of them is most likely a super-Neptune or a sub-Saturn planet. The findings were presented in a paper published Jan. 13 on the arXiv preprint server.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:07:17 ESTNew tracking data confirms that NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft aced its first Deep Space Maneuver (DSM-1) on Dec. 28, 2016. The engine burn sets up the spacecraft for an Earth gravity assist this fall as it continues its two-year journey to the asteroid Bennu.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:20:01 ESTESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet completed his first spacewalk last Friday together with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough to complete a battery upgrade to the outpost's power system.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:10:05 ESTThe last two decades have seen an explosion of detections of exoplanets, as the sensitivity to smaller planets has dramatically improved thanks especially to the Kepler mission. These discoveries have found that the frequency of planets increases to smaller sizes: terrestrial planets are more common than gas giants. The significance of a universe rich in terrestrial sized planets naturally leads to the question about the "habitable zone (HZ)" – the region around a star where a suitable planet could sustain the conditions necessary for life. In this zone, the balance between stellar radiation onto the planet and radiative cooling from the planet allows water on the surface to be a liquid. (The definition also includes consideration of the planet's atmosphere and solid surface.)
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:54:56 ESTScientists used NASA's Curiosity Mars rover in recent weeks to examine slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges that likely originated as cracks in drying mud.