Space News - Space, Astronomy, Space Exploration

Phys.org provides the latest news on astronomy and space exploration.

02/23/2018 08:04 PM
SDO reveals how magnetic cage on the Sun stopped solar eruption
A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun's surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research using NASA data shows. The work highlights the role of the Sun's magnetic landscape, or topology, in the development of solar eruptions that can trigger space weather events around Earth.

02/23/2018 06:45 PM
On second thought, the Moon's water may be widespread and immobile
A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon's water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it's not necessarily easily accessible.

02/23/2018 03:20 PM
Dust dilemma settles on upcoming moon missions
The world's foremost authority on lunar dust is suggesting the powder-like substance, which is finer than talcum powder and more abrasive than sandpaper, remains a major risk-management problem hampering upcoming space expeditions.

02/23/2018 02:40 PM
Researcher sets eyes on Saturn's largest moon
Co-led by a Western space scientist, NASA is exploring a revolutionary plan that could see a drone-like quadcopter buzz above the surface of Saturn's largest moon.

02/23/2018 02:05 PM
Goonhilly antenna goes deep space
Until now, if you're an entrepreneur planning future missions beyond Earth, you'd have to ask a big space agency to borrow their deep-space antennas. Now, thanks to the UK's county of Cornwall and ESA, you'll have a commercial option, too.

02/23/2018 01:58 PM
Swarm trio becomes a quartet
With the aim of making the best possible use of existing satellites, ESA and Canada have made a deal that turns Swarm into a four-satellite mission to shed even more light on space weather and features such as the aurora borealis.

02/22/2018 09:43 PM
Improved Hubble yardstick gives fresh evidence for new physics in the universe
Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make the most precise measurements of the expansion rate of the universe since it was first calculated nearly a century ago. Intriguingly, the results are forcing astronomers to consider that they may be seeing evidence of something unexpected at work in the universe.

02/22/2018 07:08 PM
How spacecraft testing enabled bone marrow research
In the 1970s, a NASA employee stepped up to a challenge posed by the National Institutes of Health or NIH: to freeze bone marrow.

02/22/2018 04:14 PM
SpaceX launches Spanish satellite, two others from California
An Earth-observation satellite built for Spain and two experimental satellites for internet service were successfully launched into orbit from California at dawn Thursday, creating a brief light show as it arced over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles.

02/22/2018 02:47 PM
Astronomers discover S0-2 star is single and ready for big Einstein test
Astronomers have the "all-clear" for an exciting test of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, thanks to a new discovery about S0-2's star status.

02/22/2018 02:22 PM
Novel search strategy advances the hunt for primordial black holes
Some theories of the early universe predict density fluctuations that would have created small "primordial black holes," some of which could be drifting through our galactic neighborhood today and might even be bright sources of gamma rays.

02/22/2018 02:17 PM
Surfing complete
Slowed by skimming through the very top of the upper atmosphere, ESA's ExoMars has lowered itself into a planet-hugging orbit and is about ready to begin sniffing the Red Planet for methane.

02/22/2018 02:17 PM
Image: Hypervelocity impact testing
What looks like a mushroom cloud turned sideways is actually the instant an 2.8 mm-diameter aluminium bullet moving at 7 km/s pierces a spacecraft shield, captured by a high-speed camera.

02/22/2018 01:48 PM
Waterbeds simulate weightlessness to help skinsuits combat back pain in space
Astronauts tend to become taller in weightlessness – causing back pain and making it difficult to fit into spacesuits. Astronauts may be more likely to suffer from 'slipped discs' after landing.

02/21/2018 07:00 PM
Amateur astronomer captures rare first light from massive exploding star
Thanks to lucky snapshots taken by an amateur astronomer in Argentina, scientists have obtained their first view of the initial burst of light from the explosion of a massive star.

02/21/2018 06:28 PM
European space probe prepares to sniff Martian atmosphere
A European space probe has swung into position around Mars in preparation to analyze its atmosphere for possible signs of life.

02/21/2018 04:50 PM
Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole
Astronomers reveal a new high resolution map of the magnetic field lines in gas and dust swirling around the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy, published in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team, led by Professor Pat Roche of the University of Oxford, created the map, which is the first of its kind, using the CanariCam infrared camera attached to the Gran Telescopio Canarias sited on the island of La Palma.

02/21/2018 04:08 PM
SpaceX postpones California satellite launch due to winds
SpaceX has postponed a satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

02/21/2018 03:44 PM
New atmosphere wind/temperature sensor to improve space weather prediction
Global wind and temperature measurements in the lower thermosphere (100-150 km above Earth) are the two most important variables needed to accurately predict space weather and climate change. An innovative technique is being developed jointly by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, GSFC, and JPL to make these measurements using the atomic oxygen emission at 2.06 THz (145 μm).

02/21/2018 01:50 PM
Co-evolution black hole mystery deepened by a new ALMA observation
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe an active galaxy with a strong ionized gas outflow from the galactic center, a team led by Dr. Yoshiki Toba of the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA, Taiwan) has obtained a result making astronomers even more puzzled—the team clearly detected carbon monoxide (CO) gas that is associated with the galactic disk, yet they have also found that the CO gas which settles in the galaxy is not affected by the strong ionized gas outflow launched from the galactic center.

02/21/2018 01:48 PM
Chinese space lab to fall back to Earth in March
Chinese space laboratory Tiangong-1 is predicted to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in late April, but where or when it will reach the surface is hard to say.

02/21/2018 10:13 AM
Nearly a decade after Mars Phoenix landed, another look
A recent view from Mars orbit of the site where NASA's Phoenix Mars mission landed on far-northern Mars nearly a decade ago shows that dust has covered some marks of the landing.

02/21/2018 08:52 AM
Team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
An international team of researchers from NASA Ames Research Center, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate at Health Canada, Oxford University, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Insilico Medicine, the Biogerontology Research Center, Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Lethbridge, Ghent University, Center for Healthy Aging and many others have published a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance for space exploration and colonization in the peer-reviewed journal Oncotarget.

02/20/2018 09:11 PM
Pulsating aurora mysteries uncovered with help from NASA's THEMIS mission
Sometimes on a dark night near the poles, the sky pulses a diffuse glow of green, purple and red. Unlike the long, shimmering veils of typical auroral displays, these pulsating auroras are much dimmer and less common. While scientists have long known auroras to be associated with solar activity, the precise mechanism of pulsating auroras was unknown. Now, new research, using data from NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms—or THEMIS—mission and Japan's Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace—shortened to ERG, or also known as Arase—satellite, has finally captured the missing link thought responsible for these auroras. The answer lies in chirping waves that rhythmically pulse the particles that create the auroras.

02/20/2018 04:58 PM
James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet
The planet Mars has fascinated scientists for over a century. Today, it is a frigid desert world with a carbon dioxide atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth's. But evidence suggests that in the early history of our solar system, Mars had an ocean's worth of water. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will study Mars to learn more about the planet's transition from wet to dry, and what that means about its past and present habitability.

02/20/2018 03:37 PM
Ensuring fresh air for all
A start-up company from an ESA business incubator is offering affordable air-quality monitors for homes, schools and businesses using technology it developed for the International Space Station.

02/20/2018 03:00 PM
Lyman-alpha emission detected around quasar J1605-0112
Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument astronomers have discovered an extended and broad Lyman-alpha emission in the form of a nebula around the quasar J1605-0112. The finding is reported February 9 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print repository.

02/20/2018 02:47 PM
'Ultramassive' black holes discovered in far-off galaxies
Thanks to data collected by NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope on galaxies up to 3.5 billion light years away from Earth, an international team of astrophysicists has detected what are likely to be the most massive black holes ever discovered in the universe. The team's calculations showed that these ultramassive black holes are growing faster than the stars in their respective galaxies.

02/20/2018 12:30 PM
Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected
An international team of astronomers, including Professor Bob Nichol from the University of Portsmouth, has confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected – a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago, or three-quarters the age of the Universe itself.

02/19/2018 03:33 PM
Image: Saturn's B ring peaks
While the Winter Olympics is in full swing in PyeongChang, South Korea, and many winter sport fanatics head to snow-clad mountains to get their thrills on the slopes this ski-season, this dramatic mountain scene is somewhat off-piste – in Saturn's rings to be precise.