Astronomy & Space News

  • Mysterious ripples found racing through planet-forming disc
    7 October 2015, 7:56 pm
    Astronomers have discovered never-before-seen structures within a dusty disc surrounding a nearby star. The fast-moving wave-like features in the disc of the star AU Microscopii are unlike anything ever observed, or even predicted, before now. The origin and nature of these features present a new mystery for astronomers to explore.
  • Where to look for life? Astronomers devise 'habitability index' to guide future search
    6 October 2015, 12:46 am
    Astronomers have created a way to compare and rank exoplanets to help prioritize which of the thousands discovered warrant close inspection in the search for life beyond Earth.
  • The golden anniversary of black-hole singularity
    1 October 2015, 6:58 pm
    When a star collapses forming a black hole, a space-time singularity is created wherein the laws of Physics no longer work. In 1965 Sir Roger Penrose presented a theorem where he associated that singularity with so-called 'trapped surfaces' that shrink over time. That hypothesis -- one of the results of the general theory of relativity -- is now celebrating its anniversary.
  • High-powered telescope designed to explore origins of universe moving toward 'first light'
    30 September 2015, 9:01 pm
    An effort to peer into the origins of the universe with the most effective instrument ever used in the effort is taking a big step forward, as scientists begin shipping a two-story-tall microwave telescope to its base in Chile.
  • Asteroids found to be the moon's main 'water supply'
    30 September 2015, 5:04 pm
    Water reserves found on the moon are the result of asteroids acting as 'delivery vehicles' and not of falling comets as was previously thought. Using computer simulation, scientists have discovered that a large asteroid can deliver more water to the lunar surface than the cumulative fall of comets over a billion year period.
  • Dawn team shares new maps and insights about Ceres
    30 September 2015, 4:45 pm
    Mysteries and insights about Ceres are being discussed this week at the European Planetary Science Conference in Nantes, France. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is providing scientists with tantalizing views and other data about the intriguing dwarf planet that they continue to analyze.
  • Mechanism of explosions and plasma jets associated with sunspot formation revealed
    30 September 2015, 1:44 pm
    Sunspots are planet-sized conglomerates of bundles of intense magnetic field lines on the surface of the Sun. They are known to cause explosions (solar flares) which can directly impact our technological infrastructure. What astrophysical mechanisms are responsible for the formation of sunspots and how do they drive explosive events are important questions in our quest to understand the Sun's activity and its magnetic effect on Earth.
  • Walk the line: NASA studies physical performance after spaceflight
    30 September 2015, 12:12 am
    Walking an obstacle course on Earth is relatively easy. Walking an obstacle course after being in space for six months isn't so simple. NASA's Human Research Program is focusing on identifying key physical factors that contribute to a decrease in performance as we prepare for a journey to Mars.
  • Earth-like planets around small stars likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding chance for life
    29 September 2015, 1:07 pm
    Earth-like planets orbiting close to small stars probably have magnetic fields that protect them from stellar radiation and help maintain surface conditions that could be conducive to life, according to research from astronomers.
  • Liquid water flows on today's Mars: NASA confirms evidence
    28 September 2015, 3:41 pm
    New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time.


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Copyright © 2014 Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran