How do stars form? Images of the star forming region W5 like those in the infrared by NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite provide clear clues with indications that massive stars near the center of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges.
A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the center are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots de [...]
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System (CHAMPS). The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites.
The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief Technologist's Game Changing Opportunities in Tec [...]
Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time.
The findings are among the first returns from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, which entered its science phase on Nov. 16. The observations reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere. They include the first comprehensive measurements of the composition of Mars’ up [...]
Three U.S. spacewalks are planned for early next year and station crew members Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts are preparing spacesuits and spacewalk tools. Wilmore swapped secondary oxygen packs on a pair of spacesuits, while Virts checked the torque on a pistol grip tool.
After the spacesuit work, Wilmore joined Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti inside the cupola for robotics training. Wilmore will operate the Canadarm2 to capture the SpaceX Dragon when it arr [...]
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan – International Launch Services (ILS), a leader in providing mission integration and launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully launched the Yamal-401 satellite into geosynchronous orbit today on an ILS Proton for JSC Gazprom Space Systems (Gazprom) of Moscow. This was the landmark 400th mission for the Proton launch vehicle since its first flight in 1965.
The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle launched from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Co [...]
Why do some places on Earth have higher gravity than others? Sometimes the reason is unknown. To help better understand the Earth's surface, sensitive measurments by the orbiting satellites GRACE and CHAMP were used to create a map of Earth's gravitational field.
Since a center for studying this data is in Potsdam, Germany, and since the result makes the Earth look somewhat like a potato, the resulting geoid has been referred to as the Potsdam Gravity Potato. High areas on this map, colored [...]
The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week:
1. Monday, December 15, 2014, 2-3:30 PM PST (22-23:30 GMT)
DR. JEFF FOUST of The Space Review and Space News returns for space news and information updates.
Dr. Jeff Foust is the editor of The Space Review (www.thespacereview.com), a weekly online publication of articles and commentary on space-related topics. He also publishes Spacetoday.net, which provides links to and summ [...]
December has arrived, and for backyard sky watchers that means one thing: It is time for the annual Geminid meteor shower. Every year in early December, Earth passes through a stream of gravelly, dusty debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. This causes a meteor shower that sometimes lasts more than two weeks.
"This year's Geminid meteor shower will peak on Dec. 13th and 14th with as many as 120 meteors per hour," predicts Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "I'm lo [...]
Long ago, in the largest canyon system in our solar system, vibrations from "marsquakes" shook soft sediments that had accumulated in Martian lakes.
The shaken sediments formed features that now appear as a series of low hills apparent in a geological map based on NASA images. The map was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
This map of the western Candor Chasma canyon within Mars' Valles Marineris is the highest-resolution Martian geological map ever relased by USGS. I [...]
Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe.
One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known [...]