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The Order of the Dolphin: SETI’s secret origin story

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 04:00
In 1961, when UFOs were all the rage, a group of top scientific minds met in secret at a rural observatory in West Virginia. At the time, the Green Bank Observatory was the biggest, baddest telescope in the burgeoning practice of radio astronomy. While the list of meeting attendees now reads like a who’s who of the era’s luminaries, the reason they gathered covertly was because of the taboo nature of their topic of discussion. These scientists wanted to find, and talk to, aliens. The
Categories: Astronomy

What's next for commercial spaceflight?

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 04:00
A decade after SpaceX's Falcon 1 first reached orbit, researchers are studying what's needed to create a sustainable space industry.
Categories: Astronomy

Richard Branson claims Virgin Galactic will be in space “within weeks”

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 04:00

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson just boldly claimed that his company's spaceplane, SpaceShipTwo, will be in space "within weeks."

Categories: Astronomy

The case of Ceres' wandering pole

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
Our closest dwarf planet once had a pole in a different place. As it wandered, the crust and mantle followed... but not at the same rate.
Categories: Astronomy

Scientists are figuring out how to farm Mars

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
With long-term occupation comes the need for sustainable food sources on the Red Planet. We've already got some ideas.
Categories: Astronomy

Apollo 7: NASA’s first mini-mutiny in space

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
50 years ago, Apollo 7 accomplished a number of firsts in space ... including a disagreement between Mission Control and crew.
Categories: Astronomy

Is Planet X guiding dwarf planets around our solar system?

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
Astronomers have found a dwarf planet out beyond Neptune called “The Goblin” because of its initial discovery around Halloween. The Goblin, officially named 2015 TG387, joins other small objects far out in our solar system, and it adds to a tantalizing theory about another much more massive “Planet X” hiding beyond Neptune. The Goblin’s Journey Carnegie astronomer Scott Sheppard searches for and studies far-off objects like The Goblin. Over the past few years, th
Categories: Astronomy

Hubble Space Telescope in safe mode after gyro failure

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
NASA's most famous orbiting observatory may be down, but it's not out just yet.
Categories: Astronomy

The Moon makes way for zodiacal light tomorrow morning

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 04:00
Without the overbearing brightness of the Moon, dark-sky observers have an excellent opportunity to spot the elusive glow of zodiacal light.
Categories: Astronomy

Voyager 2 spacecraft approaches interstellar space

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 04:00
When it comes to space exploration, no one has the Voyager missions beat. On October 5, NASA reported that their Voyager 2 spacecraft is nearing our heliosphere’s outer borders, and could soon enter interstellar space. Data shows that the probe is detecting more and more cosmic rays from outer space — indicating a slow escape from the sun’s stellar bubble. If all goes as planned, the craft will follow in the footsteps of Voyager 1 and become the second human-made object to ever
Categories: Astronomy

Do towering spikes of ice exist on Europa?

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 04:00
The moon’s equator could host fields of jagged, sharp ice formations that would not be lander-friendly.
Categories: Astronomy

How will we return to the Moon?

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 04:00
New landers and NASA’s lunar outpost top the list of plans to return humanity to our natural satellite.
Categories: Astronomy

MASCOT mission accomplished at Ryugu

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 04:00
The lander has successfully touched down on the surface of the asteroid, exploring its rocky landscape.
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for October 5 to 14

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 10/05/2018 - 04:00
The nights may be getting colder, but the night sky is still burning with targets this week.
Categories: Astronomy

Liquid crystals of RNA could explain how life started on Earth

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 10/04/2018 - 04:00
Your computer monitor, television, or cell phone might hold the key to the origin of life.
Categories: Astronomy

Saturn's ring rain is a downpour, not a drizzle

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 10/04/2018 - 04:00
A surprising amount of complex organic molecules fall from the planet's rings onto its atmosphere, Cassini data show.
Categories: Astronomy

This is what NASA learned when Cassini dove into Saturn

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 10/04/2018 - 04:00

In a group of new papers, researchers refine theories about Saturn using data from Cassini’s final transmissions to Earth. 

Categories: Astronomy

Learn to farm on Mars with this fake martian soil

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 04:00
If you watched or read “The Martian,” and wanted to try your hand at living on Mars or becoming a Martian farmer like Mark Watney, then today is your lucky day. Astrophysicists at the University of Central Florida have developed a scientific, standardized method to create soil like future space colonies might encounter on Mars. They’re selling it for about $10 per pound (or $20 per kilogram) plus shipping. This soil, also called simulant, is designed and created to mimic the r
Categories: Astronomy

Gamma rays illuminate one of the Milky Way’s weirdest objects

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 04:00
In a first, astronomers have discovered how the tiny cousins of massive quasars can generate high-energy light at the tips of their fast-moving jets.
Categories: Astronomy

Why do galaxies align?

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 04:00
The matter in our universe forms filaments and threads like a grand cosmic web, tugging galaxies and clusters into place along the way.
Categories: Astronomy

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