Space elevator patent to revolutionize the future of space travel

Thoth Technology Inc., a private Canadian company, has earned a patent on a 20 kilometer (12 miles) high space elevator structure that has the potential to revolutionize the future of space travel.Thoth Technology company specializes in miniature light-weight gadgets fo

August 21, 2015

LADEE spacecraft confirms Moon's exosphere contains neon

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft for the first time confirmed the long-speculated assumption, the Moon's atmosphere might contain neon, a gas known for it's intense glow, and commonly used in electric signs on Earth, NASA reporte

August 18, 2015

A new computer simulation suggest our early Solar System was inhabited by a fifth giant planet

A new research, published on August 10, 2015, suggests a cluster of icy bodies located in the same areas as Pluto, might prove our early Solar System was inhabited by a fifth giant planet. During Neptune's migration, 4 billion years ago, the ice giant might have jum

August 16, 2015

First Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert system (ATLAS) fully operational

The first Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope is now in operation on Haleakala volcano, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The telescope is a part of an asteroid impact early system project that was developed by the University of Hawai'i and

August 15, 2015

Gemini discovers a young, Jupiter-like planet

Astronomers have imaged a new world of a young Jupiter in unprecedented details, using the Gemini Observatory's new Planet Imager (GPI). They discovered the planet's mass is about twice the Jupiter's, and it seems the planet is the most Solar System-like pla

August 14, 2015

Powerful outburst event observed at Comet 67P two weeks before the perihelion

On July 29, 2015, Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera captured images showing a dramatic outburst at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, registered by several of its instruments from their vantage point 186 km (115 miles) from the comet.As forecasted, the comet reaches

August 13, 2015

Perseid meteor shower: year's greatest meteor show peaks on August 12 and 13

The peak of this year's Perseid meteor shower is just around the corner, forecasted during the overnight hours of August 12 and 13 in the absence of any or much moonlight.Perseids originate in Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and

August 11, 2015

Fascinating world of Ceres with its mysterious bright spots and a pyramid-shaped mountain

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to fascinate scientists with it’s pyramid like mountain and bright spots on its surface. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the first probe to reach this dwarf planet on March 6, 2015, continues to return images and other data of this

August 10, 2015

The largest structure of the observable universe found - a ring of galaxies five million light years across

A Hungarian-US team of astronomers have found what may be the largest structure in the observable universe, a circular ring of nine gamma ray bursts and hence nine galaxies that stretches five billion light years across.Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous

August 10, 2015

Antarctica may hold the key to regulating mining in space

Our current era may go down in history as the century of space exploration and off-Earth resource exploitation. But there are still considerable policy hurdles to overcome in terms of how we regulate such activities.As we turn our eyes to the skies, we should also look

August 10, 2015

Rosetta's one year at the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

With comet 67P’s closest approach to the Sun less than one week away, ESA’s unmanned spacecraft Rosetta celebrated one year at the comet on August 6, 2015.After a 10-year chase spanning more than 6.4 billion km (4 billion miles) across the Solar System, the

August 08, 2015

A group of mysterious asteroids that could explain the origin of NEOs discovered

Lying near the asteroid rich abyss between Mars and Jupiter high above our Solar System, a unique family of space rocks called Euphrosyne asteroids just got discovered by the scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).The Euphrosynes are distributed at the

August 05, 2015

Large meteorite impacts Iran causing serious damage to Qazvin, numerous towns affected

Officials in Iran have confirmed that a meteor has hit somewhere in the northern part of the country on July 30, 2015. The event happened a day before a very large fireball streaked over the sky of Argentina.According to Mohammad Ali Ahani, director of Qazvin Crisis Man

August 02, 2015

Night sky guide for August 2015

Every year, sky watchers in northern hemisphere enjoy in one of the best meteor showers of the year - Perseids. This year, Perseids will peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. This meteor shower is known for its very fast and bright meteors which l

August 01, 2015

Slow moving, very bright fireball turns sky green over Argentina

A slow moving and very bright fireball was observed and recorded over Argentina around midnight UTC on July 31, 2015 (21:00 local time on July 30). Observers say the spectacle lasted about 10 seconds, turning the whole sky green. No sound was associated with the event.

July 31, 2015

Unusual red arcs spotted on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys

New enhanced-color images from NASA's Cassini spacecradr revealed unexplained arc-shaped, reddish streaks on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys. The red arcs are narrow, curved lines on the moon's surface, and are among the most unusual color features o

July 31, 2015

Pluto sends planetary scientists back to the drawing board

Today, physicist Wal Thornhill continues his discussion of NASA’s New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet Pluto. The mission has already provided a number of surprises for planetary scientists.The tiny planet’s geological activity, its apparent age, the stu

July 29, 2015

Blue Moon on July 31, 2015

For the second time this month, the Moon is about to become full, but it most likely won't turn blue, like it's name suggests. According to modern folklore, whenever there are two full Moons in a calendar month, the second one is "blue." Most Blue Moon

July 28, 2015

New Horizons update: Pluto and planetary origins

NASA’s New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet Pluto is attracting international attention to planetary science. And like all recent missions to planets, moons, comets and asteroids, surprising discoveries already abound for scientists on Earth. Giant mountains o

July 26, 2015

NASA's Kepler mission discovers closest Earth twin yet

NASA made an announcement on July 23, 2015 of it's Kepler space telescope spotting the most Earth-like alien planet yet discovered - a world called Kepler-452b that's just slightly bigger than our own and orbits a sun-like star named Kepler-452 at about the same

July 25, 2015

Mystery of equatorial noise solved

A team from MIT, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Sheffield, and elsewhere has detected a remarkably orderly pattern amid the "equatorial noise." The discovery may help scientists to more accurately model the space environment an

July 16, 2015

New Horizons accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft phoned home around 01:00 UTC on July 15, 2015 telling the mission control and the world it had accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto.The flyby began at 11:49 UTC on July 14 and the spacecraft has been instructed to spend the day gat

July 15, 2015

Tracking space weather for New Horizons

A few months before New Horizons was due to reach Pluto, a community of scientists came together to determine just what kind of a environment the mission would experience during its historic flyby.While the simulations aren't 100% conclusive, this first ever attempt

July 13, 2015

Istok crater on Mars hints at Earth-like climate

A new study of young Istok crater led by Tjalling de Haas of Utrecht University in the Netherlands reveals that Mars, a planet of paradoxes, may have had a climate that resembles that of our own in the recent past.Istok crater, located in the Aonia Terra region of Mars,

July 10, 2015

Our electrically scarred Moon

Half-a-century ago, at the height of the Cold War, the Space Race between two competing superpowers set mankind on an accelerated path toward placing a man on the Moon. In addition to its geopolitical significance, the Moon was central in the evolution of planetary scie

July 10, 2015

Does the solar magnetic field show a North-South divide?

A study of jets travelling through the Sun’s corona at speeds between 200-500 km/s has shown that the fast-moving columns of plasma are deflected much more strongly by the Sun’s magnetic field in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere. A nor

July 09, 2015

A five star, doubly-eclipsing star system discovered

Astronomers at the Open University have discovered the first quintuple star system containing two eclipsing binary stars. While scientists think that about a third of stars are found in pairs or multiple systems, to find five stars connected to each other is very rare.T

July 08, 2015

Neptune’s badly behaved magnetic field modelled in detail

A team of scientists at the Imperial College London have combined 26-year old data with supercomputer simulations and for the first time modelled Neptune's magnetic field in detail. The researchers find that the furthest planet from the Sun has a badly behaved

July 08, 2015

Auroral substorms on Jupiter are not caused by the solar wind, alone

A previous Picture of the Day published in late 2012 quoted Jonathan Nichols from the University of Leicester:“The main aurora oval on Jupiter we think should dim when the solar wind blows harder, but what we see is that actually gets brighter, which is totally

July 07, 2015

After anomaly and temporary loss of communications New Horizons stays on course to Pluto

After NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suffered an anomaly on July 4, which caused temporary loss of communications, mission control announced today the spacecraft is healthy and it continues on its course toward Pluto for a historic July 14 flyby.Contact with the spa

July 06, 2015

Final 'all clear' for historic July 14 Pluto flyby

Having found no potential threats on the way, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto, as it speeds closer to it's historic July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto and it's five moons. Launched from Cape Canaveral on January 19, 2006, New Horizons woke up

July 04, 2015

Night sky guide for July 2015

A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible on July 1 with the two planets appearing extremely close, only 0.3 degrees apart.Several weak meteor showers this month will set stage for Perseids, one of the most popular annual meteor showers expected to

July 01, 2015

Venus - volcanically active Solar System body?

Scientists working for the ESA's Venus Express mission have recently presented the best evidence yet for existence of active volcanoes on planet Venus. Previous radar missions have revealed Venus to be covered in volcanoes and lava flows and it is long assumed that

July 01, 2015

Fiery space debris re-entry recorded over Southeastern US

A bright fiery object was observed traveling almost horizontally over Southeastern United States around 05:30 UTC on June 29, 2015 (01:30 EDT). The object was visible for more than 45 seconds and was described by many as having multiple colors and breaking up in pieces.

June 30, 2015

Watching meteors from space: Meteor investigation camera destroyed, again

Eight months after a catastrophic failure of Orbital Cygnus mission to the International Space Station, in which supplies for the Meteor mission were lost, a new special camera was built and is now ready for lift off.Currently scheduled to launch on June 28, 2015, the

June 27, 2015