Space News

Current Pocket Stars Versions

Pocket Stars PDA current version: 6.1
For Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Click the link to download the latest version. V6.0 had a bug in the WorldPages. Please update to V6.1.
[7 Apr 2010]

Pocket Stars PC current version: 6.1
For Windows desktop and notebook computers. Click the link to download the latest version. V6.0 had a bug in the WorldPages. Please update to V6.1.
[7 Apr 2010]

Pocket Stars SP current version:
For Windows Mobile Smartphone. New features: 3D Orrery, Sloan Digital Sky Survey images, localized into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and English.
[29 Nov 2006]

Space Headlines

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds
To determine the composition of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the team used a unique software package that uses state-of-the-art mineral physics calculators. The software, called ExoPlex, allowed the team to combine all of the available information about the TRAPPIST-1 system, including the chemical makeup of the star, rather than being limited to just the mass and radius of individual planets.
[Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:13:20 EDT]

A star disturbed the comets of the solar system 70,000 years ago
About 70,000 years ago, a small reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.
[Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:34:55 EDT]

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions
A new theory about how oceans and volcanoes interacted during the early history of Mars supports the idea that liquid water was once abundant and may still exist underground. Geophysicists propose that the oceans originated several hundred million years earlier than thought, as the volcanic province Tharsis formed, and that greenhouse gases enabled the oceans. The theory predicts smaller oceans, more in line with estimates of water underground and at the poles today.
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:42:55 EDT]

Cosmologists create largest simulation of galaxy formation, break their own record
Cosmology researchers are releasing initial findings from IllustrisTNG, their follow-up to the 2015 record-breaking Illustris simulation -- the largest-ever hydrological simulation of galaxy formation.
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:04:59 EDT]

Interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua, likely came from a binary star system
New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:01:11 EDT]

Scientists detect radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star
A scientist has detected radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star, suggesting black hole emits a jet of energy proportional to the stellar material it gobbles up.
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:58:45 EDT]

Space radiation more hazardous: Implication sfor astronauts and satellites
It might sound like something from a science fiction plot - astronauts traveling into deep space being bombarded by cosmic rays - but radiation exposure is science fact. As future missions look to travel back to the moon or even to Mars, new research cautions that the exposure to radiation is much higher than previously thought and could have serious implications on both astronauts and satellite technology.
[Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:06:34 EDT]

Jupiter's atmospheric beauty is more than skin deep
In the year and a half NASA's Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter, the scientists have discovered that the orange and white bands that characterize Jupiter's outer atmosphere extend thousands of miles into the gas giant's atmosphere.
[Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:12:58 EDT]

Mystery of purple lights in sky solved with help from citizen scientists
Citizen scientists, satellites and researchers solve the mystery of new purple lights in the sky. The lights, called STEVE, provide scientists insight into Earth's magnetic field.
[Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:49:30 EDT]

Astronomers discover galaxies spin like clockwork
Astronomers have discovered that all galaxies rotate once every billion years, no matter how big they are.
[Tue, 13 Mar 2018 22:55:01 EDT]

Optometrist investigates changes in eye structure in astronauts
An optometrist studies the vision of returning International Space Station astronauts and demonstrates a structural change to their eyes.
[Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:06:46 EDT]

Double or nothing: Astronomers rethink quasar environment
Astronomers have identified nearly 200 'protoclusters,' the progenitors of galaxy clusters, in the early Universe, about 12 billion years ago, about ten times more than previously known. They also found that quasars don't tend to reside in protoclusters; but if there is one quasar in a protocluster, there is likely a second nearby. This result raises doubts about the relation between protoclusters and quasars.
[Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:30:54 EDT]

Arrested development: Hubble finds relic galaxy close to home
Astronomers have put NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on an Indiana Jones-type quest to uncover an ancient 'relic galaxy' in our own cosmic backyard.
[Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:15:28 EDT]

The occurrence of magnetism in the universe
Flows of molten metal can generate magnetic fields. This so-called dynamo effect creates cosmic magnetic fields, like those found on planets, moons and even asteroids. Over the coming years, a globally unique Experiment is intended to demonstrate this effect.
[Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:53:53 EDT]

15 new planets confirmed around cool dwarf stars
Scientists report the existence of 15 new planets -- including one 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water -- orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system. These stars, known as red dwarfs, are of enormous interest for studies of planetary formation and evolution.
[Mon, 12 Mar 2018 08:50:57 EDT]

Three NASA satellites recreate solar eruption in 3-D
Scientists have developed a model that simulates how shocks following coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, propagate from the sun -- an effort made possible only by combining data from three different NASA satellites.
[Fri, 09 Mar 2018 17:07:02 EST]

Making a splash in search for interstellar water
Water is crucial for life, but how do you make water? Cooking up some H2O takes more than mixing hydrogen and oxygen. It requires the special conditions found deep within frigid molecular clouds, where dust shields against destructive ultraviolet light and aids chemical reactions. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will peer into these cosmic reservoirs to gain new insights into the origin and evolution of water and other key building blocks for habitable planets.
[Fri, 09 Mar 2018 12:52:13 EST]

New 3-D measurements improve understanding of geomagnetic storm hazards
Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of Earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.
[Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:33:16 EST]

A new kind of star
A new kind of star: Astronomers have developed a novel mathematical model that combines general relativity with the repulsive effect of quantum vacuum polarization. The inclusion of this repulsive force allows describing ultracompact configurations of stars, which were previously considered by scientists not to exist in equilibrium.
[Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:52:08 EST]

A peculiar galactic clash
Galaxies are not static islands of stars -- they are dynamic and ever-changing, constantly on the move through the darkness of the Universe. Sometimes, as seen in this spectacular Hubble image of Arp 256, galaxies can collide in a crash of cosmic proportions.
[Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:52:00 EST]

First laboratory simulation of exoplanet atmospheric chemistry
Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope.
[Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:51:47 EST]

NASA Juno finds Jupiter's jet-streams are unearthly
Data collected by NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter indicate that the atmospheric winds of the gas-giant planet run deep into its atmosphere and last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth.
[Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:34:18 EST]

Weather satellites aid search and rescue capabilities
The same satellites that identify severe weather can help save you from it. NOAA's GOES series satellites carry a payload supported by NASA's Search and Rescue (SAR) office, which researches and develops technologies to help first responders locate people in distress worldwide, whether from a plane crash, a boating accident or other emergencies.
[Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:55:11 EST]

ALMA reveals inner web of stellar nursery
New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create this stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These features appear red-hot and fiery in this dramatic picture, but in reality are so cold that astronomers must use telescopes like ALMA to observe them.
[Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:52:04 EST]

Physicists lay groundwork to better understand the birth of the universe
Scientists have developed the first techniques for describing the thermodynamics of very small systems with very high energy -- like the universe at the start of the Big Bang -- which could lead to a better understanding of the birth of the universe and other cosmological phenomena.
[Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:16:02 EST]

Hubble finds huge system of dusty material enveloping the young star HR 4796A
Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A.
[Tue, 06 Mar 2018 13:17:57 EST]

70-year-old mystery of how magnetic waves heat the Sun cracked
Scientists have discovered that magnetic waves crashing through the Sun may be key to heating its atmosphere and propelling the solar wind.
[Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:33:02 EST]

Comet 'Chury's' late birth
Comets which consist of two parts, like Chury, can form after a catastrophic collision of larger bodies. Such collisions may have taken place in a later phase of our solar system, which suggests that Chury can be much younger than previously assumed.
[Mon, 05 Mar 2018 14:25:43 EST]

Chemical sleuthing unravels possible path to forming life's building blocks in space
Scientists have used experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.
[Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:15:36 EST]

Massive astrophysical objects governed by subatomic equation
Surprisingly, a quintessential equation of quantum mechanics emerges while studying astronomical disks of orbiting material.
[Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:15:33 EST]

Unprecedentedly wide and sharp dark matter map
A research team released an unprecedentedly wide and sharp dark matter map based on the newly obtained imaging data by Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope. The dark matter distribution is estimated by the weak gravitational lensing technique. The team found indications that the number of dark matter halos could be inconsistent with what the simplest cosmological model suggests. This could be a new clue to understanding why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
[Fri, 02 Mar 2018 10:18:07 EST]

Hubble observes exoplanet atmosphere in more detail than ever before
An international team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b. By combining this new data with older data they created the most complete study yet of an exoplanet atmosphere. The atmospheric composition of WASP-39b hints that the formation processes of exoplanets can be very different from those of our own Solar System giants.
[Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:41:31 EST]

Can strongly lensed type 1a supernovae resolve cosmology's biggest controversy?
Astrophysicists have discovered how to control the 'micolensing' effects of strongly lensed Type 1a Supernovae with supercomputers at NERSC. Armed with this knowledge they believe they will be able to find 1,000 strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae in realtime from LSST data -- that's 20 times more than previous expectations.
[Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:48:07 EST]

Mineralogy of potential lunar exploration site
Scientists have long wanted to retrieve rock samples from the Moon's South Pole-Aitken basin, and a new study could be helpful in locating an ideal landing site.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 15:30:13 EST]

Search for first stars uncovers 'dark matter'
New research offers the first direct proof that dark matter exists and that it is composed of low-mass particles.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:44:24 EST]

Black holes from small galaxies might emit gamma rays
Researchers have discovered seven galaxies that could shake up what astrophysicists thought they knew about how the size of a galaxy -- and the black hole at its center -- can affect its behavior.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:41:22 EST]

Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe
After 12 years of experimental effort, a team of scientists has detected the fingerprints of the earliest stars in the universe. Using radio signals, the detection provides the first evidence for the oldest ancestors in our cosmic family tree, born by a mere 180 million years after the universe began.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:11:15 EST]

Six decades of cosmology
An expert shares his personal reminiscences of the evolution of the subject of cosmology over six decades. He tells of the increase in our confidence in the standard model of cosmology to the extent that it has become a dogma.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:10:37 EST]

The moon formed inside a vaporized Earth synestia
A new explanation for the Moon's origin has it forming inside the Earth when our planet was a seething, spinning cloud of vaporized rock, called a synestia. The new model resolves several problems in lunar formation.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 10:32:38 EST]

When ‘colder’ means ‘hotter’: Explaining the increasing temperature of cooling granular gases
A mathematician has developed a theory to explain ‘heating by cooling’, where the temperature of a granular gas increases while the total energy drops down - a peculiar phenomenon which can be observed both on Earth and in space.
[Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:22:32 EST]

The ideal settlement site on Mars? Hotspots, if you asked a crop
Selecting the perfect landing site will be essential for the successful establishment of the first Mars colony. Growing food crops will be one of the key tasks for the astronauts. Scientists have identified places on Mars that are favorable for plant species to grow.
[Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:47:28 EST]

When do aging brown dwarfs sweep the clouds away?
Brown dwarfs, the larger cousins of giant planets, undergo atmospheric changes from cloudy to cloudless as they age and cool. A team of astronomers measured for the first time the temperature at which this shift happens in young brown dwarfs. Their findings may help them better understand how gas giant planets like our own Solar System's Jupiter evolved.
[Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:16:49 EST]

How does water change the Moon's origin story?
The Moon formed when an object collided with the proto-Earth. For years, scientists thought that in the aftermath, hydrogen and other so-called 'volatile elements' escaped and were lost to space. This would have led to a dry and volatile element-depleted Moon, which seemed to be consistent with previous analyses of lunar samples. But ongoing research about the Moon's chemistry is revealing that it may be wetter than initially thought, raising questions about this origin story.
[Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:16:46 EST]

Stars around the Milky Way: Cosmic space invaders or victims of galactic eviction?
An international team of astronomers has made a surprising discovery about the birthplace of groups of stars located in the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. The astronomers now have compelling evidence showing that some of these halo structures actually originate from the Milky Way's disk itself, but were kicked out; this phenomenon is called galactic eviction.
[Mon, 26 Feb 2018 18:16:11 EST]

Beaming with the light of millions of suns
An astronomy team is homing in on the nature of extreme objects known as ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs.
[Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:25:52 EST]

Proxima Centauri's no good, very bad day
Astronomers have detected a massive stellar flare -- an energetic explosion of radiation -- from the closest star to our own Sun, Proxima Centauri, which occurred last March. This finding raises questions about the habitability of our Solar System's nearest exoplanetary neighbor, Proxima b, which orbits Proxima Centauri.
[Mon, 26 Feb 2018 10:33:41 EST]

NASA's 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 shows.
[Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:19:37 EST]

Model based on hydrothermal sources evaluate possibility of life on Jupiter's icy moon
Scientists compare primitive Earth scenario with satellite Europa's conditions; the Jupiterian moon could host microorganisms at the bottom of a huge warm ocean located underneath its frozen crust.
[Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:23:59 EST]

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.
[Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:23:35 EST]

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.
[Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:20:05 EST]

Astronomers discover S0-2 star is single and ready for big Einstein test
A team of astronomers has found that S0-2 does not have a significant other after all, or at least one that is massive enough to get in the way of critical measurements that astronomers need to test Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Up until now, it was thought that S0-2 may be a binary, a system where two stars circle around each other.
[Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:36:22 EST]

Amateur astronomer captures rare first light from massive exploding star
First light from a supernova is hard to capture; no one can predict where and when a star will explode. An amateur astronomer has now captured on film this first light, emitted when the exploding core hits the star's outer layers: shock breakout. Subsequent observations by astronomers using the Lick and Keck observatories helped identify it as a Type IIb supernova that slimmed down from 20 to 5 solar masses before exploding.
[Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:39 EST]

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 center of our Galaxy. The team 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.
[Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:29:44 EST]

Roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
An international team of researchers has published a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance for space exploration and colonization.
[Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:29:06 EST]

Some black holes erase your past
Physicists insist on determinism: your past and present determine your future uniquely, per Einstein's equations of general relativity. They call this strong cosmic censorship. A mathematician found some types of black holes -- charged, non-rotating objects in an expanding universe -- that allow an observer inside the black hole to travel across a horizon into a place where the past is obliterated and there are an infinite number of possible futures for every initial state.
[Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:13:34 EST]

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet
Mars rovers and orbiters have found signs that Mars once hosted liquid water on its surface. Much of that water escaped over time. How much water was lost, and how does the water that’s left move from ice to atmosphere to soil? During its first year of operations, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will seek answers. Webb also will study mysterious methane plumes that hint at possible geological or even biological activity.
[Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:47:17 EST]

Laser-ranged satellite measurement now accurately reflects Earth's tidal perturbations
Tides on Earth have a far-reaching influence, including disturbing satellites' measurements by affecting their motion. The LAser RElativity Satellite (LARES), is the best ever relevant test particle to move in the Earth's gravitational field. In a new study, LARES proves its efficiency for high-precision probing of General Relativity and fundamental physics.
[Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:30:50 EST]

No relation between a supermassive black hole and its host galaxy?
Using ALMA to observe an active galaxy with a strong ionized gas outflow from the galactic center, a team has obtained a result making astronomers even more puzzled -- the team clearly detected CO gas 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.
[Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:30:31 EST]

Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected
Astronomers have 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.
[Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:24:14 EST]

'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 was able to detect what is 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.
[Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:32:59 EST]

Nasa Headlines

Two NASA Astronauts Among Crew Heading to International Space Station
Three crew members, including NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:44 p.m. EDT Wednesday (11:44 p.m. Baikonur time).
[Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:58 EDT]

Media Invited to View NASA Spacecraft That Will Touch the Sun
Media are invited to view NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 28, at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The spacecraft will embark this summer on a daring trek, traveling closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.
[Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:25 EDT]

Media Preview of Final Voyage of NASA's Around-the-World Atmospheric Mission
Media are invited to preview the final deployment of one of NASA's most ambitious airborne studies of Earth's atmosphere on Friday, April 13, at Building 703 of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, located in Palmdale, California.
[Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:36 EDT]

NASA to Launch Parachute Test off Virginia Coast March 27
NASA will test a parachute for possible future missions to Mars from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday, March 27. Live coverage of the test is scheduled to begin at 6:15 a.m. EDT on the Wallops Ustream site.
[Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:00 EDT]

NASA to Preview Upcoming US Spacewalk, Provide Live Coverage
Two American astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Thursday, March 29, for a planned 6.5-hour spacewalk. Experts from NASA will preview this work in a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 27, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
[Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:05 EDT]

Media Invited to View NASA's Mission to Study Mars Interior
Media are invited to view NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander Friday, April 6, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it's currently undergoing final tests for its May launch.
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:01 EDT]

NASA to Discuss Upcoming Launch of Next Planet Hunter
Join NASA at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, March 28, as astrophysics experts discuss the upcoming launch of NASA's next planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
[Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:12 EDT]

NASA Statement on Confirmation of New Agency Chief Financial Officer
The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on the Senate’s March 14 confirmation of Jeff DeWit to serve as agency’s Chief Financial Officer.
[Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:23 EDT]

NASA to Highlight Science Launching on Next Resupply Mission to Space Station
NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT Monday, March 19, to discuss a number of science investigations and instruments launching in April to the International Space Station on the next SpaceX commercial resupply mission. Audio of the teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website.
[Wed, 14 Mar 2018 12:41 EDT]

NASA Honors Legacy of Renowned Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking
The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on the passing of visionary physicist Stephen Hawking, who died at his home in Cambridge, England, early Wednesday morning.
[Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:22 EDT]