The three Expedition 36 crew members currently living and working aboard the International Space Station wrapped up another busy week of science experiments and research Friday, while three new crew members continued preparations in Kazakhstan for a launch to the orbiting laboratory on Tuesday.
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy harvested some of the plants that are part of the Seedling Growth experiment. This looks at how plants grow in space, which is important not only for studying how plants [...]
This beautiful, glittering swirl is named, rather un-poetically, J125013.50+073441.5. A glowing haze of material seems to engulf the galaxy, stretching out into space in different directions and forming a fuzzy streak in this image. It is a starburst galaxy — a name given to galaxies that show unusually high rates of star formation. The regions where new stars are being born are highlighted by sparkling bright blue regions along the galactic arms.
Studying starburst galaxies can tell us a l [...]
The Expedition 36 trio aboard the International Space Station is stepping up science work after several days of treadmill installation activities. The crew also had an opportunity during an orbital pass to photograph the tornado damage surrounding Oklahoma City, but it appeared cloud cover obscured the area.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov set up and worked with the ongoing Russian experiment Kulonovskiy Kristall. The study observes the dynamics of charged macroparticle systems in a magnetic fiel [...]
The Ring Nebula's distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist.
"The nebula is not like a bagel, but rather, it's like a jelly doughnut, because it's filled with material in the middle," said C. Robert O'Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He leads a research team that used Hubble and several ground-based telescopes to o [...]
Magnetars -- the dense remains of dead stars that erupt sporadically with bursts of high-energy radiation -- are some of the most extreme objects known in the Universe. A major campaign using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other satellites shows magnetars may be more diverse -- and common -- than previously thought.
When a massive star runs out of fuel, its core collapses to form a neutron star, an ultradense object about 10 to 15 miles wide. The gravitational energy released i [...]
One of the major benefits of space travel is the new perspective it brings, both to the people who experience it, and to those who experience it vicariously through them.
I believe that this perspective shift is just as important as any scientific knowledge or new technologies we gain through space travel. We are feeling, living, spiritual beings who crave a sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of our place in the universe than mere data can provide.
The Apollo 8 astronauts who took the famous Earthrise photo started the modern environmental movement by providing the first view of our home in space, in the context of space. It was their Christmas gift to the world, and it’s what we remember best from that mission nearly 45 years later.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield gave us another such perspective by recording a music video shortly before departing the International Space Station this month, expressing through music the feeling that seeing our home planet from the outside can evoke. The video conveys more than reams of data can. It conveys a feeling. It inspires.
We need people in space who can express themselves through the arts every bit as much as we need scientists, engineers, and pilots. And as more and more people are able to get to space by their own means, we will have them. Prepare to be inspired.
With this new view of a spectacular stellar nursery ESO is celebrating 15 years of the Very Large Telescope — the world's most advanced optical instrument. This picture reveals thick clumps of dust silhouetted against the pink glowing gas cloud known to astronomers as IC 2944. These opaque blobs resemble drops of ink floating in a strawberry cocktail, their whimsical shapes sculpted by powerful radiation coming from the nearby brilliant young stars.
This new picture celebrates an important [...]
The UK private space organisation "Spacefleet" has a new website at http://spacefleet.co.uk. The organisation also has several new news items and more imagery of the EARL spaceship design.
Founded in 2004, Spacefleet's goal is developing a novel low-cost launch system for human and cargo to LEO.
Contractor Found For Scale EARL Model
They have recently found a contractor and agreed terms on building a scale model of the EARL spacecraft.
PASADENA, Calif. - A massive and rare merging of two galaxies has been spotted in images taken by the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.
Follow-up studies by several telescopes on the ground and in space, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, tell a tale of two faraway galaxies intertwined and furiously making stars. Eventually, the duo will settle down to form one super-giant elliptical galaxy.