Science and Astronomy

NASA’s Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in ‘Habitable Zone’

by William W.on April 17, 2014
Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone” — the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone [...]

NASA detects ocean inside Saturn Moon, potential home for extraterrestrial microbes

by William W.on April 3, 2014
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn’s moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes. Researchers theorized the presence of an interior reservoir of water in 2005 when Cassini discovered water vapor and ice spewing from [...]

An artist's view of the rings surrounding the asteroid Chariklo, which is only 155 miles (250 kilometers) across. The asteroid is the first non-planetary body in the solar system discovered to have its own ring system. Image released March 26, 2014. Credit: Lucie Maquet

Astronomers Find First-Ever Asteroid with Rings

by Chrison April 2, 2014
In a paper published Wednesday in Nature, astronomers report that for the first time, they discovered rings around an asteroid. The asteroid around which rings were discovered, dubbed Chariklo, is a Centaur–a class of small objects orbiting mostly between Jupiter an Neptune. So far, rings have only been seen around the four giant planets in [...]
This concept image shows an astronaut preparing to take samples from the captured asteroid after it has been relocated to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system. Hundreds of rings are affixed to the asteroid capture bag, helping the astronaut carefully navigate the surface.

NASA Solicits Proposals for Asteroid Redirect Mission

by Chrison March 24, 2014
Much like NASA did for ideas about how to best make use of the Kepler spacecraft after its reaction wheel failure earlier last year, NASA is now asking for proposals for advanced technology concepts development for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The Asteroid Redirect Mission would use a small unmanned spacecraft to capture a near-Earth asteroid [...]


NASA’s WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No ‘Planet X’

by William W.on March 7, 2014
After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed “Planet X.” Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit [...]


NASA has discovered 715 New Worlds

by William W.on February 26, 2014
NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of [...]

NASA scientists unwrap mystery of how stars explode

by William W.on February 19, 2014
One of the biggest mysteries in astronomy, how stars blow up in supernova explosions, finally is being unraveled with the help of NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The high-energy X-ray observatory has created the first map of radioactive material in a supernova remnant. The results, from a remnant named Cassiopeia A (Cas A), reveal [...]


NASA spots an incredibly wobbly Super Neptune planet, Kepler-413b

by William W.on February 4, 2014
Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child’s top. [...]


Hubble space telescope helps solve mystery of how the most massive galaxies were formed

by William W.on January 29, 2014
Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in the history of the universe. Enabled by Hubble’s infrared imaging capabilities, astronomers have assembled for the first time a representative spectroscopic sampling of ultra-compact, burned-out elliptical galaxies [...]

James Webb Space Telescope Passes a Mission Milestone

by William W.on January 24, 2014
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has passed its first significant mission milestone for 2014 — a Spacecraft Critical Design Review (SCDR) that examined the telescope’s power, communications and pointing control systems. “This is the last major element-level critical design review of the program,” said Richard Lynch, NASA Spacecraft Bus Manager for the James Webb Space [...]


China’s Moon rover has activated it’s science tools. Imaging experiments have begun.

by William W.on December 20, 2013
Six out of the eight pieces of scientific equipment deployed to the moon with the Chang’e-3 lunar mission have been activated by scientists and are functioning properly, according to those working on the mission.  Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, scientists said the Yutu lunar rover and the Chang’e-3 lander have functioned as planned. [...]

Collapse of our Universe confirmed say scientists. Big Crunch is more likely than previously thought.

by William W.on December 16, 2013
Maybe it happens tomorrow. Maybe in a billion years. Physicists have long predicted that the universe may one day collapse, and that everything in it will be compressed to a small hard ball. New calculations from physicists at the University of Southern Denmark now confirm this prediction – and they also conclude that the risk [...]


Massive water geysers spotted on Jupiter’s moon Europa, possibly from subsurface ocean.

by William W.on December 12, 2013
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter’s moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon’s surface. Previous scientific findings from other sources already point to the existence of an ocean located under Europa’s icy crust. Researchers are not yet fully [...]

Mystery planet discovered that’s made of lava but has the density of Earth

by William W.on November 3, 2013
Astronomers have discovered the first Earth-sized planet outside the solar system that has a rocky composition like that of Earth. Kepler-78b whizzes around its host star every 8.5 hours, making it a blazing inferno and not suitable for life as we know it. The results are published in two papers in the journal Nature. “The [...]

Hubble Space Telescope

NASA Hubble Telescope to Get Super Boost From Natural Zoom Lens

by William W.on October 24, 2013
NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural “zoom lenses” found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what these three great observatories typically can see. In an [...]