The International Space Station’s “Georges Lemaitre” Automated Transfer Vehicle fired its engines for 3 minutes, 25 seconds at 6:35am Central time today in a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) to move well away from a small piece of debris from a spent Chinese satellite (Yaogan 12) launched in November 2011.
The maneuver, which was coordinated with Russian and European flight controllers, raised the station’s altitude by 9/10 of a mile at apogee and 2/10 of a mile at peri [...]
ESA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.
After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).
The landing site, named Agilkia and located on the head of the bizarre double-lobed object, was chosen just six weeks after arrival based on images and [...]
Today humanity will make its first attempt to land a probe on the nucleus of a comet. As the day progresses, the Philae (fee-LAY) lander will separate from the Rosetta spacecraft and head down to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Since the texture of the comet's surface is unknown and its surface gravity is surely low, Philae will then attempt to harpoon itself down, something that has never been done before.
Featured here is an artist's illustration of dishwasher-sized Phila [...]
The ruddy color of Jupiter's Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet's upper atmosphere, according to a new analysis of data from NASA's Cassini mission. The results contradict the other leading theory for the origin of the spot's striking color -- that the reddish chemicals come from beneath Jupiter's clouds.
The results are being presented this week by Kevin Baines, a Cassini team scientist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory [...]
Washington, D.C.--A two-person team of Carnegie's Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory has discovered a new active asteroid, called 62412, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is the first comet-like object seen in the Hygiea family of asteroids. Sheppard will present his team's findings at the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Sciences meeting and participate on Tuesday, November 11, in a press conference organized b [...]
On 10 November, the Angara-A5 left the Integration & Testing Facility in Area 41 of the Plesetsk State Test Cosmodrome in the Archangelsk Region. The first-ever rollout of the heavy-lift launch vehicle and its transfer to the Angara multi-purpose launch pad proceeded as planned.
Currently, specialists of the Cosmodrome’s Center for testing and operation of space systems are preparing the Angara-A5 for tests on the Angara multi-purpose launch pad.
The Angara multi-purpose launch pa [...]
Nestled among a triplet of young galaxies more than 12.5 billion light-years away is a cosmic powerhouse: a galaxy that is producing stars nearly 1,000 times faster than our own Milky Way. This energetic starburst galaxy, known as AzTEC-3, together with its gang of calmer galaxies may represent the best evidence yet that large galaxies grow from the merger of smaller ones in the early Universe, a process known as hierarchical merging.
An international team of astronomers observed these remark [...]
In August 2014, people around the world saw the first images of an alien landscape some 4 billion miles from Earth. The European Space Agency's ROSETTA spacecraft had rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a 10-year chase, beaming back stunning pictures of its icy and rocky surface.
In October 2014, multiple Mars missions and the Hubble Space Telescope captured spectacular images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it made a close approach to the Red Planet, much closer than [...]
The newest node in NASA's Mars telecommunications network -- a radio aboard the MAVEN orbiter custom-designed for data links with robots on the surface of Mars -- handled a copious 550 megabits during its first relay of real Mars data.
MAVEN's Electra UHF radio received the transmission from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Nov. 6, using an adaptive data rate as the orbiter passed through the sky over the rover. The data that MAVEN relayed to NASA's Deep Space Network of large dish antennas on [...]
The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The brightest three stars on the far left are indeed the famous three stars that make up the belt of Orion.
Just below Alnitak, the lowest of the three belt stars, is the Flame Nebula, glowing with excited hydrogen gas and immersed in filaments of dark brown du [...]