Space News

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[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: 5.1.5.5
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

Meteorite mystery solved with research on high pressure
A research group has found a long-sought explanation for the apparent contradictions implicit in the composition of lunar and Martian meteorites. They were able to demonstrate how meteorites could contain within narrow spaces minerals whose formation conditions are quite different. These findings provide new impetus for meteorite research.
[Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:06:19 EDT]

Does dark matter annihilate quicker in the Milky Way?
A new theory predicts how dark matter may be annihilating much more rapidly in the Milky Way, than in smaller or larger galaxies and the early Universe.
[Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:04:05 EDT]

Origins of Sun's swirling spicules discovered
For the first time, a computer simulation -- so detailed it took a full year to run -- shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun's surface and surge upward so quickly.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:14:16 EDT]

The curious case of the warped Kuiper Belt
The plane of the solar system is warped in the belt's outer reaches, signaling the presence of an unknown Mars-to-Earth-mass planetary object far beyond Pluto, according to new research. 
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:40:52 EDT]

Magnetic memories of a metal world
Research deciphering the hidden magnetic messages encoded in a rare group of meteorites has helped secure nearly half a billion dollars of NASA funding for a journey to their parent asteroid -- the only known place in the solar system where scientists can examine directly what is probably a metallic core.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:39:53 EDT]

Radioactive elements in Cassiopeia A suggest a neutrino-driven explosion
Stars exploding as supernovae are the main sources of heavy chemical elements in the Universe. In particular, radioactive atomic nuclei are synthesized in the hot, innermost regions during the explosion and can thus serve as probes of the unobservable physical processes that initiate the blast. Using elaborate computer simulations, a team of researchers was able to explain the recently measured spatial distributions of radioactive titanium and nickel in Cassiopeia A, a roughly 340 year old gas remnant of a nearby supernova.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:27:19 EDT]

Massive dead disk galaxy challenges theories of galaxy evolution
By combining the power of a 'natural lens' in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery -- the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang.
[Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:51:50 EDT]

New virtual approach to science in space
A new approach to scientific exploration has been revealed by researchers, which they call exploration telepresence.
[Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:51:30 EDT]

Mystery of unexplained 'bright nights' solved
Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of 'bright nights,' when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper or check their watch. A new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, uses satellite data to present a possible explanation for these puzzling historical phenomena.
[Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:34:59 EDT]

The astronaut's extra nose
How do we prevent astronauts in space from inhaling hazardous gases? A hi-tech optical gas sensor provides a solution.
[Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:02:00 EDT]

Star's birth may have triggered another star birth, astronomers say
Radio images give new evidence that a jet of material from one young star may have triggered the gas collapse that started another young star.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:06:30 EDT]

Ten near-Earth size planets in habitable zone of their star
NASA's Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:33:31 EDT]

Making waves with the hot electrons within Earth's radiation belts
An international team of scientists recently discovered the role that hot electrons may play in the waves and fluctuations detected by satellites. The results are based on data collected by the Van Allen Probes, twin robotic spacecraft launched by NASA in 2012 to help scientists better understand these belt regions.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:11:15 EDT]

Scientist warns of asteroid danger
An astrophysicists has warned that an asteroid strike is just a matter of time.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:11:01 EDT]

A unique data center for cosmological simulations
Scientists have established 'Cosmowebportal', a unique data center for cosmological simulations. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:41:01 EDT]

New branch in family tree of exoplanets discovered
Researchers have classified exoplanets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species.
[Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:02:38 EDT]

MAVEN's top 10 discoveries at Mars
Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.
[Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:40:50 EDT]

On the road to creating an electrodeless spacecraft propulsion engine
Researchers have been trying to find out how the plasma flow is influenced by its environment via laboratory experiments. And in doing so, have made headway on research towards creating an electrodeless plasma thruster used to propel spacecraft.
[Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:18:13 EDT]

Ring, Ring: 'Earth? It's space calling, on the quantum line'
Scientists report the successful transmission of entangled photons between suborbital space and Earth.
[Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:27:54 EDT]

Shortcut to satellite-based quantum encryption network
Researchers demonstrate ground-based measurements of quantum states sent by a laser aboard a satellite 38,000 kilometers above Earth.
[Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:05:52 EDT]

Orion blazing bright in radio light
Astronomers have created the largest image ever of the dense band of star-forming gas that weaves its way through the northern portion of the Orion Nebula.
[Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:09:43 EDT]

Scientists make waves with black hole research: Water bath simulation
Scientists have made a significant leap forward in understanding the workings of one of the mysteries of the universe. They have successfully simulated the conditions around black holes using a specially designed water bath.
[Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:28:52 EDT]

Chaotically magnetized cloud is no place to build a star, or is it?
Astronomers have discovered a surprisingly weak and wildly disorganized magnetic field very near a newly emerging protostar. These observations suggest that the impact of magnetic fields on star formation is more complex than previously thought.
[Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:28:27 EDT]

Low-mass stars always born with a sibling: Many, like our sun, split up
Though astronomers have long known that many if not most stars are binaries, the question has always been, Were they born that way, or did one star capture another? Astronomers teamed up to systematically study very young stars inside their nest eggs, called dense cores, in the Perseus molecular cloud and concluded that all sunlike stars are born as wide binaries. Most subsequently split up, while the rest become tight binaries.
[Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:19:07 EDT]

Search for Earth-like planets: Try a statistical approach
A team of astronomers seeks to change the way scientists approach the search for Earth-like planets orbiting stars other than the sun. They favor taking a statistical comparative approach in seeking habitable planets and life beyond the solar system.
[Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:19:04 EDT]

Cloudy with a chance of radiation: NASA studies simulated radiation
NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is simulating space radiation on Earth following upgrades to the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. These upgrades help researchers on Earth learn more about the effects of ionizing space radiation to keep astronauts safe on a journey to Mars.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 18:51:45 EDT]

New insight into galaxy cluster's spectacular 'mini-halo'
New images give an unprecedented view, revealing multitude of new substructures that shed light on mechanisms creating the massive radio-emitting structure.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:52:03 EDT]

Hot rocks, not warm atmosphere, led to relatively recent water-carved valleys on Mars
Some scientists have interpreted water-carved valleys on Mars formed within the last few billion years as a sign of either an active groundwater system or of transient warm periods in the atmosphere. But new research shows that snow and ice melted by hot impact ejecta could have produced enough water to carve those valleys with no groundwater or heat wave required.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:16:55 EDT]

Galaxy alignments traced back 10 billion years
The most massive galaxies in the universe have been aligned with their surroundings for at least ten billion years. This discovery shows that galaxies, like people, are influenced by their environment from a young age.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:16:46 EDT]

Students print their way to new, powerful supercapacitors
Sustainable chemistry students have tripled the specific capacitance of nitrogen-doped carbons: new materials with potential applications in fast energy storage (e.g. for regenerative breaking or fast charging of cellphones). Their experiments required new pieces of equipment which were designed and produced in the lab using 3D printing.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:30:15 EDT]

New strategy to search for ancient black holes
An interdisciplinary team of physicists and astronomers has devised a new strategy to search for 'primordial' black holes produced in the early universe. Such black holes are possibly responsible for the gravitational wave events observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:29:33 EDT]

VST captures Eagle Nebula and close companions
Two of the sky's more famous residents share the stage with a lesser-known neighbor in an enormous new three gigapixel image from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST). On the right lies Sharpless 2-54, the iconic Eagle Nebula is in the center, and the Omega Nebula to the left. This cosmic trio makes up just a portion of a vast complex of gas and dust within which new stars are springing to life and illuminating their surroundings.
[Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:21:04 EDT]

Jupiter is one old-timer, scientist finds
Jupiter is the oldest planet in our solar system, an international group of scientists has found.
[Mon, 12 Jun 2017 15:42:20 EDT]

ALMA hears birth cry of a massive baby star
Astronomers have determined how the enigmatic gas flow from a massive baby star is launched. The team used ALMA to observe the baby star and obtained clear evidence of rotation in the outflow. The motion and the shape of the outflow indicate that the interplay of centrifugal and magnetic forces in a disk surrounding the star plays a crucial role in the star's birth cry.
[Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:54:07 EDT]

SpaceX Dragon to deliver research to Space Station
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Dragon spacecraft for its eleventh commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station June 1 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center's historic pad 39A.
[Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:31:09 EDT]

Hubble applauds waltzing dwarfs
This seemingly unspectacular series of dots with varying distances between them actually shows the slow waltz of two brown dwarfs. The image is a stack of 12 images made over the course of three years with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Using high-precision astrometry, astronomers tracked the two components of the system as they moved both across the sky and around each other.
[Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:31:02 EDT]

The largest virtual Universe ever simulated
Researchers have simulated the formation of our entire Universe with a large supercomputer. A gigantic catalogue of about 25 billion virtual galaxies has been generated from 2 trillion digital particles. This catalogue is being used to calibrate the experiments on board the Euclid satellite, that will be launched in 2020 with the objective of investigating the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
[Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:22:51 EDT]

Space-traveling flatworms help scientists enhance understanding of regenerative health
Flatworms that spent five weeks aboard the International Space Station are helping researchers scientists study how an absence of normal gravity and geomagnetic fields can have anatomical, behavioral, and bacteriological consequences, according to a paper. The research has implications for human and animal space travelers and for regenerative and bioengineering science.
[Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:22:36 EDT]

Composition of Earth-size planets in TRAPPIST-1 system
An astrophysics researcher has identified the possible compositions of the seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Using thousands of numerical simulations to identify the planets stable for millions of years, Quarles concluded that six of the seven planets are consistent with an Earth-like composition. The exception is TRAPPIST-1f, which has a mass of 25 percent water, suggesting that TRAPPIST-1e may be the best candidate for future habitability studies.
[Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:55:59 EDT]

Comets may have delivered significant portions of Earth's xenon
A new study suggests that roughly 22% of the element xenon found in Earth's atmosphere may have come from comets.
[Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:55:45 EDT]

Cosmic inflation: Higgs says goodbye to his 'little brother'
In the first moments after the Big Bang, the Universe was able to expand even billions of billions of billions of times faster than today. Such rapid expansion should be due to a primordial force field, acting with a new particle: inflaton. From the latest analysis of the decay of mesons, carried out in the LHCb experiment by physicists from Cracow and Zurich, it appears, however, that the most probable light inflaton almost certainly does not exist.
[Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:36:07 EDT]

Ingredient of life found around infant Sun-like stars
ALMA has observed stars like the Sun at a very early stage in their formation and found traces of methyl isocyanate -- a chemical building block of life. This is the first ever detection of this prebiotic molecule towards solar-type protostars, the sort from which our Solar System evolved. The discovery could help astronomers understand how life arose on Earth.
[Thu, 08 Jun 2017 07:29:06 EDT]

Celestial boondocks: Study supports the idea we live in a void
A new study not only firms up the idea that we exist in one of the holes of the Swiss cheese structure of the cosmos, but helps ease the apparent disagreement between different measurements of the Hubble Constant, the unit cosmologists use to describe the rate at which the universe is expanding today.
[Wed, 07 Jun 2017 14:29:30 EDT]

Century-old relativity experiment used to measure a white dwarf's mass
Astronomers have used the sharp vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The team measured the mass of white dwarf Stein 2051 B, the burned-out remnant of a normal star, by seeing how much it deflects the light from a background star. The gravitational microlensing method data provide a solid estimate of the white dwarf’s mass and yield insights into theories of the structure and composition of the burned-out star.
[Wed, 07 Jun 2017 14:26:04 EDT]

New confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
Albert Einstein predicted that whenever light from a distant star passes by a closer object, gravity acts as a kind of magnifying lens, brightening and bending distant starlight. Yet, Einstein added, 'There is no hope of observing this phenomenon directly.' Now, researchers have done just that, saying that the discovery opens a new window to understanding 'the history and evolution of galaxies such as our own.'
[Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:38:26 EDT]

High-pressure experiments solve meteorite mystery
With high-pressure experiments at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III and other facilities, a research team has solved a long standing riddle in the analysis of meteorites from Moon and Mars. The study can explain why different versions of silica can coexist in meteorites, although they normally require vastly different conditions to form. The results also mean that previous assessments of conditions at which meteorites have been formed have to be carefully re-considered.
[Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:37:36 EDT]

Jackpot! Cosmic magnifying-glass effect captures universe's brightest galaxies
Boosted by natural magnifying lenses in space, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured unique close-up views of the universe's brightest infrared galaxies, which are as much as 10,000 times more luminous than our Milky Way.
[Tue, 06 Jun 2017 15:57:22 EDT]

Mini-flares potentially jeopardize habitability of planets circling red dwarf stars
Solar flares and associated eruptions can trigger auroras on Earth or, more ominously, damage satellites and power grids. Could flares on cool, red dwarf stars cause even more havoc to orbiting planets, even rendering them uninhabitable? To help answer that question, astronomers sought to find out how many flares such stars typically unleash.
[Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:33:42 EDT]

Hubble's tale of two exoplanets: Nature vs. nurture
Is it a case of nature versus nurture when it comes to two 'cousin' exoplanets? In a unique experiment, scientists used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study two 'hot Jupiter' exoplanets. Because these planets are virtually the same size and temperature, and orbit around nearly identical stars at the same distance, the team hypothesized that their atmospheres should be alike. What they found surprised them.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:45:23 EDT]

How one man's shoes help NASA communicate water clarity issues
Scientists make precise measurements of water clarity from satellite data, but the calculations can be hard to explain to the public. Now NASA is adopting a new way -- involving white sneakers -- to communicate water clarity.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:02:49 EDT]

Collateral damage from cosmic rays increases cancer risks for Mars astronauts
The cancer risk for a human mission to Mars has effectively doubled following a study predicting a dramatic increase in the disease for astronauts traveling to the red planet or on long-term missions outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field. The new predictive model shows radiation from cosmic rays extends from damaged to otherwise healthy 'bystander' cells.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:02:46 EDT]

Dying stars give newborn black holes a swift kick, study shows
Investigators reanalyzed the merging black holes detected by LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) on Dec. 26, 2016, and drew new insights about what happens when massive stars die and transform into black holes.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:41:12 EDT]

Emergency medicine in space: Normal rules don't apply
Scientists are considering the unusual and challenging problem of how to perform emergency medical procedures during space missions.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:13:42 EDT]

A planet hotter than most stars
A newly discovered Jupiter-like world is so hot that it’s stretching the definition of the word “planet.”
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:09:26 EDT]

ALMA returns to Boomerang Nebula
A companion star crashing into a red giant star may explain the chilling power to the Boomerang Nebula.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:09:24 EDT]

Study estimates amount of water needed to carve Martian valleys
A new study calculates the amount of water needed to carve the ancient network of valleys on Mars and concludes the planet's surface was once much more watery than previously thought. The study bolsters the idea that Mars had a warmer climate and active hydrologic cycle, with water evaporating from an ancient ocean, returning to the surface as rainfall and eroding the extensive network of valleys.
[Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:53:44 EDT]

Hubble 'traps' a vermin galaxy
A new Hubble image shows a distant galaxy as it begins to align with and pass behind a star sitting nearer to us within the Milky Way.
[Fri, 02 Jun 2017 14:38:10 EDT]

Are dense star clusters the origin of the gravitational waves discovered by LIGO?
Much to their surprise, scientists are finding dozens of black holes deep within densely packed collections of stars called globular clusters.
[Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:28:53 EDT]

Cold brown dwarf discovered close to our solar system
A new citizen-science tool released earlier this year to help astronomers pinpoint new worlds lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system has already led to a discovery: a brown dwarf a little more than 100 light years away from the Sun. Just six days after the launch of the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 website, four users alerted the science team to the curious object, whose presence has since been confirmed via telescope.
[Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:28:32 EDT]

Knowledge by simplification: Scientists explore strong force
The “strong force” plays a crucial role for the existence of matter in the visible universe, scientists report. They used a method of theoretical simplification which might be applicable to heavier nuclei.
[Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:50:05 EDT]


Nasa Headlines

NASA Awards Contract for Institutional Support Services
NASA has awarded the Kennedy Space Center Institutional Support Services IV (KISS IV) contract to Apache-Logical Joint Venture of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:00 EDT]

Media Accreditation Open for Launch of NASA’s Newest Communications Satellite
Media accreditation is open for the launch of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-M. Liftoff on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is targeted for 9:02 a.m. EDT Aug. 3, at the opening of a 40-minute launch window.
[Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:37 EDT]

NASA Awards Contract for Atmospheric Trace-Gas Monitoring Mission
NASA has awarded a contract to the University of Oklahoma in Norman for a first-of-its-kind Earth science mission that will extend our nation’s lead in measuring key carbon-based greenhouse gases and vegetation health from space to advance our understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between the land, atmosphere and ocean.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:00 EDT]

NASA Opens Media Credentialing for Sept. 15 Cassini Saturn Finale
Media accreditation is now open for events around the conclusion of Cassini's mission at Saturn. The spacecraft, which has explored the ringed planet and its moons since 2004, will make a fateful plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, ending its long and discovery-rich mission.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:00 EDT]

NASA Selects Logistics Management Services Contractor
NASA has selected Lockwood Hills Federal, LLC of Herndon, Virginia, to provide institutional logistics management services for the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
[Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:42 EDT]

NASA Prepares for Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse with Live Coverage, Safety Information
For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States, and NASA is preparing to share this experience of a lifetime on Aug. 21.
[Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:00 EDT]

NASA Debuts Automated System to Streamline Technology Patent Licensing
NASA has developed a new system to streamline the way the agency licenses its technology patents, making the transfer of NASA-patented innovations to industry easier than ever before.
[Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:27 EDT]

NASA Awards Joint Operations, Integrated Systems Technology Contracts
NASA has awarded contracts to five companies for development, sustainment, and maintenance of information technology software, systems and support for the Flight Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
[Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:37 EDT]

Media Invited to Learn about NASA’s Project to Streamline Air Travel
Media are invited to watch a virtual presentation and briefing on NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Integrated Arrival / Departure / Surface Metroplex Traffic Management System at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 22.
[Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:18 EDT]

NASA Releases Kepler Survey Catalog with Hundreds of New Planet Candidates
NASA’s Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
[Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:18 EDT]