Night sky guide for December 2015

December 2015 will feature three meteor showers: the Geminids, the Puppid-Velids and the Ursids. The Geminid meteor shower is popularly known as the "king of meteor showers". This year, it is expected to produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak, which wi

December 01, 2015

Scientists get unique chance to study black hole eating a star

A team of astrophysics led by a Johns Hopkins University (JHU) scientist has for the first time witnessed a black hole swallowing a star and ejecting a flare of matter moving nearly the speed of light (about 300,000 km/s). The finding tracks the star, which is about the

November 29, 2015

FireSat - the ultimate orbital global wildfire coverage

The detection of wildfires is the first step in combating them, so it is crucial to people's lives and property to be able to respond to them as quickly as possible. For this reason, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California is putting a lot of effort in a

November 28, 2015

Earth surrounded by dense, hairy filaments of dark matter

A new research, conducted by scientists of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, suggests that Earth is surrounded by long, 'hairy' filaments of dark matter. Theoretically, the hairy filaments, if detected could be used to map out the inn

November 24, 2015

STEREO-A solar observatory resumes normal operations

As of November 17, NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft (Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory Ahead), has once again resumed its science operations and began transmitting data at its full rate. For the previous year, STEREO-A was transmitting only a weak signal, or o

November 19, 2015

Astronomers create the first weather map of a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet

For the first time, astronomers have actually mapped the weather of an exoplanet beyond our Solar System. Astronomers have found that gas giant HD 189733b has winds swirling at 8690 km/h (5400 mph). This is due to the planets extremely close orbit around its host star.

November 18, 2015

Small asteroid makes a close Earth flyby at 0.09 LD

A small asteroid discovered on November 14, 2015, made a close flyby to Earth only a couple of hours after it was observed. The asteroid named 2015 VY105 came as close to our planet as an average geostationary satellite. However, good news is that 2015 VY105 was so smal

November 16, 2015

Annual Leonid meteor shower peaks this week

As we approach the end of the year, it is time to welcome the annual Leonid meteor shower. This shower is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle and is considered to be one of the most beautiful meteor showers in existence. This year, the Leonid meteor shower is expect

November 16, 2015

Mars' moon Phobos is slowly disintegrating

The long shallow grooves on Phobos are likely early signs of structural damage. Scientists now believe that Phobos is not solid but instead is a pile of rubble covered by a thick layer of dust which makes it look solid. Scientists expect the moon to be pulled apart in

November 14, 2015

New coronagraph design to be tested in an upcoming CubeSat mission

A team of scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center plan to send a ball sized spherical titanium occulter to study the Sun's corona. This mission is expected to help scientists understand Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) much more clearly. The spherical

November 14, 2015

New Earth-like exoplanet discovered, only 39 light years away

Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet in our stellar neighborhood, only 39 light years from Earth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on November 11, 2015. The planet shows no signs of being capable of hosting any life, however it is the closest Earth-

November 13, 2015

Astronomers discover the farthest planetoid in the Solar System

Astronomers have spotted a dwarf planet which is three times farther away than Pluto. This makes it the farthest object discovered in the Solar System. Once its orbit is ascertained, planetoid V774104 may teach researchers a lot about the early Solar System.The

November 12, 2015

Study of gamma ray burst may change our understanding of how stars are formed

A group of researchers observing a specific gamma ray burst (GRB) have found that its probable host galaxy is almost entirely deficient in molecular gas. Molecular gas has long been considered to be the main raw material used in the formation of stars. The current

November 12, 2015

Galileo satellites to begin testing Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

An improper launch of ESA's Galileo 5 and 6 satellites on August 22, 2014 has given ESA's researchers an opportunity to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. In a year long experiment, researchers will make use of the atomic clock onboard the

November 10, 2015

Indian astronomers detect a gigantic radio galaxy, one of the largest discovered so far

Astronomers from Pune, India have discovered a massive radio galaxy using the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT). Such large radio galaxies have been rarely located so far. The galaxy is located approximately 9 billion light years away from Earth in the

November 10, 2015

New Horizons recent Pluto flyby yields numerous exciting discoveries

NASA's New Horizons science team gathered on the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland, taking place from November 8 to 13, 2015, to discuss numerous exciting discoveries that orig

November 09, 2015

MAVEN data reveals solar wind emptied Mars' atmosphere, left behind a dry planet

Data from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has allowed researchers to understand the drastic transformation in the Martian environment - from a wet, warm climate which may have supported life to the cold and dry planet that it has become

November 06, 2015

China to enter 'big league' with the launch of 4 research satellites

China will launch 4 scientific satellites which will engage in a series of experiments and research related to dark matter, quantum physics, microgravity, fluid physics and black holes among other fields. The satellites are being developed in a joint effort by various C

November 06, 2015

New radar images of the 'spooky' 2015 TB145 asteroid

The 'spooky' 2015 TB145 asteroid has made a safe pass trough Earth's neigborhood on October 31, 2015, and scientist were able to obtain new high resolution radar images of its surface, quite distinct to the first images provided by the Arecibo radar on

November 05, 2015

Large fireball lights up Thailand sky

A large fireball was observed over Thailand at 13:56 UTC (20:56 local time) on November 2, 2015 and caputred on numerous dashcams. The Thai Astronomical Society said shortly after the event that it was "expected" to be a meteor. Video credit RT (courtesy of Vo

November 03, 2015

Scientists call for serious study of UFO phenomenon

The very mention of the word UFO still manages to provoke strong reactions from everyone. A couple of decades ago, people who believed in extraterrestrial life and UFOs were socially derided, considered conspiracy theorists at best and mentally challenged loons at worst

November 03, 2015

15 years of continuous habitation aboard the ISS

Today, November 2, 2015 marks 15 years of continuous habitation aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Expedition 1, the first station crew, docked on November 2, 2000 after launching two days earlier inside the Russian Soyuz TM-31 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmod

November 02, 2015

Night sky guide for November 2015

Out of two meteor showers scheduled for November - Taurids and Leonids - only the second one should offer a good show, with about 15 meteors per hour on November 17/18. All but the brightest Taurids, expected to peak on the night of November 5, will be blocked out by th

November 01, 2015

Black hole experiences massive X-ray flare

Black holes have always been one of the most mysterious and awe inspiring objects in space. Astronomers have known for some time that black holes periodically emit very powerful flares into space. New observations from NASA's Explorer missions Swift and the Nuclear

November 01, 2015

First raw image from Enceladus' October 28 flyby now available

First image of Saturn's moon Enceladus has been received from the Cassini spacecraft, NASA reported on October 30, 2015.NASA's Cassini spacecraft was scheduled to perform its deepest-ever dive through the icy plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus on October 28. T

October 31, 2015

Rosetta detects large amounts of pure oxygen emitting from Comet 67P

Researchers led by Andre Bieler from the University of Michigan have found a large amount of molecular oxygen (O2) is being released by the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Pure molecular oxygen is extremely rare in the universe and this discovery has extremely im

October 30, 2015

Russia's manned Moon mission set for 2029 launch

Over 45 years after losing the space race to the United States, Russia has finally announced its own manned Moon mission which is set to be launched in 2029. The mission will be preceded by multiple unmanned missions which will include orbiters and landers and will stud

October 30, 2015

The first age map of the Milky Way's halo produced

An international team of scientists, lead by Galactic Archaeology group of the University of Notre Dame, France, has managed to produce the first chronographic age map of the Milky Way's halo using a sample of stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Scientists led

October 29, 2015

Evidence of continuous supply of newly formed stars into the central Milky Way region

A previously unknown part of the Milky Way galaxy has been uncovered by using the VISTA telescope of European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Paranal Observatory. The newly discovered component contains a disk of young stars lurking behind a thick cloud of dust in the

October 29, 2015

Space debris expected to provide spectacular show on November 13

An unusual object discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in 2013 is expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere on November 13, 2015. The object, suspected to be of man-made origin, most likely a rocket body, will put on a spectacular show while passing through the atmo

October 28, 2015

Comet Lovejoy lives up to its name, releases alcohol and sugar into space

A group of researchers have found that comet Lovejoy is emitting ethyl alcohol and sugar as it traverses through space. Their discovery adds evidence to the theory that comets may have "seeded" Earth with complex organic molecules which led to the emergence of

October 28, 2015

ESA's JUICE set to explore Jupiter's mysterious moons

​Astronomers have always been fascinated by the gas giant Jupiter. A planet over 1000 times the size of Earth with 63 natural moons, 4 of whom are nearly as big as planets themselves, Jupiter and its moons are considered to be a mini solar system and are popularly kno

October 27, 2015

Cassini to perform the deepest-ever dive through the plume of Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to perform the deepest-ever dive through the icy plume of Saturn's moon Enceladus on October 28, 2015. The scientists involved in the project are hoping this dive will provide new insights into the moon's ocean environm

October 27, 2015

Halloween treat: Asteroid 2015 TB145 to flyby Earth at 1.3 LD on October 31

The newly discovered asteroid 2015 TB145 will flyby our planet at the closest approach distance of about 1.3 lunar distances at 17:05 UTC on October 31, 2015. NASA's scientists are closely monitoring the asteroid, dubbed the 'Halloween asteroid', with numero

October 27, 2015

Kepler confirms white dwarfs feed off remnant planets or planet-like bodies

A group of scientists led by Andrew Vanderburg has used the repurposed Kepler space telescope to record evidence of a small planetoid being disintegrated bit by bit as it revolves around a dense white dwarf star. The discovery validates the popular theory that white dwa

October 27, 2015