Space

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

'Once in a life time' photo of neon green fireball over New Zealand

Jono Matla, a photographer from Wellington, New Zealand, captured a bright green meteor flashing across the night sky around 21:00 local time on April 5, 2016. The event started as a ball of orange and turned into a neon green as it streaked the sky over Waikanae,...

April 06, 2016

Night sky guide for April 2016

April hosts two meteor showers, but only one major. The first - Virginid meteor shower - will reach its maximum rate of activity on April 12. The Moon will be 5 days old and will present minimal interference. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a...

April 01, 2016

Small comet or asteroid impacts Jupiter

Two astronomers have captured images of a small comet or asteroid as it impacted Jupiter at 00:18 UTC on March 17, 2016. The videos of the same event were captured from Austria and Ireland. The object is probably in the tens-of-meters wide range, according to Phil...

March 30, 2016

Most detailed map of ‘super Earth’ reveals a lava planet

An international team of astronomers, led by the University of Cambridge, used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and obtained the most detailed ‘fingerprint’ of a rocky planet outside our solar system to date. They found a planet of two...

March 30, 2016

Contact with X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Hitomi" (ASTRO-H) lost, debris reported

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has lost communication with their flagship spacecraft, X-Ray Astronomy Satellite “Hitomi" (ASTRO-H), on March 26, 2016. The 2 700-kg satellite, developed in conjunction with NASA, was launched on February 17...

March 28, 2016

Observations of comet P/2016 BA14 while making one of the closest-ever comet flybys of Earth

Astronomers were watching comet Pan-STARRS (P/2016 BA14) on March 22 as it made the third closest-ever comet flyby of Earth in recorded history. At the time of its closest approach, the comet was about 3.6 million km (2.2 million miles) away from the surface of our...

March 25, 2016

Earth's moon wandered off axis billions of years ago

Planetary scientist Matt Siegler at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and colleagues discovered that Earth's moon slowly moved from its original axis roughly 3 billion years ago. The move would be as if Earth's axis relocated from Antarctica to...

March 23, 2016

Meteor mission launched to ISS

After two failed attempts, Meteor mission was successfully launched at 03:05 UTC on March 23, 2016. Instruments needed for the mission, along with more than 3 ½ tons of supplies were packed inside an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft and launched via the United...

March 23, 2016

Penumbral lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016

Observers located in the extreme eastern Asia, eastern Australia, the Pacific Ocean and the west coast of North America including Alaska will get to see a penumbral lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016, the first of three lunar eclipses in 2016. The eclipse will reach...

March 22, 2016