In the vast Orion Molecular Cloud complex, several bright blue nebulas are particularly apparent. Pictured here are two of the most prominent reflection nebulas - dust clouds lit by the reflecting light of bright embedded stars. The more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, cataloged over 200 years ago.
To its left is the lesser known NGC 2071. Astronomers continue to study these reflection nebulas to better understand how interior stars form. The Orion complex lies about 1500 light-ye [...]
Dwarf galaxies, nuggets of stars and gas 100 to 1,000 times smaller than the Milky Way, are thought to be the building blocks of massive galaxies. Evidence for groups of merging dwarf galaxies, however, has been lacking, until now.
Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and various optical telescopes, a team of astronomers has discovered seven distinct groups of dwarf galaxies with just the right starting conditions to eventually merge and form larger galaxies, including spiral [...]
Mission controllers are preparing to release Japan’s Kounotori cargo ship from the International Space Station at the end of the week. Meanwhile, the Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for a new protein crystal experiment and reconfiguring combustion science gear.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is getting ready to complete its sixth cargo mission to the station. Overnight, robotics controllers maneuvered Canada’s 57.7-foot-long robotic arm holding an external pallet with discarde [...]
If you can find Orion, you might be able to find the Winter Hexagon. The Winter Hexagon involves some of the brightest stars visible, together forming a large and easily found pattern in the winter sky of Earth's northern hemisphere. The stars involved can usually be identified even in the bright night skies of a big city, although here they appeared recently in dark skies above the Manla Reservoir in Tibet, China.
The six stars that compose the Winter Hexagon are Aldebaran, Capella, Castor [...]
The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week:
1. Monday, January 23, 2017, 2-3:30 PM PST (22-23:30 GMT)
Breakthrough Initiative Starshot Project - Interstellar wafer flight with Dr. Phil Lubin.
Philip Lubin is a professor of Physics at UC Santa Barbara whose primary research has been focused on studies of the early universe in the millimeter wavelengths bands as well as applications of directed energy for planetary defense [...]
Birds don't fly this high. Airplanes don't go this fast. The Statue of Liberty weighs less. No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago. The launch of a rocket bound for space is an event that inspires awe and challenges description.
Pictured here, a SpaceX Falcon 9 V rocket lifted off through a cloud deck from Cape Canaveral, Florida last July to deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station. From a standing sta [...]
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 3 satellite lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 Jan. 20 at 7:42 p.m. ET. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs.
“ULA is proud to deliver this critical satellite which will improve surveillance capabilities for our national decision makers,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Govern [...]
Plunging close to the outer edges of Saturn's rings, on January 16 the Cassini spacecraft captured this closest yet view of Daphnis. About 8 kilometers across and orbiting within the bright ring system's Keeler gap, the small moon is making waves. The 42-kilometer wide outer gap is foreshortened in the image by Cassini's viewing angle.
Raised by the influenced of the small moon's weak gravity as it crosses the frame from left to right, the waves are formed in the ring material at the edge of [...]