A satellite revolution in oceanography

Plymouth is one of England’s historic port cities, a place from which sailors, soldiers and scientists have set off to sea for centuries. Today there’s a new twist to the tale though, as oceanographers now have a huge fleet of satellites in space to add to t

April 27, 2015

Mars might have liquid water

Researchers have long known that there was water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate

April 22, 2015

Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 23, 2015

Lyrid meteor shower will reach its maximum activity this year on the morning of April 23, 2015. The Moon will be 5 days old at the time, and so will present minimal interference. Lyrid meteors are known for their luminous dust trains observable for several seconds.The p

April 21, 2015

Gamma-ray spectrometer prompts researchers to rethink how Mercury formed

A versatile instrument developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and riding on the first spacecraft to ever orbit Mercury is causing researchers to rethink their theories on the planet’s formation.Known as the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer,

April 19, 2015

Scientists identify missing wave near Jupiter’s equator

In the clouds of Jupiter, scientists have found evidence of a type of atmospheric wave that had long been proposed but had not been identified in images before now.Researchers consider this kind of wave, called a Kelvin wave, a fundamental part of a planetary atmosphere

April 19, 2015

Dawn's new Ceres color map reveals surface diversity

A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March 2015, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body, Dawn

April 14, 2015

Does gravity alone rule the cosmos?

For nearly three years we have reported on countless discoveries that challenge the foundations of modern cosmology and astrophysics. Today we routinely hear of celestial objects ranging in scale from stars, galaxies and quasar groups that should not exist if the standa

April 12, 2015

Daylight fireball explodes over Kosice, Slovakia

A bright meteor was observed and recorded over eastern Slovakia on April 6, 2015. The event happened around 16:30 UTC (18:30 local time).One video of the meteor was taken from a car in the Hungarian town of Rakospalota, and another in a second car in the Slovak city of

April 11, 2015

Are bright spots on Ceres electric?

In March, the NASA Dawn Spacecraft entered the orbit of the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres, with the craft scheduled to begin sending images to Earth later this month.For several weeks, surprising and unexplained bright spots within a crater on the planet’s surface

April 08, 2015

Total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015

A total lunar eclipse will occur on April 4, 2015. This is the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century and third of four total lunar eclipses separated by approximately 6 months, a rare phenomenon astronomers call a 'tetrad.' The first two were on April 15 a

April 03, 2015

The electrochemistry of Comets with Dr. Franklin Anariba

It is a great paradox in comet science: We are told that a comet nucleus is a ball of ice, or dirty snowball, or icy fluff ball that accreted billions of year ago in the solar system’s infancy. Comets are said to sublimate ices as they move toward the sun, and

April 01, 2015

Night sky guide for April 2015

This month is marked by the third of four total lunar eclipses separated by approximately 6 months - tetrad - which will occur at 12:00 UTC on April 4, 2015. The Moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood red color. The eclipse will be visible thro

April 01, 2015

Millions of images observed by NEOWISE now available to the public

Millions of images of celestial objects, including asteroids, observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft are now available online to the public. The data was collected following the restart of the asteroid-seeking s

March 27, 2015

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

Asteroid 2014 YB35 to safely flyby Earth on Friday, March 27, 2015

A large asteroid named 2014 YB35 will flyby Earth at a safe distance of 11.6 LD (lunar distances) or about 4.45 million km (2.7 million miles) at 06:20 UTC on Friday, March 27, 2015. This asteroid is approximately 440 - 990 meters in diameter and is traveling at a relat

March 26, 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

Dawn of a new era: the revolutionary ion engine that took spacecraft to Ceres

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has spent more than seven years travelling across the Solar System to intercept the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Now in orbit around Ceres, the probe has returned the first images and data from these distant objects. But inside

March 23, 2015

How is Mars rover Opportunity still alive?

Today, we review one of the great ongoing mysteries in the history of Mars exploration. In January of 2004, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity arrived at the red planet about three weeks apart.Due to the extreme dustiness of the Martian environment, it was believed

March 21, 2015

Large underground ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon

Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface. Identifying liquid water is crucial in the

March 21, 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

The mystery of solar nanoflares

Nanoflares are eruptions on the Sun which are billion times less energetic than ordinary flares but still have the power that belies their name. They appear as little brightenings of the solar surface at extreme ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths and they might solve a l

March 20, 2015

MAVEN detects unexpected aurora and mysterious dust cloud around Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has observed two unexpected phenomena in the Martian atmosphere: an unexplained high-altitude dust cloud and aurora that reaches deep into the Martian atmosphere.The presence of the dust at orbital altitudes from

March 19, 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

Large green fireball accompanied by sonic booms observed over Europe

A large green fireball accompanied by sonic booms was observed over European countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland at 19:44 UTC on March 15, 2015.Markus Griesser from the Eschenberg Observatory in Switzerland said the information they received clearly indicates

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

"Baffling" Mars plumes are electric

Science news headlines around the world tell of a baffling mystery on the planet Mars. In March of 2012, amateur astronomers spotted enormous plumes jetting from the Martian surface. The plumes were more than 250 km high and several hundreds of kilometers in length.Simi

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

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

Research suggests Mars had an ocean that covered approximately 20% of the planet

Isotopic measurements by researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center reveal that Mars once had an ocean that covered approximately twenty percent of the planet.Geronimo Villanueva, scientists at Goddard, said their study provides a solid estimate of how much w

March 06, 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

Why don’t comets melt in the Sun?

Sungrazer comets that survive perihelion extremely close to the Sun is a longstanding puzzle for comet science. In reality, observations going back centuries reveals that a comet’s activity has little or nothing to do with solar warming.Comets sometimes flare or e

March 04, 2015

Giant methane storms on Uranus

Most of the times we have looked at Uranus, it has seemed to be a relatively calm place. Well, yes its atmosphere is the coldest place in the solar system. But, when we picture the seventh planet in our solar system invariably the image of a calming blue hazy disc that

March 02, 2015

Two craters found after bright fireball explodes over Kerala, India

A bright fireball accompanied by sonic boom was seen and recorded falling from the sky over Kerala, India on Friday, February 27, 2015. The fireball left behind orange trail as it descended.The phenomenon reportedly happened at around 17:00 UTC (22:30 local time) and la

March 01, 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