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J Marks the Spot for ESA's Comet Landing

September 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.

Mars May Grow Better Veggies than the Moon

September 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Patricia Waldron | News | Comments

Any explorers visiting Mars and the moon will have to boldly grow where no man has grown before...

Understanding Physics of Fire Imperative for Space Safety

September 12, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

Astronauts are studying how fires burn in microgravity and how to put them out. It's a...

Algorithm Can Help Clean up Space

September 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by MIT, Larry Hardesty | Videos | Comments

An algorithm, tested aboard the International Space Station, analyzes the rotation of objects in...

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Water Ice Clouds Found Outside Solar System

September 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Carnegie Institution | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets— Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune— but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun, until now.

Asteroid Will Make Close Pass Sunday

September 5, 2014 2:00 pm | by Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

A house-sized asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely fly past Earth on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 7, at a distance equivalent to about one-tenth of the distance between Earth and the moon.

NASA Examines Four Decades of Sea Ice Changes

September 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | Videos | Comments

The sea ice cap that covers the Arctic Ocean has been changing dramatically. Its ice is thinner and more vulnerable– at summer minimum it now covers more than 1 million fewer square miles than in the late 1970s. A key part of the story of how the world was able to witness and document this change centers on meticulous work over decades by a small group of scientists at NASA.


Milky Way is Part of Galactic Supercluster

September 4, 2014 2:00 pm | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Astronomers have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified ginormous supercluster of galaxies, which they have dubbed “Laniakea,” which means “immense heaven” in Hawaiian. This discovery clarifies the boundaries of our galactic neighborhood and establishes previously unrecognized linkages among various galaxy clusters in the local Universe.

Red Star Meets Red Planet

September 3, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

As Mars moves toward its encounter with Comet Siding Spring next month, the red planet passes several bright stars. On Sept. 12, Mars is halfway between Saturn and Antares. You can compare the red hues of Mars and Antares with your own eyes.

Research Finds Why Sibling Stars Look Alike

September 2, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Cruz | Videos | Comments

The chemical uniformity of stars in the same cluster is the result of turbulent mixing in the clouds of gas where star formation occurs, according to a study by astrophysicists. Their results show that even stars that don't stay together in a cluster will share a chemical fingerprint with their siblings, which can be used to trace them to the same birthplace.

Radio Telescopes Settle Pleiades Controversy

August 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Astronomers have used a worldwide network of radio telescopes to resolve a controversy over the distance to a famous star cluster— a controversy that posed a potential challenge to scientists' basic understanding of how stars form and evolve. The new work shows that the measurement made by a cosmic-mapping research satellite was wrong.

Pebble-sized Particles May Jump-start Planet Formation

August 28, 2014 7:00 am | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Astronomers have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles— planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust grains typically found around protostars. If confirmed, these dense ribbons of rocky material may well represent a new, mid-size class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation.


Astronomers Combine Lenses for Best View of Merging Galaxies

August 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by ESO | News | Comments

The famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes used a magnifying lens to reveal barely visible but important evidence. Astronomers are now combining the power of many telescopes on Earth and in space with a vastly larger form of cosmic lens to study a case of vigorous star formation in the early Universe.

Two Satellites Are in Wrong Orbit

August 25, 2014 8:09 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

European space officials say they're investigating whether the inaccurate deployment of two satellites will complicate their efforts to develop a new Galileo satellite navigation system that would rival America's GPS network.

Restored Footage Maps Neptune's Strange Moon

August 22, 2014 2:00 pm | by Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first close-up look at Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. Like an old film, Voyager's historic footage of Triton has been "restored" and used to construct the best-ever global color map of that strange moon.

Electric Sparks May Alter Lunar Soil

August 22, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of New Hampshire | News | Comments

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but new modeling suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly altered the properties of the soil in the moon’s coldest craters through the process of sparking. This find could change our understanding of the evolution of planetary surfaces in the solar system.

Toothpaste Ingredient May Have Formed in Dying Stars

August 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by Lund Univ. | News | Comments

The fluorine that is found in products such as toothpaste was likely formed billions of years ago in now dead stars of the same type as our sun.


Immune System Dazed, Confused During Spaceflight

August 20, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

Researchers have a good idea what causes immune system changes on Earth— things like stress, inadequate sleep and improper nutrition. New research suggests that spaceflight may temporarily alter the immune system of crew members flying long-duration missions aboard the ISS.

Image of the Week: Astronauts Release Tiny Satellite

August 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the four-inch box off with his gloved right hand from the ISS. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned.

Specks from Space May Be Alien Visitors

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.

Milky Way Maps Could Help Solve Stubborn Mystery

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Univ. | News | Comments

An international team of sky scholars has produced new maps of the material located between the stars in the Milky Way. The results should move astronomers closer to cracking a stardust puzzle that has vexed them for nearly a century.

ISS Astronaut Sets Up CCF Experiment

August 15, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Expedition 40 flight engineer, has installed Capillary Channel Flow experiment hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox located in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

Lunar-landing Rocket Research Hits Milestone

August 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | Videos | Comments

A student team has designed, built and tested a critical part of a new rocket engine as part of a NASA project to develop spacecraft technologies needed to land on the moon, Mars and other cosmic venues.

Gravity Find May Protect Earth from Asteroids

August 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville | News | Comments

Researchers have made a novel discovery that may potentially protect the world from future collisions with asteroids. The team studied near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA and discovered that the body, which rotates so quickly it defies gravity, is held together by cohesive forces, called van der Waals, never before detected on an asteroid.

Images of the Week: Supermoon Lit World's Sky

August 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

People around the world this weekend looked up at the sky to view a lunar phenomenon: the supermoon. Here are a few amazing pictures of the event.

Light Reveals Voracious Appetites of Early Black Holes

August 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Weizmann Institute | News | Comments

At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop. That process reveals their existence: the light that is emitted by the gas as it is sucked in and crushed by the black hole's gravity travels for eons across the Universe until it reaches our telescopes.

Scientists Seek Method to Cook in Space

August 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

Chow mein on Mars? Moo shu on the moon? What would it be like to stir-fry in space? A bit messy, according to researchers, who recently conducted the first partial gravity cooking on record.

Research Aims to Uncover Sun's Birthday

August 8, 2014 2:00 pm | by Monash Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have investigated the solar system's prehistoric phase and the events that led to the birth of the sun. To do so, the team used radioactivity to date the last time that heavy elements such as gold, silver, platinum, lead and rare-earth elements were added to the solar system matter by the stars that produced them.

Laser-wielding Robot Probes Exoplanets

August 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa | News | Comments

A team of scientists is using the world’s first robotic laser adaptive optics system— Robo-AO— to explore thousands of exoplanet systems at resolutions approaching those of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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