NEWS

SOURCE: SCIENCE DAILY
Here is an RSS feed from Science Daily’s Space and Time section to keep you up to date on current events in the space community.
  • NASA'S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft slingshots past Earth

    NASA's asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth's gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August.
  • Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation

    Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body.
  • Detecting cosmic rays from a galaxy far, far away

    Where do cosmic rays come from? Solving a 50-year-old mystery, a collaboration of researchers has discovered it's much farther than the Milky Way.
  • Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

    A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.
  • Solar eruption ‘photobombed’ Mars encounter with Comet Siding Spring

    When Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed just 140,000 kilometers from Mars on 19th October 2014, depositing a large amount of debris in the Martian atmosphere, space agencies coordinated multiple spacecraft to witness the largest meteor shower in recorded history. It was a rare opportunity, as this kind of planetary event occurs only once every 100,000 years.
  • Unique type of object discovered in our solar system

    Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.
  • New concept of terrestrial planet formation

    Scientists are proposing a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets.
  • Is the Milky Way an 'outlier' galaxy? Studying its 'siblings' for clues

    The most-studied galaxy in the universe -- the Milky Way -- might not be as 'typical' as previously thought, according to a new study. Early results from the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA) Survey indicate that the Milky Way's satellites are much more tranquil than other systems of comparable luminosity and environment. Many satellites of those 'sibling' galaxies are actively pumping out new stars, but the Milky Way's satellites are mostly inert.
  • Gravity waves influence weather and climate

    Gravity waves form in the atmosphere as a result of destabilizing processes. The effects of gravity waves can only be taken into consideration by including additional special components in the models.
  • Mercury's poles may be icier than scientists thought

    A new study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory.
  • Size matters in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres

    A group-analysis of 30 exoplanets orbiting distant stars suggests that size, not mass, is a key factor in whether a planet’s atmosphere can be detected. The largest population-study of exoplanets to date successfully detected atmospheres around 16 ‘hot Jupiters’, and found that water vapor was present in every case.
  • What do we need to know to mine an asteroid?

    The mining of resources contained in asteroids, for use as propellant, building materials or in life-support systems, has the potential to revolutionise exploration of our Solar System. To make this concept a reality, we need to increase our knowledge of the very diverse population of accessible Near Earth Asteroids (NEA).
  • Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids

    A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises 50 spacecraft propelled by innovative electric solar wind sails (E-sails) and equipped with instruments to take images and collect spectroscopic data on the composition of the asteroids. Each nanosat would visit six or seven asteroids before returning to Earth to deliver the data.
  • Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety

    Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth -- particularly when a real disaster strikes. Yet, in space, similarly small fluctuations in the solar wind as it streams toward the Earth's magnetic shield actually can affect the speed and strength of 'space hurricanes,' a researcher explains.
  • New mirror-coating technology promises dramatic improvements in telescopes

    An electrical engineer has teamed up with astronomers to improve telescope mirrors using thin-film technology from the electronics industry. They are developing new protective coatings using an atomic layer deposition system large enough to accommodate telescope mirrors.
  • When radio galaxies collide, supermassive black holes form tightly bound pairs

    Supermassive black holes found in the centers of galaxies can form gravitationally bound pairs when galaxies merge, according to a new study.
  • More evidence of water on Mars

    River deposits exist across the surface of Mars and record a surface environment from over 3.5 billion years ago that was able to support liquid water at the surface. A region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on Mars.
  • Secrets of bright, rapidly spinning star revealed

    Almost 50 years after it was first predicted that rapidly rotating stars would emit polarized light, scientists have succeeded in observing the phenomenon for the first time. They have now detected the polarized light from Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.
  • New evidence for small, short-lived drops of early universe quark-gluon plasma?

    Particles emerging from even the lowest energy collisions of small deuterons with large heavy nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider exhibit behavior scientists associate with the formation of a soup of quarks and gluons, the fundamental building blocks of nearly all visible matter.
  • Devilish source of dust in atmosphere of Earth and Mars

    Swirling columns of sand and dust, known as dust devils, are a feature of desert areas on Mars and on Earth. Now, a study of terrestrial dust devils has shown that around two thirds of the fine particles lifted by these vortices can remain suspended in the atmosphere and be transported around the globe. The findings have implications for the climate and weather of both planets and, potentially, human health here on Earth.
  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft ends its historic exploration of Saturn

    A thrilling epoch in the exploration of our solar system has come to a close, as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a fateful plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet. Cassini's plunge brings to a close a series of 22 dives between Saturn and its rings, a feat never before attempted by any spacecraft.
  • Light on exoplanets may be quite different from Earth: Different photosynthesis?

    Researchers have proposed a prediction that red-edge could be observed as on the Earth even on exoplanets around M-dwarfs. They pointed out that the first oxgenic photorophs are most likely to have evolved underwater to utilize visible light just like what had happened in the primordial ocean on the Earth. They examined light adaptation mechanisms of visible- and IR-radiation-using phototrophs required for adapting to land habitats and found out that IR-using phototrophs struggle to adapt to changing light condition at the boundary of water and land surface.
  • Star formation influenced by local environmental conditions

    Three scientists have carried out extensive computer simulations related to star formation. They conclude that the present idealized models are lacking when it comes to describing details in the star formation process.
  • The return of the comet-like exoplanet

    Astronomers have focused the Hubble Space Telescope on an exoplanet that had already been seen losing its atmosphere, which forms an enormous cloud of hydrogen, giving the planet the appearance of a giant comet. During earlier observations, it was not possible to cover the whole cloud, whose shape was predicted by numerical simulations. Thanks to these new observations, the scientists have finally been able to confirm the initial predictions.
  • Could interstellar ice provide the answer to birth of DNA?

    Molecules brought to Earth in meteorite strikes could potentially be converted into the building blocks of DNA, researchers have shown.