Posts in Astronomy and Space News

Up close and personal – Typhoon fighter jet nearly lands on onlookers’ heads at RAF airshow

// July 12th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Up close and personal, RAF Waddington Air Show viewers got the shock of their lives when a RAF Typhoon jet fighter accidentally dropped too low during a landing, skimming just a few feet above the heads of onlookers and barely clearing an airport boundary fence. The plane spotters were located just outside of the airport […]

Uh, is anyone else creeped out by this odd, rectangle-shaped nebula found in our galaxy?

// May 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Aren’t nebulae supposed to be, well, round. And blood-red in color to cap off the creepiness factor. What gives? Astronomers think they *may* be able explain away the Red Rectangle Nebula’s odd shape as an optical illusion but its crimson color still has them scratching their heads.

Boulder-size object hit moon creating explosion 10 times brighter than anything NASA has seen before

// May 17th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

On March 17, 2013, an object the size of a large boulder, crashed into the surface of the moon. The resulting flash of light was 10 times greater than any recorded direct-moon hit to date and in fact was so bright, it was visible by the naked eye from Earth. Scientists at NASA explained that […]

Navy’s hydrogen-powered Ion Tiger flies for record 48 hours straight without refueling

// May 14th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

The US Office of Naval Research’s Ion Tiger, an experimental surveillance plane that utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell as its power source, flew for a record 48 hours. Yes, a full two days without refueling! The previous record of 26 hours, set in 2009, was shattered thanks to a new cryogenic storage tank filled with […]

First Tunguska meteorite fragments reportedly found by Russian mineralogist

// May 2nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

On 30 June 1908, a powerful explosion occurred over an isolated region of Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. The blast was 1000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, registered 5 on the Richter scale and is thought to have knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2000 square […]

Ready for dark matter? International Space Station’s AMS antimatter detector discovers first evidence of dark matter

// April 3rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Scientists at CERN today announced that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on board the International Space Station has detected its first hints of dark matter, the mysterious and as yet unexplained stuff that makes up the majority of the universe. The evidence presented is based on an excess in the cosmic production of anti-electrons, also known […]

NASA tweets nearby floating “debris” photos from ISS which clearly shows saucer-shaped UFO

// April 1st, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

NASA and ISS may be slowly loosening their tight lips with regards to the normally hush-hush UFO phenomenon. Today, Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and the commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station, tweeted pictures of a huge piece of debris that he captured on film floating near ISS. Upon closer inspection, the object […]

Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket engines recovered from floor of Atlantic

// March 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Two of the five Saturn V rocket engines that powered NASA’s July 19, 1969 Apollo 11 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, has been recovered from the Atlantic ocean floor in an expedition sponsored by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The rockets, which had a shelf life of only 165 seconds, were jettisoned into the waters […]

Mars Curiosity rover drills hole in Mars for the first time – powder samples collected for testing

// February 8th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

The Mars Curiosity Rover has drilled a hole in Mars for the first time yesterday. Curiosity used the drill at the tip of its robotic arm to drill a small .8 inch (2 centimeter) hole into the Martian rock affectionately named “John Klein”. The so-called “mini-drill test” marked the first time Curiosity used both the […]

New impact debris measurements nail Giant Asteroid impact to within 11K years – precisely when dinosaurs disappeared

// February 8th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Paul Renne, a geologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center (BGC), along with colleagues from U.C. Berkeley as well as researchers from the UK and Netherlands, has resampled radio-isotope measurements from impact debris. It has been over two decades since the debris was analyzed to determine the impact date that theoretically doomed the dinosaurs. The new […]

NASA says incoming Feb 15 asteroid will be a “record-setting close approach”

// February 1st, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

On February 15, 2013 an asteroid about half the size of a football field will pass by the Earth with only 17,200 miles to spare. The asteroid, named 2012 DA14, will pass Earth closer than many man-made satellites. Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at JPL told reporters that this is a record-setting […]

NASA’s NEXT ion thruster engine sets new world record

// January 30th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

NASA Glenn has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. The ion propulsion system’s efficient use of fuel and electrical power enable modern spacecraft to travel farther, faster, and cheaper […]

MRO discovers interesting process on Mars surface – underground dry ice causes exploding sand dunes

// January 28th, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, or MRO, has discovered an interesting process on the surface of Mars – exploding sand dunes! Enormous pressure from underground frozen carbon dioxide deposits is being released through the surface creating feathery looking sand dunes in Mar’s northern hemisphere. The results of these new studies will be published in the […]

Newly released European Space Agency photograph shows massive supergiant star hurling towards mysterious “dusty wall”

// January 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Betelgeuse, the supergiant bright red star in the picture above, lies in the shoulder of Orion and has dozens of times the mass of the Sun. Scientists believe Betelgeuse is ready to detonate as a supernova at any time. The European Space Agency yesterday released the photograph above showing Betelgeuse ploughing through interstellar space at […]

Probe finds strongest evidence yet that Mars may have (or does) support life

// January 22nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

On Sunday, January 20, officials announced that data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft provides evidence of a wet underground environment, and clues that suggest a groundwater-fed lake could have existed in McLaughlin Crater, a crater fifty-seven miles in diameter and 1.4 miles deep.  According to NASA: “A combination of […]

Researchers discover proof of massive gamma-ray burst striking Earth in 8th century

// January 22nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Astronomy and Space News

Astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhӓuser have discovered proof that a massive short duration gamma-ray burst hit the earth in the 8th century. The intense blast of high-energy radiation could have caused a mass-extinction event if it had been just a tad bit closer to the earth. Scientists estimate that the event emanated from 3,000 […]