Archives

January 2019



Desperately cold weather is now gripping the Midwest and Northern Plains of the United States, as well as interior Canada. The culprit is a familiar one: the polar vortex.


A gigantic cavity -- two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall -- growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier.


Scientists have charted the environment surrounding a stellar-mass black hole that is 10 times the mass of the Sun using NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload aboard the International Space Station.


For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the solar system.


Getting a science experiment on the world's only floating outpost in Earth orbit is a costly and time-consuming endeavour. ICE Cubes is ESA's faster, lower cost answer to making science happen in space.


The latest data release from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) includes observations revealing the internal structure and composition of nearly 5,000 nearby galaxies observed during the first three years of a program called Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA).


The Expedition 58 astronauts explored time perception and tested a wearable body monitor aboard the International Space Station today.


NASA's Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on Vera Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp.


Meet Helga and Zohar, the dummies destined for a pioneering lunar flyby to help protect space travelers from cosmic rays and energetic solar storms.


The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), is releasing the second edition of data from Pan-STARRS -- the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System -- the world's largest digital sky survey.


Investigating the history of our cosmos with a large sample of distant 'active' galaxies observed by ESA's XMM-Newton, a team of astronomers found there might be more to the early expansion of the Universe than predicted by the standard model of cosmology.


A new telescope will take a sequence of hi-res snapshots with the world's largest digital camera, covering the entire visible night sky every few days -- and repeating the process for an entire decade.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite takes us along the lower reaches of the brown, sediment-rich Uruguay River.


NASA's Opportunity rover begins its 15th year on the surface of Mars today.


Black holes are known for their voracious appetites, binging on matter with such ferocity that not even light can escape once it's swallowed up.


Scientists discover what may be Earth's oldest rock in a lunar sample returned by the Apollo 14 astronauts.


The wonders - and mysteries - of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 continue to multiply as NASA's New Horizons spacecraft beams home new images of its New Year's Day 2019 flyby target.


Place names for locations on the surface of Ryugu were discussed by Division F (Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (hereafter IAU WG) and approved in December 2018.


A new Southwest Research Institute study tackles one of the greatest mysteries about Titan, one of Saturn's moons: the origin of its thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere.


The question of how quickly the universe is expanding has been bugging astronomers for almost a century. Different studies keep coming up with different answers -- which has some researchers wondering if they've overlooked a key mechanism in the machinery that drives the cosmos.


At the center of the photo, a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust.


The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short time -- around 10,000 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms.


A new method to measure the temperature of atoms during the explosive death of a star will help scientists understand the shock wave that occurs as a result of this supernova explosion.


Most scientists believe the rate at which the moon and Earth have been bombarded by meteorites has remained constant for the past two to three billion years.


Navigation software destined for the ExoMars 2020 mission to the Red Planet has passed a rover-based driving test at ESA's 'Mars Yard'.


Using new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, researchers believe they have solved a longstanding mystery of solar system science: the length of a day on Saturn. It's 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.


Including the powerful ALMA into an array of telescopes for the first time, astronomers have found that the emission from the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of our galaxy comes from a smaller region than previously thought.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Gangotri, one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas and one of the main sources of water for the Ganges River.


Using images and thermal data collected by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Southwest Research Institute scientists and their collaborators have calculated the ages of large lunar craters across the Moon to be less than 1 billion years.


The rings of Saturn may be iconic, but there was a time when the majestic gas giant existed without its distinctive halo.


The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft begins its departure from the International Space Station moments after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm.


This analysis confirms the existence of a jet emerging from the nucleus of the star, producing the GRB, and adds a new component to the picture


The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the brightest quasar ever seen in the early Universe.


This movie shows the propeller-like rotation of Ultima Thule in the seven hours between 20:00 UT (3 p.m. ET) on Dec. 31, 2018, and 05:01 UT (12:01 a.m.) on Jan. 1, 2019, as seen by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons as the spacecraft sped toward its close encounter with the Kuiper Belt object at 05:33 UT (12:33 a.m. ET) on Jan. 1.


A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash.


Saturn's moon Titan is enveloped in a thick atmosphere, but through the infrared eyes of the international Cassini mission, the moon's myriad surface features are revealed in this exquisite global mosaic.


South Africa's Western Cape often falls victim to fires during the dry hot summer months.


New research led by an astronomer at the University of Warwick has found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disk to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars.


A panorama taken by the Chang'e-4 lander of itself, the Yutu-2 rover, and the surrounding lunar terrain on the far side of the Moon has been released.


A Japanese research group has identified a giant streak structure among the clouds covering planet Venus based on observation from the spacecraft Akatsuki.


This Proba-V view shows all that is left of the Aral Sea, once one of the four largest lakes in the world and now one of the world's major ecological disaster areas. It has shrunk into separate lakes, surrounded by Earth's youngest desert.


A Canadian-led team of scientists has found the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded.


It looks like something out of a science fiction movie but it's reality. SpaceX has released a series of images for its upcoming, and first, Crew Dragon spacecraft mission as it was moved to the launchpad.


Scientists have charted the environment surrounding a stellar-mass black hole that is 10 times the mass of the Sun using NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload aboard the International Space Station.


In a new Caltech-led study, researchers from campus and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have analyzed pulses of radio waves coming from a magnetar -- a rotating, dense, dead star with a strong magnetic field -- that is located near the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.


Data captured by ESA's galaxy-mapping spacecraft Gaia has revealed for the first time how white dwarfs, the dead remnants of stars like our Sun, turn into solid spheres as the hot gas inside them cools down.


When ESA's planned Hera mission journeys to its target binary asteroid system, it will not be alone.


Astronomers have found a new exoplanet that could alter the standing theory of planet formation. With a mass that's between that of Neptune and Saturn, and its location beyond the "snow line" of its host star, an alien world of this scale was supposed to be rare.


Astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have announced that they have developed a new tool to find otherwise-hidden galaxy mergers in data from the Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) survey of SDSS.


NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has found three confirmed exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system, in its first three months of observations.


Sayram Lake is pictured in northwest China near the border with Kazakhstan as the International Space Station orbited 253 miles above the Asian continent.


NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system, scientists announced this week at the annual American Astronomical Society winter meeting in Seattle.


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope brings the vastness of space into perspective in this mosaic image of the Triangulum galaxy (M33), our neighbor in a collection of dozens of galaxies called the Local Group.


An Expedition 57 crew member photographed the desert coast of Mauritania on the Atlantic Ocean near the border with Western Sahara on the African continent.


Fresh food is so attractive to astronauts that they toasted with salad when they were able to cultivate a few lettuce heads on the International Space Station three years ago.


There are more than 3,900 confirmed planets beyond our solar system. Most of them have been detected because of their "transits" -- instances when a planet crosses its star, momentarily blocking its light.


New research led by astrophysicists at Durham University, UK, predicts that the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) could hit the Milky Way in two billion years' time.


The Senegal River valley that marks the border between the Atlantic coast nations of Senegal and Mauritania is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 252 miles above the African continent.


Scientists have found evidence that dark matter can be heated up and moved around, as a result of star formation in galaxies.


Data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which explored Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule earlier this week, is yielding scientific discoveries daily.


Rice University physicists have created the world's first laser-cooled neutral plasma, completing a 20-year quest that sets the stage for simulators that re-create exotic states of matter found inside Jupiter and white dwarf stars.


China landed Chang'e-4 inside of Von Karman crater on the far side of the Moon 10:26 a.m. BJT Thursday.


Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored -- the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule.


NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system.