Archives

February 2017



There's a new record holder for brightest pulsar ever found -- and astronomers are still trying to figure out how it can shine so brightly. It's now part of a small group of mysterious bright pulsars that are challenging astronomers to rethink how pulsars accumulate, or accrete, material.


Thomas Pesquet: The Cape of Good Hope, aptly named, one of Africa's most southern points! Crossing it with a space station is certainly not comparable to doing so sailing


The Expedition 50 crew began activating new science experiments delivered last week aboard the SpaceX Dragon. The various life science studies will study bones and muscles, stem cells, botany and protein crystals.


On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet's landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today. Studies using both a NASA orbiter and a rover reveal its effects on scales grand to tiny on the strangely structured landscapes within Gale Crater.


Traveling about 250 miles over the south Pacific, the unpiloted Progress 66 Russian cargo ship docked at 3:30 a.m. EST to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.


Evidence of planetary debris surrounding a double sun, 'Tatooine-like' system has been found for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers.


The robotics workstation inside the station's Cupola module is seen prior to the robotic capture of SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft.


Thomas Pesquet I don't have a green thumb, but I know someone who does! Peggy was growing lettuce in Columbus for the VEGGIE experiment.


Thomas Pesquet: The Aswan dam: a site that is practically.. pharaonic ;)


A team of researchers has succeeded in measuring the brightnesses and temperatures of Saturn's rings using the mid-infrared images taken by the Subaru Telescope in 2008.


Mars' mantle may be more complicated than previously thought. In a new study published today in the Nature-affiliated journal Scientific Reports, researchers at LSU document geochemical changes over time in the lava flows of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province.


NASA held a news conference Feb. 22 at the agency's headquarters to discuss the finding by the agency's Spitzer Space Telescope of seven Earth-sized planets around a tiny, relatively nearby, ultra-cool dwarf star.


California has seen some heavy rains recently after years of drought, filling many of the state's reservoirs. The rising waters are evident in this radar image from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission over part of the San Joaquin Valley.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:12 a.m. EST. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened this afternoon. The capsule will spend about four weeks attached to the station.


NASA held a hastily-arranged 30 minute media briefing this afternoon on the surprise plan to put a crew on the very first SLS mission.This plan was semi-officially announced last week.


Three decades ago, a massive stellar explosion sent shockwaves not only through space but also through the astronomical community.


Astronomers have found an enormous, glowing blob of gas in the distant universe, with no obvious source of power for the light it is emitting.


NASA and SpaceX flight controllers in Houston and Hawthorne, California are reworking plans for the arrival Thursday of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft after its rendezvous to the International Space Station was aborted early Wednesday morning. The Dragon's computers received an incorrect navigational update, triggering an automatic wave off.


Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the Sun.


Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. Using ground and space telescopes, including ESO's Very Large Telescope, the planets were all detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the ultracool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1.


The unpiloted Russian Progress 66 launched at 12:58 a.m. Wednesday (11:58 a.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is now orbiting the planet on course for the International Space Station.


A mission to examine the habitability of Jupiter's ocean-bearing moon Europa is taking one step closer to the launchpad, with the recent completion of a major NASA review.


Almost all the light we see in the universe comes from stars which form inside dense clouds of gas in the interstellar medium.


In the year 2000 the first of a new class of distant solar system objects was discovered, orbiting the Sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune: the "extreme trans Neptunian objects (ETNOs).


New planetary formation models from Carnegie's Alan Boss indicate that there may be an undiscovered population of gas giant planets orbiting around Sun-like stars at distances similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn.


It will be announced tomorrow by NASA that Michael Gillon et al have confirmed 4 more Earth-sized planets circling TRAPPIST-1 in addition to 3 already discovered.


SpaceX launched the CRS-10 mission on time this morning at 9:39 am ET from historic LC39A. The Dragon is in orbit and heading toward the ISS while the Falcon 9's first stage made yet another pinpoint anding back at its landing site in Florida.


NASA has selected 34 small satellites from 19 states and the District of Columbia to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard missions planned to launch in 2018, 2019 and 2020.


NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission.


The first Electron rocket, "It's a Test", has arrived at Rocket Lab's Launch Mahia Peninsula Launch Complex 1 on the North Island of New Zealand in preparation for it's maiden test flight.


Three Expedition 50 crew members practiced today the robotic capture of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship when it arrives at the International Space Station two days after its launch. A humanoid robot, better known as Robonaut, had its power supply checked out during a full day of troubleshooting.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over the Ötztal Alps in the western Austrian state of Tyrol in this image from 16 October 2016.


Researchers have completed the first flights of a NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists' understanding of Earth's water resources: snow.


Thus began a hunt for clues that has turned out to be Cassini's most riveting detective story.


The distribution of normal matter precisely determines gravitational acceleration in all common types of galaxies, a team led by Case Western Reserve University researchers reports.


NASA's Dawn spacecraft recently detected organic-rich areas on Ceres.


The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for the upcoming SpaceX CRS-10 mission to resupply the International Space Station. Commander Shane Kimbrough checked out SpaceX communications gear today so the astronauts can monitor the approach and rendezvous of the Dragon cargo craft.


Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWatch appeared tonight in a PBS NewsHour segment titled "How scientists are scrambling to safeguard vital environmental data".


NASA is inviting the public to help search for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space.


NASA's Kepler observatory should be able to detect planetary moons - yet to be discovered - formed by far-away planetary collisions outside our Solar System, research by Amy Barr of the Planetary Science Institute shows.


NASA Johnson Space Center, in partnership with NASA Tournament Lab and online crowdsourcing platform HeroX, today announced three winners of the widely publicized Space Poop Challenge.


Though not visible to the naked eye or even with binoculars, the green-tailed Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova (HMP) did not escape the gaze of the world-renowned Arecibo Observatory.


Daphnis, one of Saturn's ring-embedded moons, is featured in this view, kicking up waves as it orbits within the Keeler gap.


The International Space Station is continuing to receive software updates to improve its spacecraft communications and navigation systems. Meanwhile, the astronauts today are setting up new life science gear and testing the docking ability of tiny internal satellites.


In its thirty ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites today morning (February 15, 2017) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.


Thomas Pesquet: The Taranaki volcano in New Zealand is a perfect round emerging from the green forest. They say it looks like Mount Fuji in Japan, I hope to capture Mount Fuji too one day.


Thought your Internet speeds were slow? Try being a space scientist for a day. The vast distances involved will throttle data rates to a trickle. You're lucky if a spacecraft can send more than a few megabits per second (Mbps) -- a pittance even by dial-up standards.


Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious.


The Expedition 50 crew is getting the International Space Station ready for new experiments that will be delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon resupply mission. The station is also receiving a software update for its navigation and control systems.


Mt. Erebus is at the end of our world -- and offers a portal to another.


An international team of astronomers released the largest-ever compilation of exoplanet-detecting observations made using a technique called the radial velocity method.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The Expedition 50 crew is gearing up for three different spaceships in two months to resupply the International Space Station. The crew also worked today on a variety of research hardware and practiced an emergency drill.


Composite image of Tropical Cyclone Carlos near Madagascar, from 06:00 UTC on Tuesday 7 February 2017.


Shane Kimbrough @astro_kimbrough Striking beauty of the Bahamas!


According to Alphonse Swinehart via Vimeo "In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it's unfortunately very slow."


The Andromeda constellation is one of the 88 modern constellations and should not be confused with our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. The Andromeda constellation is home to the pictured galaxy known as NGC 7640.


Thomas Pesquet: One of the beautiful Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean.


The Expedition 50 crew trained today for the robotic capture of the SpaceX Dragon and studied how the brain adapts to living in space. Three crew members also conducted an emergency drill aboard the International Space Station.


Part of the Italian island of Sicily is pictured in this false-colour image from the Sentinel-2A satellite.


On Feb. 9, 2017, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, known as MMS, began a three-month long journey into a new orbit.


Scientists from MIT and their colleagues have estimated the lifetime of the solar nebula -- a key stage during which much of the solar system evolution took shape.


Scientists using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed, for the first time, a massive, comet-like object that has been ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf.


Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign last March, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland's ice sheet is melting from below.


This enhanced-color image of Jupiter's south pole and its swirling atmosphere was created by citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft.


At an international workshop this week about where NASA's next Mars rover should land, most of the information comes from a prolific spacecraft that's been orbiting Mars since 2006.


A team of scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland recently completed a technology demonstration that could enable new scientific missions to the surface of Venus.


A report on the potential science value of a lander on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa has been delivered to NASA, and the agency is now engaging the broader science community to open a discussion about its findings.


A new high-definition Earth observation video camera will be installed on the outside of Japan's Kibo lab module later this week. The Expedition 50 crew is also getting the International Space Station ready for the next SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.


A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade, according to research led by the University of New Hampshire.


A new opportunity or university teams to participate in ESA's Fly Your Satellite! programme is now available. The call for proposals is open until 5 March 2017 23:59 CEST. For more information please visit the FYS! website.


An exotic binary star system 380 light-years away has been identified as an elusive white dwarf pulsar -- the first of its kind ever to be discovered in the universe -- thanks to research by the University of Warwick.


Japan's Kounotori, or "White Stork," HTV-6 resupply ship completed its mission Sunday morning just over a week after its release from the International Space Station. The HTV-6 fired its engines for the last time sending it into Earth's atmosphere for a fiery demise over the southern Pacific Ocean.


An international science team says NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has observed high-energy light from solar eruptions located on the far side of the sun, which should block direct light from these events.