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Laser, Spectrometer to Track Vegetation from ISS

August 1, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA has selected proposals for two new instruments that will observe changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station. The sensors will give scientists new ways to see how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate or land use change.

'Wild' Disks in Binary Star System Hold Clues to Planet Birth

July 31, 2014 7:00 am | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

While surveying a series of binary stars, astronomers uncovered a striking pair of wildly...

Mysterious Space Molecules: Silicon-capped Hydrocarbons

July 30, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Researchers have offered a tantalizing new possibility as to what the mysterious molecules in...

ISS Discovery of Cool Flames Aids Engines

July 29, 2014 7:00 am | by UC, San Diego | News | Comments

A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool-burning flames that could...

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Glow in Space is a Hot Bubble in Our Galaxy

July 28, 2014 1:33 pm | by Univ. of Miami | Videos | Comments

A recent study shows that diffuse X-ray background is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas (1 million degrees), with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system. The findings should put to rest the disagreement about the origin of the X-ray emission and confirm the existence of the local hot bubble.

NASA Seeks Proposals for Mars Communications Satellites

July 28, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to investigate the possibility of using commercial Mars-orbiting satellites to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to the Red Planet.                             

Audit: NASA Doesn't Have the Money for Big Rockets

July 24, 2014 1:42 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA doesn't have enough money to get its new, $12 billion rocket system off the ground by the end of 2017 as planned, federal auditors say.                                               

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Searching for ET: Target Alien Polluters

July 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs? They might, if they spew industrial pollution into the atmosphere. 

Voyager 1 May Not Have Reached Intersteller Space

July 23, 2014 1:53 pm | by American Geophysical Union | News | Comments

In 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed into interstellar space, traveling further from Earth than any other manmade object. But, in the nearly two years since that historic announcement, and despite subsequent observations backing it up, uncertainty about whether Voyager 1 really crossed the threshold continues. 

Image: Lives and Deaths of Sibling Stars

July 23, 2014 8:43 am | by ESO | News | Comments

Despite some evidence suggesting that there is still ongoing star formation in NGC 3293, it is thought that most, if not all, of the nearly 50 stars in this cluster were born in one single event. Even though they are the same age, they do not all have the dazzling appearance of a star in its infancy; some of them look positively elderly, giving astronomers the chance to explore how and why stars evolve at different speeds.

Found: Exoplanet with Longest Known Year

July 21, 2014 2:38 pm | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered to date are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods.

How to Celebrate 45th Anniversary of ‘One Small Step’

July 18, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts. You can join the celebration, without needing to travel to the launch site at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

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Researchers Work Toward Sci-fi ‘Bubble’ Theory

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Videos | Comments

Physicists are working to bring the theory that parallel universes exist— called the multiverse hypothesis— firmly into the realm of testable science.

Comet-chasing Probe Takes Surprising Pictures

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Frank Jordans | News | Comments

A space probe aiming to become the first to land on a comet has taken images that appear to show its target could actually be two separate lumps of rock and ice, scientists say.

Vesta May Reshape Theories of Planet Formation

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Researchers have a better understanding of the asteroid Vesta and its internal structure, thanks to numerical simulations and data from the space mission Dawn. Their findings question contemporary models of rocky planet formation, including that of Earth.

NASA Announces Plan to Search for Alien Life

July 17, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

Many scientists believe we are not alone in the universe. Experts from NASA and its partner institutions have announced their roadmap to the search for life in the universe, an ongoing journey that involves a number of current and future telescopes.

Observatory Sheds Light on Death of First Stars

July 11, 2014 1:15 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The XMM-Newton observatory has helped to uncover how the Universe’s first stars ended their lives in giant explosions.

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Saturday Marks First ‘Supermoon’ of Summer

July 11, 2014 12:45 pm | by NASA | Videos | Comments

The full moon on Saturday will appear to be unusually big. In fact, it will be a "supermoon." The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side— perigee— about 50,000 km closer than the other— apogee. Full moons that occur on the perigee side of the moon's orbit seem 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than regular full moons.

Data Enables Global Maps of Soil Moisture

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | Videos | Comments

Scientists working with data from NASA's Aquarius instrument have released worldwide maps of soil moisture, showing how the wetness of the land fluctuates with the seasons and weather phenomena.

Mercury is Result of Hit-and-run Collisions

July 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Arizona State Univ. | News | Comments

The planet Mercury’s unusual metal-rich composition has been a longstanding puzzle in planetary science. According to a new study, Mercury and other unusually metal-rich objects in the solar system may be relics left behind by collisions in the early solar system that built the other planets.

Universe is Missing Light

July 8, 2014 12:15 pm | by Carnegie Institution | News | Comments

Scientists have found that the light from known populations of galaxies and quasars is not nearly enough to explain observations of intergalactic hydrogen. The difference is a stunning 400 percent.

Observatory Finds Hotspot for Powerful Cosmic Rays

July 8, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

An observatory has found a “hotspot” beneath the Big Dipper emitting a disproportionate number of the highest-energy cosmic rays. The discovery moves physics another step toward identifying the mysterious sources of the most energetic particles in the universe.

Faintest Galaxies Illuminated Early Universe

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

Light from tiny galaxies over 13 billion years ago played a larger role than previously thought in creating the conditions in the universe as we know it today, a new study has found. UV light from stars in these faint dwarf galaxies helped strip interstellar hydrogen of electrons in a process called reionization.

Two Habitable Goldilocks Planets Just an Illusion

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

Mysteries about controversial signals coming from a dwarf star, considered to be a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life, have now been solved. Scientists have proven that some of the signals, which were suspected to be coming from two planets orbiting the star at a distance where liquid water could potentially exist, are actually coming from events inside the star itself, not from so-called "Goldilocks planets."

Find Expands Search for Earth-like Planets

July 7, 2014 7:00 am | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

A newly discovered planet in a binary star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth is expanding astronomers’ notions of where Earth-like— and even potentially habitable— planets can form, and how to find them.

Pluto, Milky Way, Planets Visible in July

July 7, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

July showcases our solar system against a backdrop of Milky Way wonders. Saturn and Mars grace the summer sky just after sunset, getting lower in the western sky this month. Pluto reached opposition earlier this month. And you can catch a historic meet up between dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta.

Image of the Week: Space Agency Tests Shielding

July 1, 2014 7:00 am | by ESA | News | Comments

This image shows an exit hole through Kevlar–Nextel fabric after hypervelocity testing of the multilayer shielding for ESA’s ATV space freighter, simulating an impact by space debris.

NASA to Launch Duplicate Satellite After Disaster

June 30, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Alicia Chang | News | Comments

Five years after a NASA satellite to track carbon dioxide plunged into the ocean after liftoff, the space agency is launching a carbon copy— this time on a different rocket.

ISS is Getting Espresso Maker

June 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

Talk about a cosmic caffeine jolt. The International Space Station is getting a real Italian espresso machine. Astronauts have long grumbled about the tepid instant coffee served in pouches and drunk with straws 260 miles above Earth. The pouches and straws aren't going away, but the new brew will pack some zero-gravity punch. The specially designed-for-space espresso machine is dubbed ISSpresso.

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