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.


Cosmic horseshoe is not the lucky beacon
Although the universe started out with a bang it quickly evolved to a relatively cool, dark place. After a few hundred thousand years the lights came back on and scientists are still trying to figure out why.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:46:54 EDT

Unexpected giant glowing halos discovered around distant quasars
Astronomers have discovered glowing gas clouds surrounding distant quasars. This new survey indicates that halos around quasars are far more common than expected. The properties of the halos in this surprising find are also in striking disagreement with currently accepted theories of galaxy formation in the early Universe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:11:38 EDT

'Heartbeat stars' unlocked in new study
Matters of the heart can be puzzling and mysterious -- so too with unusual astronomical objects called heartbeat stars.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Oct 2016 17:40:50 EDT

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be two tiny, previously undiscovered moonlets orbiting near two of the planet's rings.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:51:58 EDT

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:54:00 EDT

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, or is it?
Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace. This led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by a mysterious substance named 'dark energy' that drives this accelerating expansion. Now, a team of scientists has cast doubt on this standard cosmological concept. The evidence for acceleration may be flimsier than previously thought, they say, with the data being consistent with a constant rate of expansion.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:32:38 EDT

Researchers solve the problem of the dimensions of space-time in theories relating to the Large Hadron Collider
Researchers propose an approach to the experimental data generated by the Large Hadron Collider that solves the infinity problem without breaching the four dimensions of space-time.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:45:21 EDT

ExoMars lander descent data: Decoding underway
Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module's descent to the Red Planet's surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:33:12 EDT

Tracking waves from sunspots gives new solar insight
The sun is constantly changing. Material courses through not only the star itself, but throughout its expansive atmosphere. Understanding the dance of this charged gas is a key part of better understanding our sun. Now, for the first time, researchers have tracked a particular kind of solar wave as it swept upward from the sun's surface through its atmosphere, adding to our understanding of how solar material travels throughout the sun.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:46:13 EDT

Unexplainable activity in distant stars: New class of explosive events?
Researcher pored through more than 10 years of existing Chandra X-ray Observatory data and found stars that repeatedly survive quick, massive surges in space energy. There are no such instances in our galaxy, as stars are destroyed by similar conditions.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:25:05 EDT

Astrophysicists map the Milky Way
Hydrogen. Atomic number 1. It is the simplest and lightest element on the periodic table, but don't be fooled by its humble appearance. With just a single proton and a single electron, it is the most abundant element in the universe and has fueled star formation for the past 13 billion years. Now scientists have mapped the key ingredient's distribution across the Milky Way, revealing details about our galaxy that have never been seen before.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:50:09 EDT

First Pluto, now this: Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question
Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong, says two astronomers. They've discovered the first "binary--binary" -- two massive companions around one star in a close binary system, one so-called giant planet and one brown dwarf, or "failed star" The first, called MARVELS-7a, is 12 times the mass of Jupiter, while the second, MARVELS-7b, has 57 times the mass of Jupiter.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:25:07 EDT

Ups and downs of water escape from Mars
After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA's MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space. Hydrogen in Mars' upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars' upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:22:18 EDT

ExoMars orbiter reaches Mars orbit while lander situation under assessment
The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of ESA's ExoMars 2016 has successfully performed the long 139-minute burn required to be captured by Mars and entered an elliptical orbit around the Red Planet, while contact has not yet been confirmed with the mission's test lander from the surface.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:11:11 EDT

Possible clouds on Pluto, next target is reddish
Stern said that Pluto's complex, layered atmosphere is hazy and appears to be mostly free of clouds, but the team has spied a handful of potential clouds in images taken with New Horizons' cameras. "If there are clouds, it would mean the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined," Stern said.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:17:27 EDT

Eta Carinae: VLT Interferometer captures raging winds in famous massive stellar system
Astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system, including in the area between the two stars where extremely high velocity stellar winds are colliding. These new insights into this enigmatic star system could lead to a better understanding of the evolution of very massive stars.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:25:28 EDT

Microbial life on Mars: The possibility must be considered
The existence of microbial life on Mars remains highly controversial, but recent evidence of water, complex organic molecules, and methane in the Martian environment, combined with findings from the 1976 Viking mission, have led to the conclusion that existing life on Mars is a possibility that must be considered.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:24:08 EDT

Space-based droplet dynamics lessons?
Droplets in space can grow freakishly large and bounce off nonwetting surfaces in truly unearthly ways. Astronauts frequently encounter huge droplets, and Scott Kelly recently demonstrated their unusual behavior aboard the International Space Station (ISS) via water balls and a hydrophobic (water repellant) ping pong paddle.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:25:33 EDT

NASA's MAVEN mission gives unprecedented ultraviolet view of Mars
New global images of Mars from the MAVEN mission show the ultraviolet glow from the Martian atmosphere in unprecedented detail, revealing dynamic, previously invisible behavior. They include the first images of "nightglow" that can be used to show how winds circulate at high altitudes.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:11:55 EDT

Recently active lava flows on the eastern flank of Idunn Mons on Venus
The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission has provided a great amount of data from the surface and atmosphere of Earth's inner twin planet. Among these observations was the mapping of the southern hemisphere of Venus in the near infrared spectral range. However the thick and permanent cloud cover of Venus limits the achievable resolution, similar to observing a scene through fog. Using a numerical model, planetary researchers pushed the limits of the data resolution.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:16:19 EDT