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.


Hubble spots possible water plumes erupting on Jupiter's moon Europa
Astronomers have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:29:19 EDT

Scientists' finding supports moon creation hypothesis
A layer of iron and other elements deep underground is the evidence scientists have long been seeking to support the hypothesis that the moon was formed by a planetary object hitting the infant Earth some 4.5 billion years ago, a new study argues.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:53:39 EDT

New low-mass objects could help refine planetary evolution
When a star is young, it is often still surrounded by a primordial rotating disk of gas and dust, from which planets can form. Astronomers like to find such disks because they might be able to catch the star partway through the planet formation process, but it's highly unusual to find such disks around brown dwarfs or stars with very low masses. New work has discovered four new low-mass objects surrounded by disks.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:18:28 EDT

X-rays that don't come from any known source
Space is filled with types of light we can't see -- from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly contended over the past few decades. A new study confirms some ideas about where these X-rays come from, shedding light on our solar neighborhood's early history. But it also reveals a new mystery -- an entire group of X-rays that don't come from any known source.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:47:00 EDT

How to merge two black holes in a simple way
The merger of two black holes, such as the one that produced the gravitational waves discovered by the LIGO Observatory, is considered an extremely complex process that can only be simulated by the world's most powerful supercomputers. However, two theoretical physicists have demonstrated that what occurs on the space-time boundary of the two merging objects can be explained using simple equations, at least when a giant black hole collides with a tiny black hole.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:59:56 EDT

Colorful demise of a sun-like star
Our sun will eventually burn out and shroud itself with stellar debris, but not for another 5 billion years.
Publ.Date : Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:49:25 EDT

ALMA Explores the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: Deepest ever millimeter observations of early Universe
International teams of astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to explore the distant corner of the Universe first revealed in the iconic images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). These new ALMA observations are significantly deeper and sharper than previous surveys at millimetre wavelengths. They clearly show how the rate of star formation in young galaxies is closely related to their total mass in stars. They also trace the previously unknown abundance of star-forming gas at different points in time, providing new insights into the “Golden Age” of galaxy formation approximately 10 billion years ago.
Publ.Date : Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:16:48 EDT

Hubble finds planet orbiting pair of stars
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The Hubble observations represent the first time such a three-body system has been confirmed using the gravitational microlensing technique.
Publ.Date : Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:07:08 EDT

Cosmology safe as universe has no sense of direction
The universe is expanding uniformly. Space isn't stretching in a preferred direction or spinning.
Publ.Date : Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:38:23 EDT

Twin jets pinpoint the heart of an active galaxy
Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. Researchers have now measured the magnetic fields in this area. They observed the bright, very compact structure of just two light days in size using a global ensemble of millimeter-wavelength telescopes. The magnetic field value recorded at the event horizon of the black hole was between 0.02 and 8.3 tesla. The team concludes that the magnetic fields provide enough magnetic energy to power the twin jets.
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:01:19 EDT

NASA scientists find 'impossible' cloud on Titan -- again
The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought -- possibly similar to one seen over Earth's poles -- could be forming clouds on Saturn's moon Titan.
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:38:36 EDT

In exploring the ‘now,’ new theory links flow of time with Big Bang
A simple question from his wife -- Does physics really allow people to travel back in time? -- propelled a physicist on a quest to resolve a fundamental problem that had puzzled him throughout his 45-year career: Why does the arrow of time flow inexorably toward the future, constantly creating new "nows"?
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:12:34 EDT

Feeding a Mars mission: The challenges of growing plants in space
Plants will play a critical role in the survival of human beings on long-duration space missions, such as a mission to Mars.  However, as a new paper shows, many challenges need to be addressed if astronauts are to successfully grow enough food on board spacecraft and on other planets.
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 10:39:18 EDT

In rotating galaxies, distribution of normal matter precisely determines gravitational acceleration
Researchers have found a significant new relationship in spiral and irregular galaxies: the acceleration observed in rotation curves tightly correlates with the gravitational acceleration expected from the visible mass only. The discovery may alter the understanding of dark matter and the internal dynamics of galaxies.
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 08:50:52 EDT

Galactic fireworks illuminate monster hydrogen blob in space
An international team of researchers using ALMA and other telescopes has discovered the power source illuminating a so-called Lyman-alpha Blob -- a rare, brightly glowing, and enormous concentration of gas in the distant universe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 21 Sep 2016 08:50:46 EDT

Earthquakes, ‘Mars-quakes,’ and the possibility of life
A new study shows that rocks formed by the grinding together of other rocks during earthquakes are rich in trapped hydrogen -- a finding that suggests similar seismic activity on Mars may produce enough hydrogen to support life.
Publ.Date : Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:36:18 EDT

New ways to track stars eaten by black holes
Astrophysicists have broken new ground in ways to observe a star swallowed by a black hole, promising to help paint a clearer picture of this cosmic phenomenon.
Publ.Date : Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:49:55 EDT

Unusual short burst of X-rays coming from slowest-spinning neutron star
A new record-holder for the slowest spinning neutron star has been found thanks to clues first detected by NASA's Swift space observatory. Spinning neutron stars are the class of stars with the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe. Swift's X-Ray Telescope captured a short burst of unusual X-rays on June 22, 2016 coming from an object roughly 9,000 light-years from Earth.
Publ.Date : Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:25:18 EDT

Pluto's glaciers: Large heart-shaped nitrogen glacier explained
What is the origin of the large heart-shaped nitrogen glacier revealed in 2015 on Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft? Astronomers show that Pluto's peculiar insolation and atmosphere favor nitrogen condensation near the equator, in the lower altitude regions, leading to an accumulation of ice at the bottom of Sputnik Planum, a vast topographic basin. Through their simulations, they also explain the surface distribution and atmospheric abundance of other types of volatiles observed on Pluto.
Publ.Date : Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:07:11 EDT

How and why are measurements of ozone taken from space?
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica became an international cause for concern in the latter half of the 20th Century, but researchers point out that the issues relating to ozone levels are complex and wide-reaching.
Publ.Date : Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:30:45 EDT