“In paleontology, the discovery of certain fossils can help scientists fill in the evolutionary gaps between different dinosaurs,” said Mar Mezcua of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the study. “We do the same thing in astronomy, but we often have to ‘dig’ up our discoveries in galaxies that are millions of light years away.”
The intriguing object, called NGC2276-3c, is located in an arm of the spiral galaxy NGC 2276, which is about 100 million light years [...]
NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts ended their spacewalk at 1:34 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the Quest airlock. Wilmore and Virts completed all the scheduled tasks for today. They completed rigging a series of power cables on Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, lubricated the Latching End Effecter of the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm, and prepared the Tranquility module for the station’s upcoming reconfiguration in preparation for the arrival of commercial crew vehicle [...]
Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object. The latest images from Dawn, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) from Ceres, reveal that a bright spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area.
"Ceres' bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin. This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, bu [...]
Key science elements of the James Webb Space Telescope have been upgraded ahead of the observatory’s launch in 2018.
The telescope, also known as JWST, is a joint project of NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. It carries a 6.5 m-diameter telescope and four state-of-the-art science instruments optimised for infrared observations. Europe has led the development of two of the instruments.
The first generation of JWST’s highly sensitive near-infrared detectors were found to suffer [...]
A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds the rover in Curiosity's latest self-portrait.
The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover's robotic arm.
Pahrump Hills is an outcrop of the bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp, at the center of Mars' Gale Crater. The mission has examined the outcrop with a campaign that inclu [...]
The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, some 5,000 light years away, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars.
The stars in the energetic cluster, cataloged as NGC 2244, are only a few million years old, while the central cavity i [...]
A pair of spacewalkers are conducting final reviews as they get ready for Wednesday morning’s spacewalk scheduled to start at 7:10 a.m. EST. They will be assisted by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who will be the spacewalk choreographer and robotic arm operator.
NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts will go outside for more cable routing work and lubrication work on the Canadarm2. This will be the second in a series of three spacewalks meant to ready the International Spac [...]
An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.
This comet was interesting for two reasons. First it's what's called a non-group comet, meaning it's not part of any known family of comets. Most comets seen by SOHO belong to the Kreutz family – all of which broke off from a single giant comet many centuries ago.
The second reason it's interesting is because the vast majorit [...]