Space News

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Pocket Stars PDA current version: 6.1
For Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Click the link to download the latest version. V6.0 had a bug in the WorldPages. Please update to V6.1.
[7 Apr 2010]

Pocket Stars PC current version: 6.1
For Windows desktop and notebook computers. Click the link to download the latest version. V6.0 had a bug in the WorldPages. Please update to V6.1.
[7 Apr 2010]

Pocket Stars SP current version:
For Windows Mobile Smartphone. New features: 3D Orrery, Sloan Digital Sky Survey images, localized into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and English.
[29 Nov 2006]

Space Headlines

Fruit flies journey to International Space Station to study effects of zero gravity on the heart
Researchers have announced that six boxes of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) to study the impact of weightlessness on the heart. The fruit flies are scheduled to launch on June 1, 2017, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and will travel to the ISS via a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 19:55:36 EDT]

Extreme Jupiter weather and magnetic fields
New observations about the extreme conditions of Jupiter's weather and magnetic fields by astronomers have contributed to the revelations and insights coming from the first close passes of Jupiter by NASA's Juno mission.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 14:58:44 EDT]

Juno mission to Jupiter delivers first science results
NASA's Juno mission is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released today. The Juno spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since July 2016, passing within 3,000 miles of the equatorial cloudtops.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 14:15:38 EDT]

The big star that couldn't become a supernova
For the first time in history, astronomers have been able to watch as a dying star was reborn as a black hole. It went out with a whimper instead of a bang.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 14:15:32 EDT]

Just after the Big Bang: Galaxies created stars a hundred times faster now
A team of astronomers has discovered a new kind of galaxy which, although extremely old -- formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang -- creates stars more than a hundred times faster than our own Milky Way.
[Wed, 24 May 2017 13:11:49 EDT]

How most antimatter in the Milky Way forms: Mystery solved
Astrophysicists have now shown how most of the antimatter in the Milky Way forms.
[Wed, 24 May 2017 10:45:51 EDT]

Volunteers help find star that exploded 970 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs
Online volunteers have helped astronomers find a star that exploded 970 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs' time on Earth.
[Wed, 24 May 2017 10:15:22 EDT]

Biggest ever simulations help uncover the history of the galaxy
Thousands of processors, terabytes of data, and months of computing time have helped a group of researchers in Germany create some of the largest and highest resolution simulations ever made of galaxies like our Milky Way.
[Wed, 24 May 2017 08:46:06 EDT]

New object near supermassive black hole in famous galaxy
When astronomers took a new look at a famous galaxy with the upgraded Very Large Array, they were surprised by the appearance of a new, bright object that had not appeared in previous images.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 14:41:04 EDT]

Neptune: Neutralizer-free plasma propulsion
Plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit more positively charged particles than negatively charged ones. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a 'neutralizer' injects electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam, but this neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 12:42:03 EDT]

CAST project places new limitations on dark matter
CERN research results deliver no evidence for the existence of solar axions.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 10:43:35 EDT]

ASKAP telescope to rule radio-burst hunt
A CSIRO telescope in Western Australia has found its first 'fast radio burst' from space after less than four days of searching.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 08:33:08 EDT]

How radioactive decay could support extraterrestrial life
In the icy bodies around our solar system, radiation emitted from rocky cores could break up water molecules and support hydrogen-eating microbes. To address this cosmic possibility, a team modeled a natural water-cracking process called radiolysis. They then applied the model to several worlds with known or suspected interior oceans, including Saturn's moon Enceladus, Jupiter's moon Europa, Pluto and its moon Charon, as well as the dwarf planet Ceres.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 08:19:57 EDT]

Kepler telescope spies details of TRAPPIST-1 system's outermost planet
A team of astronomers has used data gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope to observe and confirm details of the outermost of seven exoplanets or-biting the star TRAPPIST-1.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 08:18:58 EDT]

New type of planetary object proposed: Synestia
There's something new to look for in the heavens, and it's called a 'synestia,' according to planetary scientists. A synestia, they propose, would be a huge, spinning, donut-shaped mass of hot, vaporized rock, formed as planet-sized objects smash into each other.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 08:18:52 EDT]

A new approach to forecasting solar flares?
The emerging discipline of space meteorology aims to reliably predict solar flares so that we may better guard against their effects. Using 3D numerical models, an international team has discovered a proxy that could be used to forecast an eruptive event. The proxy is associated with magnetic helicity, which reflects the extent of twist and entanglement of the magnetic field.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 08:10:42 EDT]

Secondary Mirror of ELT Successfully Cast: Largest convex mirror blank ever created
The casting of the secondary mirror blank for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has been completed by SCHOTT at Mainz, Germany. The completed mirror will be 4.2 metres in diameter and weigh 3.5 tonnes. It will be the largest secondary mirror ever employed on a telescope and also the largest convex mirror ever produced.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 08:09:34 EDT]

Mapping super massive black holes in the distant universe
Astronomers have constructed the first map of the Universe based on the positions of supermassive black holes, which reveals the large-scale structure of the Universe.
[Fri, 19 May 2017 13:18:11 EDT]

History of Titan's landscape resembles that of Mars, not Earth
In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan.
[Thu, 18 May 2017 14:38:17 EDT]

NASA mission uncovers a dance of electrons in space
NASA's MMS mission studies how electrons spiral and dive around the planet in a complex dance dictated by the magnetic and electric fields, and a new study revealed a bizarre new type of motion exhibited by these electrons.
[Thu, 18 May 2017 14:02:51 EDT]

Moon orbits third largest dwarf planet in our solar system
Astronomers have uncovered a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, 2007 OR10, in the frigid outskirts of our solar system called the Kuiper Belt.
[Thu, 18 May 2017 14:02:49 EDT]

Icy ring surrounds young planetary system
ALMA has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth.
[Thu, 18 May 2017 14:02:29 EDT]

First direct exploration of magnetic fields in the upper solar atmosphere
Scientists have explored the magnetic field in upper solar atmosphere by observing the polarization of ultraviolet light with the CLASP sounding rocket experiment during its 5-minute flight in space on Sept. 3, 2015. The data show that the structures of the solar chromosphere and transition region are more complicated than expected. It is proven that ultraviolet spectropolarimetry can be used in future investigations of the magnetic fields in upper solar chromosphere and transition region.
[Thu, 18 May 2017 10:41:29 EDT]

Space weather events linked to human activity
Human activities, like nuclear tests and radio transmissions, have been changing near-Earth space and weather, and have created artificial radiation belts, damaged satellites and induced auroras.
[Wed, 17 May 2017 11:16:18 EDT]

How hard did it rain on Mars?
Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet's surface as we see on Earth.
[Tue, 16 May 2017 10:48:18 EDT]

Scientists take first tentative steps to explore potential climate of Proxima B
The quest to discover whether a planet orbiting our closest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri (4.2 light years or 25 trillion miles from Earth), has the potential to support life has taken a new, exhilarating twist.
[Mon, 15 May 2017 19:27:45 EDT]

New 'styrofoam' planet provides tools in search for habitable planets
Researchers have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This 'puffy' exoplanet may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.
[Mon, 15 May 2017 18:04:28 EDT]

Mars rover Opportunity begins study of Perseverance Valley's origin
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission -- an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater's rim.
[Mon, 15 May 2017 14:15:47 EDT]

NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.
[Mon, 15 May 2017 13:30:10 EDT]

Solving one of nature's great puzzles: What drives the accelerating expansion of the universe?
Physicists may have solved one of nature's great puzzles: What causes the accelerating expansion of our universe?
[Mon, 15 May 2017 11:11:33 EDT]

Hubble catches a galaxy duo by the 'hare'
This image shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).
[Fri, 12 May 2017 13:44:19 EDT]

Ancient Mars impacts created tornado-like winds that scoured surface
Plumes of vapor generated by ancient impacts on Mars created tornado-like winds possibly swirling at more than 500 miles per hour, which explain mysterious streaks seen near large impact craters on the Martian surface.
[Thu, 11 May 2017 21:13:53 EDT]

Primitive atmosphere discovered around 'Warm Neptune'
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.
[Thu, 11 May 2017 14:19:51 EDT]

Distance at which supernova would spark mass extinctions on Earth
KU researcher Adrian Melott examines the effects of a supernova on Earth's biology in new research to appear in Astrophysical Journal. The KU researcher and colleagues argue the estimated distance of the supernova thought to have occurred roughly 2.6 million years ago should be cut in half.
[Thu, 11 May 2017 11:59:35 EDT]

Observatories combine to crack open the Crab Nebula
Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.
[Wed, 10 May 2017 14:07:56 EDT]

Waves of lava seen in Jupiter's moon Io's largest volcanic crater
The most active volcanic crater in the solar system, Loki Patera on Jupiter's moon Io, is thought to be a lava lake that periodically brightens because of overturning lava. A UC Berkeley team regularly monitors Io, and took advantage of a rare 2015 event, Europa passing in front of Io, to map the surface of the lake in detail. They found evidence for two massive waves of overturning lava converging toward the lake's southeast corner.
[Wed, 10 May 2017 13:20:17 EDT]

Planetary harmonies around TRAPPIST-1 save it from destruction, astrophysicists find
Astrophysicists have created a digital symphony to highlight the unique configuration of the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1 system.
[Wed, 10 May 2017 11:52:35 EDT]

Supercomputer can disprove the theory of sunspot formation
A group of researchers believes that contrary to a common model sunspots form near the Sun's surface.
[Wed, 10 May 2017 09:15:45 EDT]

Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres
The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers.
[Tue, 09 May 2017 14:52:11 EDT]

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object
Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway. A team discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.
[Tue, 09 May 2017 12:20:26 EDT]

Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight
A kinesiology study has found that astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body.
[Tue, 09 May 2017 12:20:12 EDT]

Space radiation reproduced in the lab for better, safer missions
Human-made space radiation has been produced in new research, which could help to make space exploration safer, more reliable and more extensive.
[Mon, 08 May 2017 11:23:57 EDT]

Space weather model simulates solar storms from nowhere
A kind of solar storm has puzzled scientists for its lack of typical warning signs: They seem to come from nowhere, and scientists call them stealth CMEs. Now, scientists have developed a model simulating their evolution.
[Mon, 08 May 2017 11:23:09 EDT]

Chemical engineer explains oxygen mystery on comets
A chemical engineer who normally develops new ways to fabricate microprocessors in computers has figured out how to explain a nagging mystery in space -- why comets expel oxygen gas, the same gas we humans breathe.
[Mon, 08 May 2017 08:32:33 EDT]

A lot of galaxies need guarding
Like the quirky characters in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Hubble Space Telescope has some amazing superpowers, specifically when it comes to observing galaxies across time and space. One stunning example is galaxy cluster Abell 370, which contains a vast assortment of several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. That's a lot of galaxies to be guarding, and just in this one cluster!
[Thu, 04 May 2017 10:18:49 EDT]

Ancient meteorite impact sparked long-lived volcanic eruptions on Earth
Large impacts were common on the early Earth and were likely much more important than previously thought in shaping our planet. The findings raise interest in the possibility of volcanism also shaping similar structures on Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon.
[Wed, 03 May 2017 10:08:44 EDT]

VISTA peeks through the Small Magellanic Cloud's dusty veil
VISTA's infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking image -- the biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- with the whole frame filled with millions of stars.
[Wed, 03 May 2017 08:02:18 EDT]

Scientists find giant wave rolling through the Perseus galaxy cluster
Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists has discovered a 200,000-light-year wave of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster.
[Tue, 02 May 2017 14:24:00 EDT]

Nearby star is a good model of our early solar system
Scientists have confirmed a nearby star's planetary system contains separate belts of asteroids, similar to our own solar system. The star is also about one-fifth the age of our sun. All that makes this star a good model of the early days of our solar system.
[Tue, 02 May 2017 14:19:53 EDT]

Origin of Milky Way's hypothetical dark matter signal may not be so dark
A mysterious gamma-ray glow at the center of the Milky Way is most likely caused by pulsars. The findings cast doubt on previous interpretations of the signal as a potential sign of dark matter.
[Tue, 02 May 2017 12:12:45 EDT]

Why space dust emits radio waves upon crashing into a spacecraft
When spacecraft and satellites travel through space they encounter tiny, fast moving particles of space dust and debris. If the particle travels fast enough, its impact appears to create electromagnetic radiation that can damage or even disable the craft's electronic systems. A new study uses computer simulations to show that the cloud of plasma generated from the particle's impact is responsible for creating the damaging electromagnetic pulse.
[Tue, 02 May 2017 11:25:50 EDT]

Hubble's bright shining lizard star
The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.
[Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:35:42 EDT]

Solar system: New insights into ring system
Astronomers have modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings. This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles. The simulation revealed that the ring particles are much smaller than predicted or that an undiscovered shepherd satellite around Chariklo is stabilizing the ring.
[Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:38:51 EDT]

Intergalactic gas and ripples in the cosmic web
A team of astronomers has made the first measurements of small-scale ripples in primeval hydrogen gas using rare double quasars.
[Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:17:11 EDT]

Cassini spacecraft dives between Saturn and its rings
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.
[Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:29:14 EDT]

Engineers investigate a simple, no-bake recipe to make bricks from Martian soil
Explorers planning to settle on Mars might be able to turn the planet's soil into bricks without needing to use an oven or additional ingredients. Instead, they would need to apply pressure to compact the soil--the equivalent of a blow from a hammer.
[Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:17:23 EDT]

Using math to investigate possibility of time travel
After some serious number crunching, a researcher says that he has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine: a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.
[Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:17:17 EDT]

Scientists propose mechanism to describe solar eruptions of all sizes
From long jets to massive explosions of solar material and energy, eruptions on the sun come in many shapes and sizes. Scientists now propose that a universal mechanism can explain the whole spectrum of solar eruptions.
[Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:09:57 EDT]

Cassini's first grand finale dive: Milestones
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.
[Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:46:25 EDT]

'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing
Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its star is so faint. But the discovery adds to scientists' understanding of the types of planetary systems that exist beyond our own.
[Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:24:37 EDT]

Nasa Headlines

NASA to Make Announcement About First Mission to Touch Sun
NASA will make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere during an event at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 31, from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
[Fri, 26 May 2017 12:01 EDT]

NASA to Air Launch of Next International Space Station Resupply Mission
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its eleventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 5:55 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 1. Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 5:15 p.m., followed by the post-launch news conference at 7:30 p.m.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 16:54 EDT]

A Whole New Jupiter: First Science Results from NASA’s Juno Mission
Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant.
[Thu, 25 May 2017 13:59 EDT]

James Webb Space Telescope Available for Media Viewing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Media are invited to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to view the James Webb Space Telescope and talk to experts about upcoming cryogenic vacuum tests at 10:15 a.m. CDT Wednesday, May 31.
[Wed, 24 May 2017 16:01 EDT]

NASA Acting Administrator Statement on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal
The following is a statement from NASA acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday.
[Tue, 23 May 2017 12:19 EDT]

Media Invited to Demonstration of NASA UAS Traffic Management Technologies
Media are invited to see the latest technologies NASA is working on as part of its Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) project Thursday, May 25, at the Reno-Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 14:52 EDT]

NASA TV Coverage Set for May 23 Space Station Contingency Spacewalk
NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer are preparing for an unscheduled spacewalk outside the International Space Station Tuesday, May 23. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 14:30 EDT]

NASA to Discuss First Science Results from Juno Mission to Jupiter
Scientists from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter will discuss their first in-depth science results in a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 25, when multiple papers with early findings will be published online by the journal Science and Geophysical Research Letters.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 13:25 EDT]

NASA to Discuss FY2018 Budget Proposal, Provide Virtual Tours of Centers
NASA will hold a series of events May 23, highlighting the agency’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal, including a televised State of NASA address by acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Facebook Live virtual tours of NASA’s 10 centers, where innovation is enabling exploration and discovery.
[Mon, 22 May 2017 09:12 EDT]

Two NASA Astronauts Inducted into U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Two veteran NASA astronauts, Ellen Ochoa and Michael Foale, joined the ranks of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Friday.
[Fri, 19 May 2017 13:45 EDT]