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.


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.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:47:24 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:17:47 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:31:29 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:26:27 EDT

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).
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:26:12 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:26:10 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:10:24 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Sep 2017 22:23:01 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:35:23 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:35:18 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:18:48 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:28:52 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Sat, 16 Sep 2017 10:30:08 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:36:01 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:23:14 EDT

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.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:22:56 EDT

Hubble observes pitch black planet
Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black. This discovery sheds new light on the atmospheric composition of the planet and also refutes previous hypotheses about WASP-12b's atmosphere. The results are also in stark contrast to observations of another similarly sized exoplanet.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:22:33 EDT

First global map of water in moon's soil
A new study maps the trace concentrations of water implanted in the lunar soil by the solar wind, a water source that could be used as resource in future lunar exploration.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:30:22 EDT

New gravity map suggests Mars has a porous crust
Scientists have found evidence that Mars' crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet's interior structure and evolution.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:30:05 EDT

A one-of-a-kind star found to change over decades
Researchers recently found new evidence that lends support to an existing theory of how the unusual star emits energy.
Publ.Date : Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:48:44 EDT