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Updated: 3 hours 35 sec ago

OSIRIS-REx, meet asteroid Bennu

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 05:00
NASA's first asteroid sample return mission successfully arrived at its destination today.
Categories: Astronomy

The first crewed ISS flight since an emergency landing took off today

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 05:00
Prior to the successful liftoff, the astronauts spoke of their confidence in the Russian rocket.
Categories: Astronomy

The Sky This Week from November 30 to December 9

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 05:00

Venus dazzles in the predawn sky, and gets a little help from the Moon December 3. Meanwhile, Mars and Neptune appear closer to each other under a dark sky than they will until the 23rd century.

Categories: Astronomy

NASA announces the nine companies competing to put us back on the Moon.

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 05:00
But only one will be selected as part of the new Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Categories: Astronomy

How many photons has the universe produced in its life?

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 05:00
Scientists have devised a method for calculating the number of the photons that have ever been produced within the observable universe.
Categories: Astronomy

ALMA releases first science results with its highest-frequency receivers

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 05:00
The radio telescope array spotted molecules around forming stars in the Cat’s Paw Nebula in more detail than ever before.
Categories: Astronomy

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found on space station toilet

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 05:00
Space bacteria Wherever humans go, our bacterial companions will follow. That’s as true in space as it is on Earth, and while we’ve known that microbial astronauts are present on the International Space Station, one group of researchers has just found a new reason to worry about them. A genomic analysis of samples collected from the space toilet aboard the station, among other places, has revealed that some of the bacteria on the ISS possess genes conferring resistance to antibiotics
Categories: Astronomy

Stowaways welcome on India’s upcoming Venus mission

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 05:00
India’s national space agency is planning to send a spacecraft to Venus in 2023 — and they want international instruments to tag along for the ride.
Categories: Astronomy

How to look inside a star with artificial intelligence and sound waves

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 05:00
A pair of astronomers has found a way to peer inside the hidden hearts of stars, revealing their age, composition, and more.
Categories: Astronomy

The hit-or-miss history of predicting new planets

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 05:00
In 2016, astronomers announced there was a new planet in the outer solar system. Planet Nine, supposedly larger than Neptune and located far beyond the orbits of the planets known so far, is a particular mystery since no one has yet observed it. Scientists have merely tracked its supposed orbit by watching the gravitational pull the planet exerts on the asteroids and space debris near it. But this isn’t the first time scientists have predicted planets before spotting them. It’s not e
Categories: Astronomy

InSight Mars mission brought a first for NASA: Interplanetary CubeSats

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 05:00
Meet the MarCO twins, tasked with tracking InSight's descent and landing to the Red Planet.
Categories: Astronomy

Biting the bullet: How shooting dust clumps is informing our theories of planetary formation

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 05:00
By firing plastic, lead and glass projectiles into clumps of dust, researchers are improving our understanding of how planets form in the universe. Planets start out as loose clumps of dust grains. And, like flour clumps up as you mix it into cake batter, cosmic dust clumps eventually build up to become planets like Earth as gravity pulls them together. But there’s still much to be understood about this process. So, to investigate some of the dynamics behind this process, researchers shot
Categories: Astronomy

NASA's Mars InSight is landing today

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 05:00
Over the course of seven minutes, the newest martian probe will succeed or fail ... and we won't know until it's over.
Categories: Astronomy

InSight has landed! Inside the dramatic touchdown

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 05:00
The newest addition to the martian probe family is safely home.
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The Sky This Week from November 23 to December 2

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 05:00

Venus shines at its brightest before dawn while Mars still rules the evening sky.

Categories: Astronomy

Researchers are 3D-printing fake Moon dust into useful hardware

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 05:00
A future on the Moon To support a potential, future lunar base, researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) have 3D-printed and baked fake Moon dust into screws, gears, and even a coin. Both private and government space agencies have expressed serious intentions and started developing plans to build a human-inhabited base on the Moon. But it takes a lot of fuel, cargo capacity, and money to launch things into space and land them on the moon. And building a lunar base from scratch will take
Categories: Astronomy

Mars continues to dazzle in the November sky

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 05:00
Though Mars reached opposition in July, the Red Planet remains one of the most tempting targets in the November sky.
Categories: Astronomy

The complicated history of planets around Barnard's star

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 05:00
Perhaps no other star system has elicited so much wonder, mystery and frustration as Barnard’s Star. Astronomers announced last Wednesday they’d discovered a planet in its thrall weighing in at around three Earth-masses, with a frigid, 233-day orbit. The find finally answers whether we have any planetary neighbors in the second-closest system to Earth (after Alpha Centauri). This follows more than 50 years of scrutinizing the star, and coming up empty. A 1999 study ruled out any gas
Categories: Astronomy

This strange star system is shooting off more gamma rays than expected

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 05:00
A once-in-a-lifetime event is changing the way astronomers think some cosmic rays and gamma rays are created.
Categories: Astronomy

Virgin Orbit rocket completes first flight strapped to the wing of an airplane

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 05:00
A Successful Test Flight Virgin Orbit, a spinoff of Virgin Galactic, flew its LauncherOne rocket for the first time ever this past Sunday, November 18. The company performed the test flight with the 21-meter rocket strapped to the wing of a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft nicknamed Cosmic Girl. The 80-minute-long captive-carry test flight took off from California’s Victorville Airport, northeast of Los Angeles. “The vehicles flew like a dream today. Everyone on the flight crew an
Categories: Astronomy

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