Space exploration - page 4

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15 advanced space technology concepts selected for further study

NASA has selected 15 proposals for study under Phase I of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), a program that aims to turn science fiction into science fact through the development of pioneering technologies.The chosen proposals cover a wide range of inventive

May 09, 2015

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Dawn of a new era: the revolutionary ion engine that took spacecraft to Ceres

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has spent more than seven years travelling across the Solar System to intercept the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Now in orbit around Ceres, the probe has returned the first images and data from these distant objects. But inside

March 23, 2015

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Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached dwarf planet Ceres and achieved orbit around it on Friday, March 6, 2015. Dawn was approximately 61 000 km (38 000 miles) away from Ceres when it was captured by its gravity at about 12:39 UTC.Mission controllers at NASA’s Je

March 06, 2015

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Giant methane storms on Uranus

Most of the times we have looked at Uranus, it has seemed to be a relatively calm place. Well, yes its atmosphere is the coldest place in the solar system. But, when we picture the seventh planet in our solar system invariably the image of a calming blue hazy disc that

March 02, 2015

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Astronomers find newborn stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy

A team of Brazilian astronomers led by Denilso Camargo of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul have made a remarkable discovery, a cluster of stars forming on the very edge of the Milky Way galaxy. This is the first time astronomers have found stars being...

February 27, 2015

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New Horizons spots small moons orbiting Pluto

Exactly 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh’s historic discovery of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft set to encounter the icy dwarf planet this summer is providing its first views of the small moons orbiting Pluto. The moons Nix and Hydra are visible in a series of im

February 19, 2015

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Massive clouds erupted 260 km into Martian atmosphere - and no one knows why

Enormous cloud-like plumes reaching 260km above the surface of Mars have left scientists baffled. This is way beyond Mars’s normal weather, reaching into the exosphere where the atmosphere merges with interplanetary space. None of the conventional explanations

February 17, 2015

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An infrared atlas of interacting galaxies

Most galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have been influenced by an interaction with another galaxy at some time in their past. Interactions between galaxies can trigger an increase in star-formation activity as well an increased level of activity around the nuclear

February 03, 2015

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Swarm of scientific microprobes to the clouds of Jupiter in 2030

A swarm of tiny probes each equipped with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere, according to a recently presented concept in International Journal of Space Scie

January 26, 2015

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Hubble captures the Pillars of Creation twenty years on

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured many breathtaking images of the Universe, but one snapshot stands out from the rest: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.In 1995 Hubble’s iconic image revealed never-before-seen details in the giant columns

January 11, 2015

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NASA observatories take an unprecedented look into superstar Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10 000 light-years of Earth, is known for its surprising behavior, erupting twice in the 19th century for reasons scientists still don't understand.A long-term study led by astronomers at NASA's Go

January 09, 2015

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Huge new astronomy database now available to the public

Penn State University astronomers are among the scientists of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who this week are releasing to the public a massive collection of new information about the universe. "This set of observations is one of the largest astronomical data

January 09, 2015

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Hubble captures the sharpest ever view of neighbouring Andromeda galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest and biggest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy, known as Messier 31. The enormous image is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a

January 06, 2015

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Curiosity rover finds active, ancient organic chemistry on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill."This temporary increase in meth

December 18, 2014

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New Horizons wakes up for historic Pluto encounter

New Horizons woke up from hibernation on December 6, 2014 after a 4.8 billion km voyage (3 billion miles) and almost nine years after launch. The spacecraft is now preparing for a six-month encounter with Pluto that begins in January 2015. This mission will complete

December 08, 2014

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Remarkably weak solar activity and intensifying cosmic rays preclude deep space human exploration?

Dr. Tony Phillips, author of SpaceWeather.com, brought our attention to a very interesting research article published recently in AGU's journal "Space Weather". The article is titled "Does the worsening galactic cosmic radiation environment observed b

December 07, 2014

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NASA’s new Orion spacecraft completes first spaceflight test

NASA marked a major milestone today on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years.“Today’s flight test of Orion is a huge step

December 05, 2014