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News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Gravbox: The augmented-reality sandbox that helps users visualize gravity

University of Iowa undergraduate students have designed and built an augmented-reality sandbox — dubbed Gravbox — that helps users visualize how variations in gravity can affect moving objects. Though similar augmented-reality (AR) sandbo...

Mapping the cosmos with Cepheid stars

Cepheid variable stars are a vital rung on the “ladder” astronomers use to determine the distance to astronomical objects. These pulsating stars, which change in brightness as they also change in physical size over time, allowed Edwin Hub...
Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Hypatia stone’s composition leaves researchers questioning where and how it formed

It’s common for researchers to conduct a mineral analysis on a suspected meteorite, dissecting and identifying its compounds to determine what it is and where it came from. The process is usually done with ease, and generally gives researchers ...

El Gordo: the galaxy cluster with a mass of 3 million billion Suns

Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 recently captured a photo of the mammoth galaxy cluster known as ACT-CLJ0102-4915. When it comes to X-ray clusters in the far off universe, this one is the brightest, hottest, and largest w...
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oddly behaving star reveals a black hole hiding in a globular cluster, a first

The word globule isn’t the most appealing term. Maybe this is why globular clusters don’t get as much press as they deserve. These dense collections of ancient stars numbering in the tens of thousands are home to some of the oldest stars ...

Counting starspots

Small dark regions on the Sun have helped solar scientists learn more about our closest star for centuries. But while picking out sunspots is reasonably easy on our Sun, identifying them on Sun-like stars lying light-years away can be a challenge. No...
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A black hole’s “double burp” shows its behavior over time

Supermassive black holes reside at the center of most, if not all, massive (and possibly low-mass) galaxies. They range in size from millions to billions of solar masses, and they can eat voraciously or not at all, depending on their surroundings. Bu...
Monday, January 15, 2018

Future spacecraft can use pulsars to navigate completely autonomously

Although it’s possible for space missions to communicate data with Earth, the process is anything but fast. Voyager 1, for example, takes about 19 hours to send a signal back to Earth, and that lag only increases as the spacecraft gets further ...
Friday, January 12, 2018

NASA images the most distant galaxy ever resolved

With the help of advanced telescopes and gravitational glasses, NASA captured an image of SPT0615-JD, the most distant galaxy ever caught on camera. This ancient galaxy was already around when the infant universe was just 500 million years old. Altho...
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Massive, deep deposits of ice found on Mars

Despite the fact that Mars has an atmosphere just 1% as dense as Earth’s, the surface of the Red Planet still has to deal with plenty of weathering and erosion. In 2008, researchers even captured a full-scale avalanche on Mars as it plunged dow...

NASA’s Alaskan rockets to study galactic X-ray emission and more

University researchers and NASA scientists will soon head to Alaska’s Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) to launch a series of four rockets designed to measure space’s X-ray emissions and to study how our upper atmosphere is impacted by add...
Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Dragon set to shuttle supplies back from ISS

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will return from the International Space Station (ISS) on January 13 after dropping off over 4,800 pounds (2,177 kilograms) of scientific material and supplies. Flight controllers have scheduled the spacecraft to de...
Monday, January 08, 2018

Space causes astronauts to run hot

A great amount of time and effort is spent ensuring the mental and physical well-being of astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and new research shows that increased body temperature is another factor to consider when evaluating as...
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