Category Archives: Space

Images of Star Being Born Captured

This image made available by the European Southern Observatory on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, using radio and visible light frequencies shows the Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47. The orange and green, lower right, of the newborn star reveal a large energetic jet moving away from the Earth, which in the visible is hidden by dust and… Read More »

The Dirtiest Lunar Mystery Of All

The Apollo Moon missions of 1969-1972 all share a dirty secret. “The major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust,” says Professor Larry Taylor, Director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee. Fine as flour and rough as sandpaper, Moon dust caused ‘lunar hay fever,’ problems with space suits,… Read More »

RINGS propels satellites without propellants

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are testing a new propulsion system … inside the station. While this might seem like the height of recklessness, this particular system doesn’t use rockets or propellants. Developed in the University of Maryland’s Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory, this new electromagnetic propulsion technology called the Resonant Inductive Near-field… Read More »

Meet the NASA scientist devising a starship warp drive

To pave the way for rapid interstellar travel, NASA propulsion researcherHarold “Sonny” White plans to manipulate space-time in the lab The idea that nothing can exceed the speed of light limits our interstellar ambitions. How do we get round this?Within general relativity, there are two loopholes that allow you to go somewhere very quickly, overcoming… Read More »

NASA used satellite to follow plume left by exploding meteor

… NASA says sensitive instruments on a satellite allowed them to track the dust plume created by the meteorite that exploded over Russia in February for months. NASA atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi and his colleagues in Greenbelt, Md., were able to use the satellite data to record a never-before-seen view of the atmospheric aftermath of… Read More »

Astronomic news: the universe may not be expanding after all

… Every now and again, cosmologists decide that the universe needs a rethink. For example, for the past century, they have likened it to an inflating balloon, decorated with galaxies. Now one theoretical physicist has pricked this textbook idea by coming up with an heretical suggestion – namely, that the universe is not expanding at… Read More »

The meteor shower of Perseids coming on August 11 and 12

Enjoy the free show if you can find a nice place away from the city lights. On August 11 and 12, the annual Perseid meteor shower will peak, filling the sky with streaks of light, commonly known as shooting stars. Such visually stunning showers are actually but the tip of the iceberg when it comes… Read More »

Extraterrestrial Intelligence Overwhelmingly Likely to be Post-Biological

During an epoch of dramatic climate change 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens (modern humans) evolved in Africa. Several leading scientists are asking: Is the human species entering a new evolutionary, post-biological inflection point? Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of… Read More »

The Sun’s magnetic field is about to flip

Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip. “It looks like we’re no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal,” says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. “This change will have ripple effects… Read More »

Looking for life around the cosmos

Geoff Marcy has found plenty of planets, but will use a $200,000 grant to search for alien life forms. The Washington Post In the field of planet hunting, Geoff Marcy is a star. Astronomer Geoff Marcy argues that since the universe is so large, other forms of life likely exist – it’s just a question… Read More »

Mars was robbed

I don’t oppose a one world government as long as it will focus all human efforts on our survival before the next massive impact destroys the Earth. We are wasting time. Could we divert a truly massive planet killing asteroid or comet? No. Terraforming Mars is a start, but just as there are planet killing… Read More »

King Midas in space? Rare star collision produces gold.

King Midas in Brides and grooms have stars not only in their eyes, but also in their wedding bands, scientists have found. Researchers at Harvard University say they have observed an unusual astronomical event that sends gold flying into space. A similar event could have been responsible for the glittering metal’s presence on Earth. Most… Read More »

‘World’s oldest calendar’ discovered in Scottish field

Archaeologists believe they have discovered the world’s oldest lunar “calendar” in an Aberdeenshire field.Excavations of a field at Crathes Castle found a series of 12 pits which appear to mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months.A team led by the University of Birmingham suggests the ancient monument was created by hunter-gatherers about… Read More »

Sun erupts with a CME toward Earth and Mercury

On July 9, 2013, at 11:09 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they… Read More »

Where are they from? Mystery intergalactic radio bursts detected

Astronomers were on a celestial fishing expedition for pulsing neutron stars and other radio bursts when they found something unexpected in archived sky sweeps conducted by the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The powerful signal, which lasted for just milliseconds, could have been a fluke, but then the team found three more… Read More »

Star Trek deflector shield could protect Mars mission from cancer risk

A Star Trek style deflector shield that could protect deep-space astronauts, such as the much-discussed manned mission to Mars, from cancer-causing levels of radiation is in testing, researchers have revealed. The system, described as a “mini-magnetosphere” in reference to the Earth’s magnetic field which protects us from solar radiation, is the handiwork of the Rutherford… Read More »

NASA: New planet forming far from its star “shouldn’t exist”

Extrasolar planet spotted by Hubble “shouldn’t exist” according to current planet formation theories. The TW Hydrae protoplanetary disk is much wider than our solar system. The gap in the TW Hydrae disk produced by a suspected planet resides 7.5 billion miles from the star. At this distance, the planet would orbit beyond our Kuiper Belt,… Read More »

Life-producing phosphorus carried to Earth by meteorites

Scientists may not know for certain whether life exists in outer space, but new research from a team of scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist now shows that one key element that produced life on Earth was carried here on meteorites. In an article published in the new edition of the Proceedings… Read More »

Radiation on Mars trip would have unknown health effects

Mars-bound pioneers will be exposed to radiation levels that could effectively retire astronauts under NASA’s current standards, scientists reported Thursday. The radiation astronauts would face on a round trip would be comparable to getting an abdominal CT scan “about once every five days,” Cary Zeitlin, principal scientist for the NASA-led Martian Radiation Environment Experiment, told… Read More »

Meteoroid impact triggers bright flash on the moon

An automated telescope monitoring the moon has captured images of an 88-pound (40 kg) rock slamming into the lunar surface, creating a bright flash of light, NASA scientists said on Friday. The explosion on March 17 was the biggest seen since NASA began watching the moon for meteoroid impacts about eight years ago. So far,… Read More »

New Method of Finding Planets Scores First Discovery

“Einstein’s planet,” formally known as Kepler-76b, is a “hot Jupiter” that orbits its star every 1.5 days. Its diameter is about 25 percent larger than Jupiter and it weighs twice as much. This artist’s conception shows Kepler-76b orbiting its host star, which has been tidally distorted into a slight football shape (exaggerated here for effect).… Read More »

Sun fires off third and most powerful flare in 24 hours

… In a day’s time, the sun uncorked three X-class solar flares – all stronger than any others this calendar year. The grand finale, which peaked at 9:11 p.m. EDT Monday night, was the most intense – an X3.2-class eruption. The flare packed the energy “equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs” writes Discover’s Tom… Read More »

Astronaut sings Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in zero gravity

Chris Hadfield has conquered space. Now he’s conquering the Internet, too. A video of the Canadian astronaut singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station has been zipping around the Web at light speed since it was posted Sunday. The five-minute clip features Hadfield singing a modified version of the tune and strumming… Read More »

Ring of fire annular eclipse May 9-10, 2013

Never peer directly at the sun – even through clouds – at any time. The sun is so blindingly bright that, unless it’s completely blocked by the moon during a total solar eclipse, it can permanently damage your eyes. The eclipse happening today (May 9 for those east of the International Date Line; May 10… Read More »

Meet the thousands of people ready to die on Mars

Mars One is a private space mission that hopes to send a group of people to Mars in a decade and leave them there to foster the first human colony. It has received endorsement and support from the likes of Gerard ’t Hooft, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. But it has also been criticized on several… Read More »

NASA’s Fermi, Swift see ‘shockingly bright’ burst

A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced the highest-energy light ever detected from such an event. “We have waited a long time for a gamma-ray burst… Read More »

Invisible Gravity Waves Detectable with Quantum Mechanics

The existence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time, has long been predicted, but the elusive phenomenon has eluded scientists for decades. Now researchers are proposing a new method to detect these cosmic wrinkles that relies on the quantum nature of atoms. Gravitational waves are a consequence of Einstein’s general theory of relativity,… Read More »

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship ignites engine in flight

The spaceplane being developed by UK billionaire Sir Richard Branson has made its first powered flight. The vehicle was dropped from a carrier aircraft high above California’s Mojave Desert and ignited its rocket engine to produce a short period of thrust. Sir Richard’s intention is to use the spaceship to carry fare-paying passengers on short… Read More »

Russian astronauts to take Olympic torch on space walk

Russian astronauts will take an unlit Olympic torch on a space walk ahead of the country’s hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the deputy head of the Russian space agency said on Sunday. “It will not be a copy but exactly the same as the torch at the Olympics,” deputy head of Russia’s… Read More »

Mars Rover “Draws” Very Naughty Image

NASA’s high-tech Curiosity rover may be getting a little cheeky over there on Mars. In a photo of Curiosity’s track patterns, published on the robotics section of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory site, the Mars rover appears to have traced out a very phallic design on the Red Planet’s dusty surface. The rover’s picture went viral… Read More »

Space harpoon plan to nail orbital garbage

What do you do with 6,000 tons of space junk traveling at thousands of miles an hour? Harpoon it of course. It might sound like a scenario straight off the pages of a science fiction novel but it is a suggested solution to an increasing and potentially costly problem in space — that of debris… Read More »

NASA’s Hubble sees a Horsehead of a different color

  Image: Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory’s launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. Looking like an apparition rising from whitecaps of interstellar foam, the iconic Horsehead Nebula has graced… Read More »

Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars

Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet. Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even in the… Read More »

Scientists discover dark lightning

… scientists recently discovered something mind-bending about lightning: Sometimes its flashes are invisible, just sudden pulses of unexpectedly powerful radiation. It’s what Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology, has termed dark lightning. Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along… Read More »

Third Van Allen belt found around Earth: Space probes shed new light on hazardous space regions filled with ‘killer electrons’

On August 30 last year, NASA launched the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission, later renamed the Van Allen Probes mission, to learn more about the belts. They are known to be hazardous to satellites, astronauts and technological systems on Earth, so increasing our understanding of them is critical as societies become more reliant on space-based… Read More »