Space

Bright fireball accompanied by sonic boom over central Mexico

A bright fireball was observed and recorded over central Mexico at 06:47 UTC on May 21, 2016. The event was accompanied by a sonic boom as the meteor disintegrated in the atmosphere. Several witnesses from Mexico City, Puebla, and Tlaxcala said a green and white...

May 23, 2016

ISS makes 100 000 orbits around Earth

As it passed Earth's equator at 06:10 UTC on May 16, 2016, the International Space Station (ISS) started its 100 000th orbit around Earth. It took 17 years for ISS to reach this important milestone. During the 100 000 orbits since the first component of the...

May 17, 2016

Very bright fireball over Northeastern US, ground shaking reported

A very bright fireball was observed over the Northeastern US at around 04:50 UTC on May 17, 2016. The event lasted between 3 and 8 seconds and was accompanied by fragmentation and sonic boom. The American Meteor Society received 144 reports by 09:30 UTC. The...

May 17, 2016

X-ray observatory captures expanding debris from a stellar explosion

Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and many other telescopes astronomers are observing the debris field from supernova explosion first extensively observed and written about by Danish...

May 15, 2016

Mercury's rich topography revealed for the first time

A team of scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA have produced a first comprehensive, high-resolution topographic map of...

May 13, 2016

Flying through explosive magnetic phenomenon to understand space weather

Analyzing data obtained by four identical spacecraft that passed directly through a magnetic reconnection site on the boundary between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere, researchers have observed how this explosive physical process converts stored...

May 13, 2016

Earth's magnetic field changes mapped in detail

A group of experts utilized the data collected by the ESA's SWARM satellites to show how the magnetic field is pulsating, where it's weakening and strengthening, and how fast these changes occur. For the first time, experts have mapped both the changes...

May 11, 2016

Kepler mission announces largest collection of planets ever discovered

Kepler mission announced today it has verified 1 284 new planets – the single largest finding of planets to date. "This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler and gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star...

May 10, 2016

The 2016 Mercury transit as seen by SDO

In a rare astronomical event known as a planetary transit, Mercury passed between the Earth and the Sun on May 9, 2016. The transit occurred between roughly 11:12 and 18:42 UTC and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured it in multiple views. Each century hosts...

May 10, 2016

Rare transit of Mercury across the Sun on May 9

A rare transit of Mercury across the Sun will take place on May 9, 2016, starting at about 11:12 UTC and lasting about 7.5 hours. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only 13 or 14 times in each century. There will be one other transit of Mercury in 2019 and...

May 05, 2016

No moonlight to interfere with 2016 Eta Aquarids

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity this year on the night of May 5 and the morning of May 6. This is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak, with most of the activity seen in the...

May 04, 2016

Night sky guide for May 2016

May hosts an above average meteor shower - the Eta Aquarids - with its peak on the night of May 5 and the morning of May 6. This will also be the best time of the month to observe faint objects in the night sky because there is no moonlight to interfere. A rare...

May 01, 2016

Bright green fireball streaks across the skies of Southern California, US

A bright green fireball was recorded streaking across the skies of Southern California at 04:40 UTC on April 27, 2016 (21:40 PDT on April 26). American Meteor Society received more than 65 reports and is investigating the case. According to witness reports, the...

April 27, 2016

The comet Venus - past and present

The planet Venus presents many unresolved mysteries to planetary scientists. However, equally mysterious is Venus' extraordinary role in the world's ancient astronomies. In this Space News episode, we explore the remarkable electrical environment of Venus...

April 14, 2016

HERTS E-sail concept begins testing

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center began testing Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS) E-Sail, a concept for a potentially revolutionary propulsion system that could send spacecraft to the edge of our solar system, the heliopause, faster than...

April 13, 2016

Interstellar spacecraft within a human reach

Yuri Milner, a billionaire from Russia, announced his proposal on developing a lightweight spacecraft capable of journeying about 40 trillion km through space toward Alpha Centauri, our nearest star and it's planets, at a conference held in New York City on...

April 13, 2016

A mysterious discovery: Supermassive black holes spinning out aligned radio jets

A team of scientists from the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape in South Africa have discovered that supermassive black holes in the distant universe are spinning out radio jets in the same direction. This is the first time researchers found...

April 12, 2016