What's older than these ancient trees? Nobody you know -- but almost everything in the background of this picture. The trees are impressively old -- each part of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest located in eastern California, USA. There, many of the oldest trees known are located, some dating as far back as about 5,000 years. Seemingly attached to tree branches, but actually much farther in the distance, are the bright orbs of Saturn (left) and Mars.
These planets formed along with the Ea [...]
Ariane 5 delivered a new record payload lift performance on today’s successful launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana, which orbited a pair of telecommunications satellites at the service of American and Indonesian customers.
This heavy-lift mission carried EchoStar XVIII and BRIsat, and it delivered a total calculated mass of 10,730 kg. into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) – setting a new launch benchmark for the Ariane 5 ECA version. The total included some 9,840 kg. for the two [...]
Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA, and Tim Peake of ESA and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos landed their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 5:15 a.m. EDT. Russian recovery teams will help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after their stay in space.
The trio arrived at the International Space Station on Dec. 15, 2015. The crew’s return marks completion of the in-flight portion for NASA human research studies in four categories– ocular health, cognition, sal [...]
Pluto's pitted plains meet rugged highlands in this stunning view. On the left lies a southeastern extent of the bright region still informally known as Sputnik Planum. At right the edge of a dark region, informally Krun Macula, rises some 2.5 kilometers above the icy plains. Along the boundary, connected clusters of large pits form deep valleys, some over 40 kilometers long with shadowy floors. Nitrogen ice is likely responsible for the more reflective plains.
The dark red color of the high [...]
At 9:20 a.m. EDT, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams assumed command of the International Space Station from astronaut Tim Kopra of NASA in a traditional Change of Command ceremony. Expedition 48 will officially begin under Williams’ command when the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Kopra, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko undocks from the space station early Saturday morning.
Their return will mark the end of 186 days on board the station for the trio. [...]
An international team of astronomers have found that there are far more planets of the hot Jupiter type than expected in a cluster of stars called Messier 67. This surprising result was obtained using a number of telescopes and instruments, among them the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The denser environment in a cluster will cause more frequent interactions between planets and nearby stars, which may explain the excess of hot Jupiters.
A Chilean, Brazilian and E [...]
On July 4, NASA will fly a solar-powered spacecraft the size of a basketball court within 2,900 miles (4,667 kilometers) of the cloud tops of our solar system's largest planet.
As of Thursday, Juno is 18 days and 8.6 million miles (13.8 million kilometers) from Jupiter. On the evening of July 4, Juno will fire its main engine for 35 minutes, placing it into a polar orbit around the gas giant. During the flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras [...]
A small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.
As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid, designated 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well. It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or "quasi-satellite."
"Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very [...]
Now approaching our fair planet this Comet PanSTARRS (C/2013 X1) will come closest on June 21-22, a mere 5.3 light-minutes away. By then its appearance low in northern hemisphere predawn skies (high in the south), will be affected by the light of a nearly Full Moon, though. Still the comet's pretty green coma is about the apparent size of the Full Moon in this telescopic portrait, captured on June 12 from the southern hemisphere's Siding Spring Observatory.
The deep image also follows a broa [...]
Three Expedition 47 crew members are preparing to go home early Saturday morning. Three other station residents will stay behind beginning Expedition 48 on the International Space Station.
Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will take him and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake back to Earth. The trio are due to land Saturday at 5:14 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan completing 186 days in space. NASA TV will cover the undocking and landing activities beginni [...]
A team of astronomers has used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect glowing oxygen in a distant galaxy seen just 700 million years after the Big Bang. This is the most distant galaxy in which oxygen has ever been unambiguously detected, and it is most likely being ionized by powerful radiation from young giant stars. This galaxy could be an example of one type of source responsible for cosmic reionization in the early history of the Universe.
The astronomers used [...]
The Aurora Borealis or northern lights are familiar visitors to night skies above the village of Reine in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, planet Earth. In this scene, captured from a mountaintop camp site, the auroral curtains do seem to create an eerie tension with the coastal lights though.
A modern perspective on the world at night, the stunning image was chosen as the over all winner in The World at Night's 2016 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Selections were made from over 900 e [...]