Latest Space Stories

Astronomers Use AKARI Orbiting Observatory To Map Space’s Icy Wastes
2014-06-26 03:40:16

Royal Astronomical Society Using the AKARI orbiting observatory, astronomers from the Open University have made the first large-scale maps of icy material where stars are forming. In a challenge to conventional ideas about the formation of water in space, they find ice in regions with little dust or gas. Dr Helen Fraser, who led the new work, presented the results in her talk at the National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth this week. Launched by the Japanese space agency JAXA in 2006,...

Dark Energy Survey Discovers Exotic Supernova
2014-06-26 03:28:35

Royal Astronomical Society The first images taken by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) after the survey began in August 2013 have revealed a rare, ‘superluminous’ supernova that erupted in a galaxy 7.8 billion light years away. The stellar explosion, called DES13S2cmm, easily outshines most galaxies in the Universe and could still be seen in the data six months later, at the end of the first of what will be five years of observing by DES. The event was discovered by Andreas Papadopoulos, a...

Using A Telescope To Dig For Ice On Pluto
2014-06-26 03:59:09

Royal Astronomical Society In just over a year, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, giving us our first detailed look at the dwarf planet. Anticipating this encounter, St Andrews undergraduate student Ailsa Whitelaw and her supervisor Dr Jane Greaves have used forgotten data to map the sub-surface of Pluto, peering beneath its icy coating to uncover hidden chemicals that give a hint of the future of this distant world. Dr Greaves will present the new work in her talk on...

Trio Of Supermassive Black Holes Discovered In Distant Galaxy
2014-06-26 08:58:10

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While many galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their core, a new study published in the journal Nature has revealed a truly exotic phenomenon – a galaxy more than four billion light years away with three orbiting supermassive black holes at its center. The study authors said their work indicates that there could be numerous other galaxies with two or more black holes at their center. “What remains extraordinary to me is...

stereo images corona
2014-06-26 04:56:26

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: STEREO View Of Solar Atmosphere ] Astronomers using NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) have discovered that the atmosphere of solar particles surrounding the sun is larger than previously believed, extending out some five million miles above the surface, the US space agency announced on Wednesday. The solar atmosphere, which is also known as the corona, consists of particles “through...

Citizen Scientists Can Now Help Discover NEAs Using Asteroid Zoo
2014-06-25 09:09:37

Gerard LeBlond for redorbit.com - Your Universe Online Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are space rocks that will pass close by our planet with a potential risk of impact. NASA, astronomers and scientists search the sky continually for these types of asteroids. Now, with the launch of Asteroid Zoo, the general public can assist in the search for undiscovered NEAs. Asteroid Zoo was launched on June 24, 2014 by Planetary Resources and Zooniverse allowing the general public, citizen scientists...

Harpoons May Be Used By ESA To Clear Earth's Orbit Of Space Junk
2014-06-24 10:53:21

Gerard LeBlond for redorbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Agency (ESA) is embarking on an age old practice of using harpoons for the future goal of clearing orbits of tumbling satellites and other hazardous space junk. The Earth’s orbit is filled with decades of launched satellites that are no longer being used, along with other space debris that pose a collision threat with ongoing missions. There are more than 17,000 trackable objects floating in Earth’s orbit....

building blocks of comets
2014-06-24 08:52:55

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A joint research effort between NASA and the European Space Agency has found proof that nitrogen within the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan came from conditions very similar to those that formed most of the ancient comets in the Oort cloud, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The Oort cloud is a spherical cloud of predominantly icy space rocks believed to surround the Sun at a radius far outside the Solar...

Journey Into NASA Clean Room For James Webb Space Telescope Microshutters
2014-06-23 03:06:00

[ Watch The Video: JWST Microshutters Snapshot ] Rob Gutro, NASA NASA's James Webb Space Telescope microshutters have taken a short jaunt in preparation of its million mile journey in four years. The microshutters were moved into a NASA Goddard cleanroom for testing to verify they work correctly before being installed in the Webb's Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument. NIRSpec is a powerful instrument that will record the spectra of light from distant objects. The...

Organic Conundrum In Milky Way’s Satellite Galaxy, The Large Magellanic Cloud
2014-06-23 03:03:26

Royal Astronomical Society A group of organic chemicals that are considered carcinogens and pollutants today on Earth, but are also thought to be the building blocks for the origins of life, may hold clues to how carbon-rich chemicals created in stars are processed and recycled in space. Scientists have studied how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are created in an aging population of stars in the Milky Way’s satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. They have found that...

Latest Space Reference Libraries

2014-01-02 10:21:51

Geometry is a branch of mathematics that is concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. A mathematician who works in the geometry field is called a geometer. Geometry arose independently in numerous early cultures as a body of practical knowledge concerning areas, lengths, and volumes, with elements of a formal mathematical science emerging in the West as early as Thales. By the 3rd century BC, geometry was put into an axiomatic form by...

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

Ad Astra
2012-05-07 07:06:15

Ad Astra is a quarterly-published journal of the National Space Society (NSS). The name “ad astra” means “to the stars.” The journal was established following the merger of the L5 Society and the National Space Institute, which formed the NSS in 1987. The NSS is a non-profit aerospace advocacy and educational institution based in Washington DC. On November 28, 2007, the NSS announced MM Publishing Inc. as the newest publisher of Ad Astra. MM Publishing officially took on the role...

2012-03-24 10:39:24

Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center on October 22, 1992 at 1:09 PM EDT and landed at Kennedy on November 1 at 9:05 AM EST. The shuttle orbited 159 times at an altitude of 163 nautical miles at an inclination of 28.45 degrees and travelled 4.1 million miles. The mission lasted 9 days, 20 hours, 56 minutes, and 13 seconds. The mission launched several satellites for international partners. The primary mission objectives were the deployment of the Laser Geodynamic Satellite II...

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Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.