Space Exploration News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Space Exploration News. Here you can find links to the latest space news headlines about space exploration and space travel. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.

 

Relationships between chemicals found on comets
A new study has revealed similarities and relationships between certain types of chemicals found on 30 different comets, which vary widely in their overall composition compared to one another. The research is part of ongoing investigations into these primordial bodies, which contain material largely unchanged from the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.
Publ.Date : Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:45:35 EST

Embryonic cluster galaxy immersed in giant cloud of cold gas
Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular gas.
Publ.Date : Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:46:58 EST

Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
Dramatic climate cycles on early Mars, triggered by buildup of greenhouse gases, may be the key to understanding how liquid water left its mark on the planet's surface, according to a team of planetary scientists.
Publ.Date : Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:42:56 EST

Tangled threads weave through cosmic oddity
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core wrapped in system of dark, swirling, thread-like filaments.
Publ.Date : Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:02:40 EST

Astronomers watch star clusters spewing out dust
Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team of astronomers has used new data to show that stars are responsible for producing dust on galactic scales, a finding consistent with long-standing theory. Dust is important because it is a key component of rocky planets such as Earth.
Publ.Date : Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:55:05 EST

Star of Bethlehem may not be a star after all
Studying historical, astronomical and biblical records, Grant Mathews, University of Notre Dame professor, believes the event that led the Magi was an extremely rare planetary alignment occurring in 6 B.C., and the likes of which may never be seen again.
Publ.Date : Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:25:50 EST

It's a bird... It's a plane... It's the tiniest asteroid!
A research team has characterized the smallest known asteroid using Earth-based telescopes: Asteroid 2015 TC25 measures just 6 feet across, they report.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:44:31 EST

Modeling offers new perspective on how Pluto's 'icy heart' came to be
Pluto's "icy heart" is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015. Of particular interest is the heart's western lobe, informally named Sputnik Planitia, a deep basin containing three kinds of ices--frozen nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide--and appearing opposite Charon, Pluto's tidally locked moon. Sputnik Planitia's unique attributes have spurred a number of scenarios for its formation, all of which identify the feature as an impact basin, a depression created by a smaller body striking Pluto at extremely high speed.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:37:50 EST

First signs of weird quantum property of empty space?
By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetized neutron star, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarization of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Nov 2016 08:28:04 EST

New design of neutron spectrometer being tested for manned spaceflight
The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) is now aboard the International Space Station. Neutrons contribute to crew radiation exposure and must be measured to assess exposure levels. The FNS uses a new instrument design that can significantly improve reliability.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:36:11 EST

Metallic glass gears make for graceful robots
At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, scientists are building a better gear. Specifically, they are developing gears made from bulk metallic glass (BMG), a specially crafted alloy with properties that make it ideal for robotics.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:33:09 EST

NASA Saturn mission prepares for 'ring-grazing orbits'
A thrilling ride is about to begin for NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Engineers have been pumping up the spacecraft's orbit around Saturn this year to increase its tilt with respect to the planet's equator and rings. And on Nov. 30, following a gravitational nudge from Saturn's moon Titan, Cassini will enter the first phase of the mission's dramatic endgame.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:29:30 EST

Why 'Arrival' is wrong about the possibility of talking with space aliens
Even if aliens had human-like eyes or ears, they wouldn't interpret images and sounds the same way we do, researchers suggest.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Nov 2016 08:50:22 EST

Cause of visual impairment in astronauts identified
A visual problem affecting astronauts who serve on lengthy missions in space is related to volume changes in the clear fluid that is found around the brain and spinal cord, according to new research.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Nov 2016 13:28:31 EST

Timing the shadow of a potentially habitable extrasolar planet paves the way to search for alien life
Scientists have observed the transit of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet known as K2-3d. A transit is a phenomenon in which a planet passes in front of its parent star, blocking a small amount of light from the star, like a shadow of the planet. While transits have previously been observed for thousands of other extrasolar planets, K2-3d is important because there is a possibility that it might harbor extraterrestrial life.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Nov 2016 08:45:13 EST

Mars ice deposit holds as much water as Lake Superior
Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what's in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have determined.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:10:31 EST

New views of dwarf planet Ceres as Dawn moves higher
The brightest area on Ceres stands out amid shadowy, cratered terrain in a dramatic new view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, taken as it looked off to the side of the dwarf planet.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:06:43 EST

Large number of dwarf galaxies discovered in the early universe
Astronomers have found, for the first time, a large population of distant dwarf galaxies that could reveal important details about a productive period of star formation in the universe billions of years ago.
Publ.Date : Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:19:15 EST

Record-breaking faint satellite galaxy of the Milky Way discovered
Astronomers have found an extremely faint dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The satellite, named Virgo I, lies in the direction of the constellation Virgo. At the absolute magnitude of -0.8 in the optical waveband, it may well be the faintest satellite galaxy yet found. Its discovery suggests the presence of a large number of yet-undetected dwarf satellites in the halo of the Milky Way and provides important insights into galaxy formation through hierarchical assembly of dark matter.
Publ.Date : Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:59:20 EST

Bright radio bursts probe universe's hidden matter
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are mysterious flashes of radio waves originating outside our Milky Way galaxy. A team of scientists has now observed the most luminous FRB to date, called FRB 150807.
Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:48:42 EST