Space

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

New solar monitoring instrument "EXIS" passes final review

EXIS, the new solar monitoring instrument that will fly aboard new NOAA's GOES-S satellite has completed its final review, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center said yesterday.The Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) Flight Model 2 instrument that will

November 14, 2014

Philae alive, sends first images from a comet 511 million km away from Earth

In a media briefing held at ESOC today, ESA confirmed "Philae" lander is alive and operational after three touchdowns on Comet 67/P, located some 511 million kilometers away from Earth. First analysis of the touchdown data suggests that the lander bounced twic

November 13, 2014

Landing success! Philae makes history with first-ever landing on a comet

ESA Operations have just confirmed - Rosetta's lander named "Philae" successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. The touch down happened about 15:34 UTC, while the confirmation signal, as expected, arrived shortly aft

November 12, 2014

Live events scheduled for first-ever landing attempt on a comet - November 11/12, 2014

After a ten-year journey through the Solar System ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014. The mission’s lander, Philae, will be deployed on Wednesday, November 12 at 08:35 UTC from a distance of 22.5 km

November 11, 2014

Siding Spring's flyby effects on Martian atmosphere revealed

Two NASA and one European spacecraft that obtained the first up-close observations of a comet flyby of Mars on October 19, 2014 have gathered new information about the basic properties of the comet’s nucleus and directly detected the effects on the Martian atmosph

November 07, 2014

Rocket experiment redefines what scientists think of as galaxies

NASA's sounding rocket experiment has detected a surprising surplus of infrared light in the dark space between galaxies, a diffuse cosmic glow as bright as all known galaxies combined. The glow is thought to be from orphaned stars flung out of galaxies. The finding

November 07, 2014

Five years of soil moisture and ocean salinity

The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) has orbited more than one billion kilometers around Earth for the past five years observing Earth's water cycle changes over the years. ESA's Earth Explorer SMOS mission was launched on November 2, 2009 from Plesetsk

November 04, 2014

Night sky guide for November 2014

It doesn't quite fit in a night sky guide, but this month might also be called "Rosetta's" month. After years of traveling through the solar system and finally reaching comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in August 2014, ESA will attempt humanity'

November 01, 2014

Partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014

The final eclipse event of 2014 occurs at the Moon's ascending node in southern Virgo on Thursday, October 23, 2014. This will be a partial solar eclipse almost exclusively visible from Canada and the USA. Except for the far northeast, a sunset eclipse will be visib

October 22, 2014

Rosetta could change science forever

Human beings around the world may be witnessing one of the most significant dramas in the modern history of the space sciences. The ESA’s Rosetta mission to the comet 67P has shattered the theoretical predictions of standard comet science.For many decades, we

October 17, 2014

LRO finds young volcanic deposits on the Moon

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) found scores of young volcanic deposits estimated to be less than 100 million years old and provided researchers with strong evidence the Moon's volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion

October 14, 2014

NuSTAR discovers first ultraluminous pulsar, impossibly bright dead star

Astronomers working with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar - the

October 10, 2014

Space fleet ready for Siding Spring's historic brush with Mars

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is scheduled for a very close flyby at only about 139 500 km (88 000 miles) away from the surface of Mars on October 19, 2014 around 18:27 UTC. That is less than half the distance between Earth and its moon and less than one-tenth the distance

October 10, 2014

Total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, October 8, 2014

he second total lunar lunar eclipse of 2014 and 2015 lunar-eclipse tetrad will occur on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, and will be visible from the Pacific Ocean and regions immediately bordering it. As the Moon passes completely through the Earth's dark shadow, or

October 06, 2014

Smallest exoplanet found to have water vapour

The smallest exoplanet (about the size of Neptune) HAT-P-11b have been discovered to have clear skies and steamy water vapors as observed by astronomers using data from three of NASA's space telescopes - Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler.John Grunsfeld, assistant administr

October 05, 2014

Comet 67P has 19 000 km long coma and Rosetta is less than 30 km from its surface

ESA has released a montage of four images of Comet 67P/C-G taken on September 26, from a distance of 26.3 km (16 miles) from the center of the comet, showing spectacular region of activity at the neck of the comet. What we’re seeing is the product of ices

October 04, 2014

Space debris or daylight meteor caught on video, Canada

A daylight meteor or falling space debris was observed and caught on tape earlier this week over Canada.Janette Casey Ewens, who owns Labyrinth Farms north of Kamloops, was in the barn yard at 6 a.m. local time on Monday, September 29, when she saw a "thing" f

October 03, 2014

Night sky guide for October 2014

A total lunar eclipse will be visible on October 8 throughout most of North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. The Moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood red color. It is the latter of two total lunar eclipses in 2014, and the second

October 01, 2014

Swift observes mega flares from a mini star

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10 000 times more powerful than

September 30, 2014