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.


Catch a fleeting kilonova
Alerted by the first-ever gravitational waves caused by two neutron stars merging, astronomers detect the resulting optical flash.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:26:54 EDT

Seeing the light of neutron star collisions
When two neutron stars collided on Aug. 17, a widespread search for electromagnetic radiation from the event led to observations of light from the afterglow of the explosion, finally connecting a gravitational-wave-producing event with conventional astronomy using light, according to an international team of astronomers.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:21:35 EDT

Hubble observes source of gravitational waves for the first time
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed for the first time the source of a gravitational wave, created by the merger of two neutron stars. This merger created a kilonova -- an object predicted by theory decades ago -- that ejects heavy elements such as gold and platinum into space. This event also provides the strongest evidence yet that short duration gamma-ray bursts are caused by mergers of neutron stars.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:21:15 EDT

Gravitational waves plus new clues from space reveal new way to make a black hole
For the first time, scientists have detected both gravitational waves and light shooting toward our planet from the birthplace of a new black hole created by the merger of two neutron stars. The discovery marks the beginning of a new era of
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:38 EDT

Gamma-ray burst detection just what researchers exclusively predicted
More than a month before a game-changing detection of a short gamma-ray burst, scientists predicted such a discovery would occur.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:28 EDT

Radio 'eyes' unlocking secrets of neutron-star collision
When a pair of superdense neutron stars collided and potentially formed a black hole in a galaxy 130 million light-years from Earth, they unleashed not only a train of gravitational waves but also an ongoing torrent of radio waves that are answering some of the biggest questions about the nature of such a cataclysmic event.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:25 EDT

Astronomers strike cosmic gold, confirm origin of precious metals in neutron star mergers
What many thought would be a long way off, the detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron stars, actually happened on Aug. 17. The observation of a blue and then red glow from the radioactive debris cloud left behind matched simulations of what the merger should look like, proving that such mergers are the source of most of the very heavy elements in the universe, including gold.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:22 EDT

First observations of merging neutron stars mark a new era in astronomy
After LIGO detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars, the race was on to detect a visible counterpart, because unlike the colliding black holes responsible for LIGO's four previous detections, this event was expected to produce an explosion of visible light. Researchers have now found the source of the gravitational waves, capturing the first images of the event with the Swope Telescope in Chile.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:02 EDT

How scientists used NASA data to predict the corona of the Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse
When the total solar eclipse swept across the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, NASA satellites captured a diverse set of images from space. But days before the eclipse, some NASA satellites also enabled scientists to predict what the corona -- the Sun's outer atmosphere -- would look like during the eclipse, from the ground. In addition to offering a case study to test our predictive abilities, the predictions also enabled some eclipse scientists to choose their study targets in advance.
Publ.Date : Sat, 14 Oct 2017 11:17:43 EDT

Solar research: NASA sounding rocket instrument spots signatures of long-sought small solar flares
Like most solar sounding rockets, the second flight of the FOXSI instrument -- short for Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager -- lasted 15 minutes, with just six minutes of data collection. But in that short time, the cutting-edge instrument found the best evidence to date of a phenomenon scientists have been seeking for years: signatures of tiny solar flares that could help explain the mysterious extreme heating of the Sun's outer atmosphere.
Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:03:36 EDT

Solar research: On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves
Combining computer observations and simulations, a new model shows that the presence of neutrals in the gas facilitates the magnetic fields to penetrate through the surface of the Sun producing the spicules.
Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:31:26 EDT

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration
While it's true that space radiation is one of the biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars, it's also true that NASA is developing technologies and countermeasures to ensure a safe and successful journey to the red planet.
Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:52:34 EDT

Star Dust Helps Explain Mysterious Dimming Star
Astronomers are working to understand the mysterious dimming of Tabby's Star. The astronomers report that space dust orbiting the star -- not alien megastructures -- is the likely cause of the star's long-term dimming.
Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:19:51 EDT

New insight into the limits of possible life on Mars
Researchers investigating whether liquid water could exist on Mars have provided new insight into the limits of life on the red planet.
Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:10:28 EDT

Intense storms batter Saturn’s largest moon, scientists report
Titan, the largest of Saturn's more than 60 moons, has surprisingly intense rainstorms, according to research by a team of UCLA planetary scientists and geologists. Although the storms are relatively rare -- they occur less than once per Titan year, which is 29 and a half Earth years -- they occur much more frequently than the scientists expected.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:25:01 EDT

Satellites map photosynthesis at high resolution
Life on Earth is impossible without photosynthesis. It provides food and oxygen to all higher life forms and plays an important role in the climate system, since this process regulates the uptake of carbon dioxide from the Earth's atmosphere and its fixation in biomass. However, quantification of photosynthesis at the ecosystem-to-global scale remains uncertain. Now an international team of scientists have made a major step forward.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:34:07 EDT

Devourer of planets? Astronomers dub star 'Kronos'
'Kronos' is enhanced in metals and other rock-forming elements but not in volatiles, prompting a team of researchers to conclude that it absorbed as much as 15 Earth masses worth of rocky planets. Its twin, 'Krios,' does not show this unusual pattern of enhancement.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:28:32 EDT

A better understanding of space, via helicopter
An algorithm that helps engineers design better helicopters may help astronomers more precisely envision the formation of planets and galaxies. Researchers have created a new model for understanding how black holes, planets, and galaxies emerge from the vortex-rich environments of space.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:26:53 EDT

Reconstructing Cassini's plunge into Saturn
As NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its fateful dive into the upper atmosphere of Saturn on Sept. 15, the spacecraft was live-streaming data from eight of its science instruments, along with readings from a variety of engineering systems. While analysis of science data from the final plunge will take some time, Cassini engineers already have a pretty clear understanding of how the spacecraft itself behaved as it went in.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:35:07 EDT

This is a test: Asteroid tracking network observes close approach
On Oct. 12 EDT (Oct. 11 PDT), a small asteroid designated 2012 TC4 will safely pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers). This is a little over one tenth the distance to the Moon and just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites. This encounter with TC4 is being used by asteroid trackers around the world to test their ability to operate as a coordinated international asteroid warning network.
Publ.Date : Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:55:00 EDT