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


Black holes aren't totally black, and other insights from Stephen Hawking's groundbreaking work

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:10:01 EDT

Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black holes and quantum physics. A black hole is the remnant of a dying supermassive star that's fallen into itself; these remnants contract to such a small size that gravity is so strong even light cannot escape from them. Black holes loom large in the popular imagination – schoolchildren ponder why the whole universe doesn't collapse into one. But Hawking's careful theoretical work filled in some of the holes in physicists' knowledge about black holes.

These are the places that (most likely) host alien life

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:30:02 EDT

Not too cold, not too hot—the conditions for life are found not just on Earth, but on a handful of other places out in the universe.

NASA powers on new instrument staring at the Sun

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:50:01 EDT

NASA has powered on its latest space payload to continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy. Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), installed on the International Space Station, became fully operational with all instruments collecting science data as of this March.

Rare metals on Mars and Earth implicate colossal impacts

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:47:47 EDT

New research has revealed that a giant impact on Mars more than four billion years ago would explain the unusual amount of "iron loving" elements in the Red Planet.

A massive telescope for seeing the invisible

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:42:53 EDT

Some of the universe's greatest mysteries could soon be resolved thanks to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a huge radio telescope that will be built in South Africa and Australia. Several EPFL labs are involved in this epic project.

Send your name to the sun aboard NASA's Parker Solar Probe

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:27:58 EDT

NASA's Parker Solar Probe—designed, built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory—will launch in summer 2018 on a historic mission to the sun.

New technique uses AI to locate and count craters on the moon

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:15:20 EDT

A new technique developed by researchers at U of T Scarborough is using the same technology behind self-driving cars to measure the size and location of crater impacts on the moon.

Humans could live in volcanic tunnels on the moon

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 10:20:01 EDT

The SETI Institute has analysed images of our moon and pinpointed a possible home away from Earth.

Researchers find space radiation is increasingly more hazardous

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:37:36 EDT

It might sound like something from a science fiction plot – astronauts traveling into deep space being bombarded by cosmic rays – but radiation exposure is science fact. As future missions look to travel back to the moon or even to Mars, new research from the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center cautions that the exposure to radiation is much higher than previously thought and could have serious implications on both astronauts and satellite technology.

Hawking tackled the biggest question of all—how did the universe begin?

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:20:01 EDT

With the death of Stephen Hawking, the world has lost an adventurer.

NASA, ATLAS to mature portable space communications technology

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:10:01 EDT

Portable ground antenna stations could transform NASA's space communications capabilities. With access to undeveloped regions, the mobile systems could bolster the return of spacecraft science, instrument health and other data to Earth.

Shoebox-sized cube satellite to study Earth's inner radiation belt

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:00:55 EDT

A NASA-funded cube satellite built and operated by CU Boulder researchers will study the inner radiation belt of Earth's magnetosphere, providing new insight into the energetic particles that can disrupt satellites and threaten spacewalking astronauts.

Scientists design conceptual asteroid deflector and evaluate it against massive potential threat

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:44:41 EDT

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are part of a national planetary defense team that designed a conceptual spacecraft to deflect Earth-bound asteroids and evaluated whether it would be able to nudge a massive asteroid – which has a remote chance to hitting Earth in 2135 – off course. The design and case study are outlined in a paper published recently in Acta Astronautica.

Dawn reveals recent changes in Ceres' surface

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 06:38:09 EDT

Observations of Ceres have detected recent variations in its surface, revealing that the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system is a dynamic body that continues to evolve and change.

Kepler spacecraft nearing the end as fuel runs low

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 17:41:15 EDT

Trailing Earth's orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. With nary a gas station to be found in deep space, the spacecraft is going to run out of fuel. We expect to reach that moment within several months.

Mystery of purple lights in sky solved with help from citizen scientists

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:35:13 EDT

Notanee Bourassa knew that what he was seeing in the night sky was not normal. Bourassa, an IT technician in Regina, Canada, trekked outside of his home on July 25, 2016, around midnight with his two younger children to show them a beautiful moving light display in the sky—an aurora borealis. He often sky gazes until the early hours of the morning to photograph the aurora with his Nikon camera, but this was his first expedition with his children. When a thin purple ribbon of light appeared and starting glowing, Bourassa immediately snapped pictures until the light particles disappeared 20 minutes later. Having watched the northern lights for almost 30 years since he was a teenager, he knew this wasn't an aurora. It was something else.

Black holes dissolving like aspirin: How Hawking changed physics

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:50:01 EDT

When Stephen Hawking postulated in the mid-1970s that black holes leak radiation, slowly dissolving like aspirin in a glass of water, he overturned a core tenet of the Universe.

Crab Nebula: A crab walks through time

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:59:40 EDT

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory launch into space. The Crab Nebula was one of the first objects that Chandra examined with its sharp X-ray vision, and it has been a frequent target of the telescope ever since.

The power of studying combustion on the ISS

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:05:36 EDT

If you wanted to reduce the amount of pollution humans produce, where might you look?

Jupiter's red spot getting taller as it shrinks, team finds

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 09:26:04 EDT

Though once big enough to swallow three Earths with room to spare, Jupiter's Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a century and a half. Nobody is sure how long the storm will continue to contract or whether it will disappear altogether.

New ideas for humans to survive far from Earth

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 09:24:51 EDT

How can we build a habitat on an ice-covered planet? The Swiss Space Center (SSC) has entered a partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) to prepare ESA_Lab@CH and is inviting students in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe to share their ideas through a dedicated website.

Eight new 'hot Jupiters' discovered by astronomers

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 09:10:01 EDT

European astronomers have detected eight new "hot Jupiter" exoplanets as part of the WASP-South transit survey. The newly discovered gas giants have short orbital periods and masses ranging from 0.42 to 5.2 Jupiter masses. The finding is detailed in a paper published March 6 on

Brightest fast radio burst yet recorded at Parkes in Australia

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:50:01 EDT

A team of researchers at the Parkes Observatory in NSW Australia has reported recording the brightest fast radio burst (FRB) yet on March 9 of this year. They describe it as having a high signal-to-noise ratio with an "orientation not very favorable for a detection of any gamma ray transient with INTEGRAL all-sky detectors."

Running a real-time simulation of go-no-go for Apollo 17

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:25:39 EDT

Not everyone gets to become a part of history, but mathematician Billie Robertson is one of the lucky ones. In this image taken on Nov. 27, 1972, she was running a real-time simulation of Translunar Injection (TLI) Go-No-Go for the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission.

Asteroids and comets shower Mars with organics

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:45:30 EDT

Asteroids and comets appear to be a much more important supplier of organic molecules on Mars than expected. Until now, astronomers assumed that the organics on Mars mainly came from dust particles from space. Now, computer simulations by an international team of researchers led by Dutch astronomers indicate that one third of the material comes from asteroids and comets. The findings have been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Icarus.

Ground-based spectrometer designed to identify Earth-sized planets in neighboring solar systems

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:45:12 EDT

A new, ground-based spectrometer designed and built at Yale represents the most powerful step yet in the effort to identify Earth-sized planets in neighboring solar systems.

Next NASA Mars rover reaches key manufacturing milestone

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:44:52 EDT

NASA's Mars 2020 mission has begun the assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) phase of its development, on track for a July 2020 launch to Mars.

New Horizons chooses nickname for 'ultimate' flyby target

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:44:32 EDT

As NASA's New Horizons mission continues exploring the unknown, the mission team has selected a highly appropriate nickname for its next flyby target in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Astronomers discover galaxies spin like clockwork

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:00:03 EDT

Astronomers have discovered that all galaxies rotate once every billion years, no matter how big they are.

Image: Volcanic wormhole

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:56:04 EDT

The organic and intricate features of a volcanic cave come alive in great detail in this three-dimensional image of La Cueva de Los Verdes in Lanzarote, Spain. Some of the most innovative scanning technologies have produced the largest 3-D scan of a lava tube on Earth.