Space

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

Swarm of scientific microprobes to the clouds of Jupiter in 2030

A swarm of tiny probes each equipped with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere, according to a recently presented concept in International Journal of Space Scie

January 26, 2015

67P - The violent birth of a comet

The electric comet idea forces us to consult the astronomical testimony of our earlier forebears, where independent accounts, told with different words and different symbols in different parts of the world, convey a story of planetary catastrophe. Watch Update #1: The R

January 23, 2015

Slow-moving daylight fireball recorded over Houston, US

A slow-moving daylight fireball was seen over Houston skies (Texas, US) late Sunday, January 18, 2015 and recorded by Jordan Sterling. The sighting raised a lot of questions after images and videos started appearing on social media, KHOU 11 News reports. Patricia Reiff,

January 21, 2015

Fast radio burst from a distant source captured in real-time

A short, sharp flash of radio waves from a mysterious source up to 5.5 billion light years from Earth has been detected in real-time by CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope in eastern Australia. Swinburne University of Technology PhD student, Emily Petroff,

January 19, 2015

Asteroid 2004 BL86 to safely flyby Earth on January 26

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will flyby our planet at a safe distance of approximately 1.2 million km (745 000 miles) at 16:20 UTC on January 26, 2015. This is about three times the distance of Earth to the Moon. Based on its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that this a

January 16, 2015

A yearlong look at asteroids and comets by NEOWISE

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer or NEOWISE spacecraft, a space telescope that scans the skies for asteroids and comets, discovered and characterized 40 near-Earth objects (NEOs) in the first year after the mission was re-started in December

January 16, 2015

Hubble captures the Pillars of Creation twenty years on

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured many breathtaking images of the Universe, but one snapshot stands out from the rest: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.In 1995 Hubble’s iconic image revealed never-before-seen details in the giant columns

January 11, 2015

Moon's phase and libration at hourly intervals throughout 2015

These visualizations show the Moon's phase and libration at hourly intervals throughout 2015, as viewed from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.Each frame represents one hour. In addition, the visualizations show the Moon's orbit position, sub-Earth and s

January 11, 2015

NASA observatories take an unprecedented look into superstar Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10 000 light-years of Earth, is known for its surprising behavior, erupting twice in the 19th century for reasons scientists still don't understand.A long-term study led by astronomers at NASA's Go

January 09, 2015

Extremely bright fireball recorded over Bucharest, Romania

A bright light followed by a loud noise was recorded over Romanian sky at 01:05 UTC on January 7, 2015 (03:05 local time). The event was observed mainly in the southeastern area of the country and recorded by surveillance cameras in several cities.Based on the data corr

January 09, 2015

Huge new astronomy database now available to the public

Penn State University astronomers are among the scientists of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who this week are releasing to the public a massive collection of new information about the universe. "This set of observations is one of the largest astronomical data

January 09, 2015

'Assassin' targets supernovae in our neighborhood of the universe

While many astronomical collaborations use powerful telescopes to target individual objects in the distant universe, a new project at The Ohio State University is doing something radically different: using small telescopes to study a growing portion of the nearby univer

January 08, 2015

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) makes closest approach to Earth

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), a long-period comet discovered by Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy on August 17, 2014, is making closest approach to our planet today, at some 70 million kilometers (43.5 million miles / 0.469 AU) away.This comet is now a naked eye object a

January 07, 2015

Hubble captures the sharpest ever view of neighbouring Andromeda galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest and biggest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy, known as Messier 31. The enormous image is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a

January 06, 2015

Chandra detects record-breaking outburst from the center of our galaxy

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have caught the largest X-ray flare ever detected from what is believed to be a supermassive black hole at the center the Milky Way, also known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).The event was 400 times brighter than the us

January 06, 2015

Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on January 3rd and 4th

Quadrantids are considered to be one of the best annual meteor showers, known for their bright fireball meteors - larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak.This year, they peak on the night of January 3rd and the morning

January 03, 2015

Night sky guide for January 2015

As far as the meteor showers are concerned the year starts with an above average Quadrantids, unfortunately the nearly full moon will block out most of the show. Quadrantids will peak this year on the night of January 3rd and the morning of 4th.Brilliant comet C/2014 Q2

January 01, 2015

First global maps from Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2)

The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission show elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning and hint at potential surprises to come.A glo

December 20, 2014

Asteroid impact exercise - preparing for an asteroid impact

In ESA's first-ever asteroid impact exercise, the agency and European disaster response offices recently rehearsed how to react if a threatening space rock is ever discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. They went through a countdown to an impact, practic

December 18, 2014

Curiosity rover finds active, ancient organic chemistry on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill."This temporary increase in meth

December 18, 2014

Rosetta Mission Update - Comets may not be what we thought

The Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Perhaps the strangest solar system object ever observed up close in the course of the space age. It was the target of the Rosetta probe, whose 10-year journey began in March 2004, under the sponsorship of the European Space Agency.Th

December 15, 2014

MAVEN identifies links in chain leading to atmospheric loss

Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. The findings are among the first returns from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) missio

December 15, 2014

Geminids - the king of meteor showers peaks this weekend

Geminid meteor shower, the king of meteor showers, peaks during the night and early morning hours of December 13 and 14 as our planet passes through a debris field left by asteroid, or a possible "rock comet", named 3200 Phaethon.Geminids are considered by man

December 13, 2014

Near-Earth asteroid 2014 UR116 represents no impact threat to our planet

A recently discovered Near-Earth Asteroid designated "2014 UR116" does not represent an impact threat to our planet, as some media reports claim, NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office said in a press release yesterday. "While this approximately 400-

December 09, 2014

New Horizons wakes up for historic Pluto encounter

New Horizons woke up from hibernation on December 6, 2014 after a 4.8 billion km voyage (3 billion miles) and almost nine years after launch. The spacecraft is now preparing for a six-month encounter with Pluto that begins in January 2015. This mission will complete

December 08, 2014

Remarkably weak solar activity and intensifying cosmic rays preclude deep space human exploration?

Dr. Tony Phillips, author of SpaceWeather.com, brought our attention to a very interesting research article published recently in AGU's journal "Space Weather". The article is titled "Does the worsening galactic cosmic radiation environment observed b

December 07, 2014

NASA’s new Orion spacecraft completes first spaceflight test

NASA marked a major milestone today on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years.“Today’s flight test of Orion is a huge step

December 05, 2014

Night sky guide for December 2014

The first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year, however, the bright moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. Geminids, the king of the meteor showers, peak on December 13. They will be blocked out by waning gibbous moon to som

December 01, 2014

Van Allen probes spot an impenetrable barrier in space

Van Allen radiation belts have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.The Van Allen belts are a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth’s magnetic field. They

November 28, 2014

Mysterious massive flash over Russia’s Urals

A massive bright orange flash has lit up the sky over Russia's Sverdlovsk region in the Urals on November 14, 2014 at 13:39 UTC (18:39 local time). Videos of this "mysterious" explosion, which happened close to last year's Chelyabinsk event, have surfa

November 19, 2014

High-resolution geological map of asteroid Vesta published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail. These maps are included with a series of 11 scientific papers publish

November 18, 2014

Leonid meteor shower peaks tonight

Leonid meteor shower peaks during the night and early morning hours of November 17 and 18. Waning-crescent moon is favorable for this year's Leonids peak and will provide dark enough skies for night sky watchers. Leonids will radiate from the constelation Leo, but c

November 17, 2014

Philae completes it primary mission before hibernation

Rosetta's lander Philae has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ESA proudly announced today. With its batteries now depleted and without enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into

November 15, 2014

Newly released map shows frequency of small asteroid impacts

A map released yesterday by NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program reveals that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere with random distribution around the globe. Released to the scientific community, the map visua

November 15, 2014