Astronomy & Space News

  • NASA Rover Opportunity views comet near Mars
    21 October 2014, 6:35 am
    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars. The images of comet Siding Spring were taken against a backdrop of the pre-dawn Martian sky on Sunday (Oct. 19).
  • Mars Orbiter image shows comet nucleus is small
    21 October 2014, 6:33 am
    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured views of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring while that visitor sped past Mars on Sunday (Oct. 19), yielding information about its nucleus.
  • Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery
    20 October 2014, 7:39 pm
    Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old spacecraft data. Venus's surface can't be seen from orbit in visible light because of the planet's hot, dense, cloudy atmosphere. Instead, radar has been used by spacecraft to penetrate the clouds and map out the surface – both by reflecting radar off the surface to measure elevation and by looking at the radio emissions of the hot surface. The last spacecraft to map Venus in this way was Magellan, two decades ago.
  • NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter watches comet fly near
    20 October 2014, 3:28 pm
    The longest-lived robot ever sent to Mars came through its latest challenge in good health, reporting home on schedule after sheltering behind Mars from possible comet dust.
  • NASA's MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects
    20 October 2014, 3:26 pm
    NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars Oct. 19 and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.
  • NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter studies comet flyby
    20 October 2014, 3:21 pm
    NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has sent home more data about Mars than all other missions combined, is also now providing data about a comet that buzzed The Red Planet Oct. 19.
  • Explosion first evidence of a hydrogen-deficient supernova progenitor
    17 October 2014, 1:28 am
    A new model is the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. The model predicts that a bright hot star, which is the binary companion to an exploding object, remains after the explosion.Their findings have important implications for the evolution of massive stars.
  • NASA spacecraft provides new information about sun's atmosphere
    17 October 2014, 12:54 am
    NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has provided scientists with five new findings into how the sun's atmosphere, or corona, is heated far hotter than its surface, what causes the sun's constant outflow of particles called the solar wind, and what mechanisms accelerate particles that power solar flares.
  • Tiny 'nanoflares' might heat the Sun's corona
    16 October 2014, 11:06 pm
    Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa is presenting new clues to the mystery of coronal heating. The team finds that miniature solar flares called 'nanoflares' -- and the speedy electrons they produce -- might partly be the source of that heat, at least in some of the hottest parts of the Sun's corona.
  • Wobbling of a Saturn moon hints at what lies beneath
    16 October 2014, 8:36 pm
    Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas, the closest of Saturn's regular moons, an astronomer has inferred that this small moon's icy surface cloaks either a rugby ball-shaped rocky core or a sloshing sub-surface ocean.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran