Is Earth the only known world that can support life? In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA's Kepler satellite.
Depicted above in artist's illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets ha [...]
The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week:
1. Monday, March 3, 2014, 2-3:30 PM PST (22-23:30 GMT)
DR. JEFF BELL returns for a review of space enthusiast projects.
Dr. Jeff Bell has his B.S. (Physics + Astronomy) Univ. of Michigan 1977 M.S. (Astronomy) Univ. of Hawaii 1979 Ph.D. (Astronomy) Univ. of Hawaii 1984. From 1984-2000 he was Professor of Planetary Science, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, Univ. of Hawaii, he conduct [...]
What would it be like to see a sunset on Mars? To help find out, the robotic rover Spirit was deployed in 2005 to park and watch the Sun dip serenely below the distant lip of Gusev crater. Colors in the above image have been slightly exaggerated but would likely be apparent to a human explorer's eye.
Fine martian dust particles suspended in the thin atmosphere lend the sky a reddish color, but the dust also scatters blue light in the forward direction, creating a bluish sky glow near the set [...]
Two generations of aerospace engineering excellence will come together Saturday, March 1 when NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., is redesignated NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center.
The agency's center of excellence for atmospheric flight research is being renamed in honor of the late Neil A. Armstrong, a former research test pilot at the center and the first man to step on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
The late Hugh L. Dryden, the ce [...]
This stunning new Hubble image shows a small part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to our own. This collection of small baby stars, most weighing less than the sun, form a young stellar cluster known as LH63. This cluster is still half-embedded in the cloud from which it was born, in a bright star-forming region known as the emission nebula LHA 120-N 51, or N51. This is just one of the hundreds of star-forming regions filled with young stars spread throughout the Large [...]
The 2014 spring eclipse season NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory begins Feb. 27, 2014. These seasons – a time when Earth blocks SDO's view of the sun for a period of time each day - last around three weeks and happen twice a year near the equinoxes. The eclipses are fairly short near the beginning and end of the season but ramp up to 72 minutes in the middle.
Any spacecraft observing the sun from an orbit around Earth has to contend with such eclipses, but SDO's orbit is designed to minimiz [...]
Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy's disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth.
The effect is further enh [...]
NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft has spotted a never-before-seen comet -- its first such discovery since coming out of hibernation late last year.
"We are so pleased to have discovered this frozen visitor from the outermost reaches of our solar system," said Amy Mainzer, the mission's principal investigator from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "This comet is a weirdo - it is in a retrograde orbit, meaning that it orbits th [...]
The International Space Station completed this week’s deployment of the NanoRacks CubeSats. The six-member Expedition 38 crew also worked on various science activities and prepared for a March 10 Soyuz undocking.
The final set of CubeSats, used for Earth observations, were released from the Kibo laboratory’s Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Friday at 2:30 a.m. EST. Japanese flight controllers then guided the Japanese robotic arm to place the MPEP back inside Kibo’s airlock. The [...]