Editors' picks

Primordial plasma: Hot gas or streams of charged particles?

Complex rings, knots, and twisted streamers are often ejected from stars (and other celestial objects). The overall shape of so-called “planetary nebula” sometimes reveal gigantic, bifurcated jets emerging from the central star, indicating the beginnings of

March 27, 2015

Unexplained warm layer discovered in Venus’ atmosphere

A group of Russian, European and American scientists have found a warm layer in Venus’ atmosphere, the nature of which is still unknown. The researchers made the discovery when compiling a temperature map of the upper atmosphere on the planet’s night side ba

March 26, 2015

Total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 as seen from Svalbard, Arctic Ocean

This video of March 20, 2015 total solar eclipse was made by eclipse-chaser Nick James who was in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, for the event."The weather was perfect and the corona was amazing in a very transparent deep blue sky," James said."There were intere

March 25, 2015

United Nations urged to ensure open plant genomes

A plant scientist from The Australian National University (ANU) has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production. Dr Norman Warthmann, a plant

March 23, 2015

It is a Magnetic Universe Genius

Part one: Cosmic Accelerators Current physics cannot explain the intense galactic magnetic fields in spiral galaxies and also the source of high energy particles, both charged and neutral particles (Cosmic Rays and Neutrinos) because of the major defects in the fundamen

March 22, 2015

Rosetta makes first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made the first measurement of molecular nitrogen at a comet, providing clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko formed, the agency reports.The in situ detection of molecular nitrogen has long been

March 20, 2015

Supermoon, total solar eclipse and March equinox on March 20, 2015

​A supermoon, total solar eclipse and March equinox will all occur during March 20, 2015. The Moon will turn new at 09:36 UTC which is about 13.5 hours after reaching its closest point to our planet (lunar perigee) and will thus appear larger in size and have a larger

March 17, 2015

New desktop app with potential to increase asteroid detection now available to public

A software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge with the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers is now available to the public. The analysis of images using this algorithm showed a 15% increase in pos

March 16, 2015

Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of hydrothermal activity

Data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft provided first clear evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world

March 15, 2015

MMS spacecraft in Earth’s Orbit, preparing to study magnetic reconnection phenomenon

Following a successful launch at 02:44 UTC on March 13, 2015, NASA’s four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are now positioned in Earth’s orbit and ready to begin the first space mission dedicated to the study of a phenomenon called magnetic reconne

March 13, 2015

Active volcanoes in the world: March 4 - 10, 2015

New activity was observed at 5 volcanoes from March 4 - 10, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 11 volcanoes.New activity/unrest: Asosan, Kyushu (Japan) | Fuego, Guatemala | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Soputan, Sulawesi (Indonesia) | Villarrica, Ch

March 12, 2015

Tropical cyclones "Olwyn" and "Nathan" threatening Australia

Two tropical cyclones are currently threatening Australia, Tropical Cyclone "Olwyn" and "Nathan". While Olwyn is expected to make landfall early Friday, March 13 (local time), "Nathan" is making a cyclonic loop near the eastern coast of Que

March 11, 2015

Solar-powered plane takes off on a historic round-the-world flight

Swiss-made, 100% solar-powered airplane took off from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Monday, March 9, 2015 in a first ever attempt to fly around the world in a plane powered entirely by energy received from the Sun.On the same day, the plane successfully completed t

March 10, 2015

Mysterious Lovejoy comets

In the last few years, several of the comets discovered by astronomer Terry Lovejoy have provided astronomers on Earth with dramatic and unexpected displays.From the astonishing 2011 journey of comet c/2011 W3, which survived perihelion just 140,000 km above the Sun&rsq

March 09, 2015

Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached dwarf planet Ceres and achieved orbit around it on Friday, March 6, 2015. Dawn was approximately 61 000 km (38 000 miles) away from Ceres when it was captured by its gravity at about 12:39 UTC.Mission controllers at NASA’s Je

March 06, 2015

The end of volcanic eruption in Holuhraun (Bardarbunga), Iceland

The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun which began on August 31, 2014 came to an end on Friday, February 27, 2015, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection said on February 28 and confirmed today. The Aviation Color Code for Bardarbunga was downgraded

March 03, 2015

Jordan and Israel sign historic deal to end the shrinking of Dead Sea

Jordan and Israel signed a historic deal last week to build a pipeline that would link the Red Sea with the shrinking Dead Sea in an effort to combat regional water shortages and save the Dead Sea from drying out. The idea of linking the two bodies of water together has

March 02, 2015

Night sky guide for March 2015

With fireball season underway there are many reports of bright fireballs coming in from all over the world, the latest coming from India on February 27. The season will last until April. Total solar eclipse will occur on March 20 when the Moon will completely block the

March 01, 2015

Astronomers find newborn stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy

A team of Brazilian astronomers led by Denilso Camargo of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul have made a remarkable discovery, a cluster of stars forming on the very edge of the Milky Way galaxy. This is the first time astronomers have found stars being born

February 27, 2015

Nishino-shima has grown more than 11 times in size since eruption started, Japan

An underwater volcanic eruption in the Ogasawara Islands archipelago gave rise to a new Pacific Ocean island in late November 2013.The new island, named Niijima, was about 500 meters from Nishino-shima at the time, another volcanic island that last erupted and expaned i

February 25, 2015

Unusual comet skirting past the Sun

An unusual comet named SOHO-2875 is skirting past the Sun since February 18, 2015 and is still visible on LASCO C3 imagery. At first it appeared to be a small object about to be disintegrated by the Sun's heat, but surprisingly it emerged intact and is now brighteni

February 21, 2015

Supercomputer simulation of the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake

This simulation shows the passage of seismic waves from the M8.8 earthquake which occurred off the coast of central Chile at 06:34 UTC on February 27, 2010. It was the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded by a seismograph. Its intense shaking lasted for about three mi

February 19, 2015

Surprising red aurora captured over Manitoba, Canada

Night-sky photographer Alan Dyer captured a surprising red aurora over Churchill, Manotoba, Canada on February 14, 2015.The image below is his single, 25-second exposure at f/3.5 with the 180° fish-eye lens and Canon 6D at ISO 4000. It is part of a time-lapse sequen

February 16, 2015

New videos released in honor of SDO's 5th anniversary

February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole Sun 24 hours a day.Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massiv

February 11, 2015

ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) ready for launch and reentry mission

ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is ready for its launch and reentry mission on February 11, 2015. The launch is scheduled for 13:00 UTC atop a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Europe’s ambition for a spacecraft to ret

February 10, 2015

Sun's activity in 18th century was similar to that now

Counting sunspots over time helps in knowing the activity of our star but the two indices used by scientists disagree on dates prior to 1885. Now an international team of researchers has tried to standardise the historical results and has discovered that, contrary to wh

February 10, 2015

Recording doomed ATV's disintegration from inside

In a special experiment scheduled for February 27th, ESA and NASA are planning to record, from inside, reentry and disintegration of Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATM).Every mission of ESA’s ATV ferry ends in the same way – filled with Space Station rubbish

February 07, 2015

Landmark study links pesticides to high depression rates

Globally, one person dies by suicide roughly every 40 seconds. Around the world, over one million people commit suicide each year - an increase of 60 percent over the last four and a half decades. Incredibly, farmers have one of the highest rates of self-inflicted death

February 06, 2015

Most beautiful volcanic eruption - Sakurajima, Japan

Video below was captured by meteorologist Robert Speta of the WestPacWx during the early morning hours of February 3, 2015. Sunrise provided a reddish tint in the ash.Notice lightning at 0:18 min. Video courtesy of WestPacWxTokyo VAAC reports an explosion at 06:55 UTC t

February 04, 2015

Water levels in Lake Baikal fell to their lowest point in 60 years

Water levels in Russian Lake Baikal, world's oldest and deepest body of freshwater, fell to their lowest point in 60 years during January 2015. Authorities in Buryatia and Irkutsk regions declared a state of emergency to allow a solution to be found.During Summer an

February 02, 2015

Groundbreaking SMAP Earth observatory launched

NASA has successfully launched its groundbreaking Soil Moisture Active Passive observatory (SMAP) at 15:22 UTC today. SMAP is the first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden just beneath our feet. Its high resolution s

January 31, 2015

New climate change projections for Australia

CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released climate change projections for Australia that provide updated national and regional information on how the climate may change to the end of the 21st century.The projections are the most comprehensive ever released for Austral

January 28, 2015

Radar images of binary asteroid 2004 BL86 as it flew past Earth on January 26

Asteroid 2004 BL86, which made the closest approach to Earth on January 26, 2015 for the at least the next two centuries, is in fact a binary asteroid, meaning it has its own moon.Scientists working with NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California hav

January 27, 2015

Very high resolution satellite image of newly created Tongan island

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, a submarine volcano located about 65 km NW of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa, awakened mid-December 2014 after 5 years of sleep and started erupting from two new vents.The eruption has created a new island between the existing islands

January 26, 2015

South Pole Ice Core project - digging 40 000 years into climate history of South Pole

South Pole Ice Core (SPICE) project is a joint effort by researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Irvine to 'dig' 40 000 years into climate history at the planet's southernmost tip. The ice core will be drilled to a dep

January 22, 2015