Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The cosmic light show will occur when a pulsar discovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope swings by its companion star. Scientists plan a global campaign to watch the event from radio wavelengths to the highest-energy gamma rays detectable.
The pulsar, known as J2032+4127 (J2032 for short), is the crushed core of a massi [...]
Taken just 4 days after launch, this first image from Sentinel-2A shows the coastal mountains of France and Italy. Each detector in the multispectral instrument has a slightly different viewing direction. These different directions translate into marginal differences causing the …
Carrying more than 6,100 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 60 cargo craft launched at 12:55 a.m. EDT (10:55 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 249 miles over northwestern Sudan, near the border with Egypt and Libya.
Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its [...]
On June 30 Venus and Jupiter were actually far apart, but both appeared close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year's gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this sharp digital stack of images taken after sunset from Poznań in west-central Poland. In fact, banded gas giant Jupiter was about 910 million kilometers from Poland.
That's over 11 times farther than crescent Venus, only 78 million kil [...]
Over 3 tons of food, fuel, water, oxygen and supplies stands ready for a sky high delivery to the International Space Station late tonight. Meanwhile, the three-person Expedition 44 crew is at work on a variety of space science and orbital maintenance as they await the two-day space cargo mission.
Russia’s ISS Progress 60 spacecraft is poised atop its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome for a 12:55 a.m. EDT launch Friday from Kazakhstan. The resupply ship will arrive Sunday at 3:13 a.m. a [...]
While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young stars that are less than 2 million years old -- a blink of an eye in astronomical terms for stars like these expected to burn for billions of years.
This new composite image combines X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (shown in pink) with infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Tel [...]
Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo and other institutions have begun a wide-area survey of the distribution of dark matter in the universe using Hyper Suprime-Cam, a new wide-field camera installed on the Subaru Telescope in Hawai'i. Initial results from observations covering an area of 2.3 square degrees on the sky toward the constellation Cancer revealed nine large concentrations of dark matter, each the mass of a galaxy cluster (Mov [...]
A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ are providing a glimpse at the chaotic and diverse interior of the comet.
Rosetta has been monitoring Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s activity for over a year, watching how its halo of dust and gas grows as the comet moves closer to the Sun along its orbit.
“We see jets arising from the fractured areas of t [...]
On June 30, Venus and Jupiter were close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year's gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this image taken after sunset from Bejing, China. As the two bright planets set together in the west, a nearly Full Moon rose above the horizon to the south and east.
Imaged that night with the same telescope and camera, the rising Moon from the opposite part of the sky is compared with [...]
Rover team members have resumed commanding Curiosity after a moratorium while the sun was between Earth and Mars.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is examining a valley where at least two types of bedrock meet, for clues about changes in ancient environmental conditions recorded by the rock.
On Mars as on Earth, each layer of a sedimentary rock tells a story about the environment in which it was formed and modified. Contacts between adjacent layers hold particular interest as sites where chan [...]
The next Russian resupply ship to launch to the International Space Station rolled out to its launch pad today. The crew is also preparing for Japan’s next cargo mission due in August.
The ISS Progress 60 (60P) cargo craft is at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad preparing for a 12:55 a.m. EDT launch Friday from Kazakhstan. The 60P is delivering more than 3 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the crew and will dock to the Pirs docking compartment.
NASA astronaut and One-Year crew member S [...]
This rich view of an array of colourful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a young open cluster of stars known as NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the centre of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way.
Discovered from England by the tireless observer Sir William Herschel on 20 November 1784, the bright star cluster NGC 2367 lies about 7 [...]
New Images of Pluto and Charon; Sunrise/Sunset Observations.
Yes, there is methane on Pluto, and, no, it doesn’t come from cows. The infrared spectrometer on NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has detected frozen methane on Pluto’s surface; Earth-based astronomers first observed the chemical compound on Pluto in 1976.
Come Fly with New Horizons on its Approach to Pluto
Images from New Horizons show the view from aboard the spacecraft closes in on the Pluto system for a [...]
The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate.
That is because for decades cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws of thermodynamics with Einstein’s general theory of relativity. However, a team from Vanderbilt University has come up with a fundamentally new mathematical formulation of the problem that appears to bridge this long-standing gap.
Scientists have had considerable success modeling what [...]
Have you seen the passing planets yet? Today the planets Jupiter and Venus pass within half a degree of each other as seen from Earth. This conjunction, visible all over the world, is quite easy to see -- just look to the west shortly after sunset. The brightest objects visible above the horizon will be Venus and Jupiter, with Venus being the brighter of the two.
Featured above, the closing planets were captured two nights ago in a sunset sky graced also by high-level noctilucent clouds. In [...]
Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko are getting ready for the Sunday arrival of a resupply ship. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly worked throughout the day on a variety of advanced microgravity science.
Roscosmos, The Russian Federal Space Agency, is counting down to its launch of the ISS Progress 60 (60P) cargo craft at 12:55 a.m. EDT Friday. Padalka and Kornienko trained for the approach and docking of 60P scheduled for Sunday at 3:13 a.m. The ISS Progress 60 will [...]
Yesterday (29 June 2015) marked the 30th anniversary for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). Since the founding of the company in June 1985, SSTL has grown to become one of the most cutting-edge companies of the small satellite industry. SSTL …
On Sunday afternoon, I, along with many, many other people around the world, were watching the SpaceX-7 launch. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying the Dragon capsule, which was full of new hardware, experiments and supplies …
What created this large mountain on asteroid Ceres? No one is yet sure. As if in anticipation of today being Asteroid Day on Earth, the robotic spacecraft Dawn in orbit around Ceres took the best yet image of an unusually tall mountain on the Asteroid Belt's largest asteroid. Visible at the top of the featured image, the exceptional mountain rises about five kilometers up from an area that otherwise appears pretty level. The image was taken about two weeks ago from about 4,400 kilometers away.