NASA’s Project Morpheus nailed it again today with yet another successful free flight of their prototype lander, soaring higher, faster, and farther than ever before! Go Morpheus!
Read the rest of Morpheus Flies Higher and Farther Than Ever (230 words)
Oh glory! A rainbow-like optical phenomenon known as a ‘glory’ has been imaged for the first time on another planet. It was seen in the atmosphere of our nearest neighbor, Venus by ESA’s Venus Express orbiter.
Read the rest of ‘Rainbow’ on Venus Seen for First Time (421 words)
NASA’s preliminary (read: not finalized) budget for 2015 would eliminate funding for the long-running Opportunity rover mission that’s discovered extensive evidence of past water on Mars in the past decade.
While the agency’s baseline budget request shows no funding for the long-running Mars mission past 2015, NASA added that Opportunity is among several missions that could receive extension money if extra funds become available. Also, the budget needs to be approved by Congress before anything is set in stone.
Read the rest of Mars Rover Opportunity Funding Ceases In 2015 Under NASA Budget Request (739 words)
It’s not often that one associates a satellite with French folk songs, but this infographic does that and more. Below you will find the major launches of the early space age — from the Soviet Union’s Sputnik to the Czechoslovakian Magion 1 — showing how satellites quickly evolved between 1957 and 1978.
In two decades, satellites changed from simple transmitters and receivers to sophisticated machines that carried television signals and science instruments.
Read the rest of Infographic Shows The Quick-Changing Satellites Of The Early Space Age (71 words)
Engage! This video shows some results of the the Galaxy and Mass Assembly catalogue, including the real positions of galaxies. The simulated flythrough, with galactic bodies whizzing by, appears like the view from the Starship Enterprise going at high speed.
Unlike that science fiction series, however, the data you’re seeing has charted information in it (although the galaxies have been biggified for our “viewing pleasure.”)
Read the rest of This Video Is The Closest You’ll Get To Experiencing Warp Drive (272 words)
Like many kids his age, 4-year-old Lucas Whiteley is fascinated about space and astronauts and has a lot of questions to ask. Unlike most kids, though, Lucas got his answers directly from a NASA engineer, with a custom-made video no less!
Read the rest of NASA Engineer Answers 4-Year-Old’s Questions With a Personal Video (219 words)
Astrophotographer Terry Hancock has been working on this for several weeks and the results are fabulous. This panoramic view of the Orion region includes two of the most recognizable objects in this constellation — the Orion Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula. It also takes a look at the three bright stars of Orion’s belt Alnitak (to the left of the image), Alnilam and Mintaka. Additionally, it shows part of the Orion molecular cloud.
More info on this image from Terry:
Read the rest of Astrophoto: Gorgeous Panorama of the Orion & Horsehead Nebulae and Orion’s Belt (141 words)
UPDATE: The Expedition 38 crew landed safely at about 11:24 p.m. EDT (3:24 a.m. UTC) on March 11. You can catch the highlights of the crew extraction at this NASA video.
The action starts today around 4:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. UTC) with the hatch closure ceremony, which you can watch in the video, with landing expected at 11:24 p.m. EDT (3:24 a.m. UTC). We have full details of the schedule below the jump.
Read the rest of Space Station Astronauts Land Tonight — Here’s How To Watch Live (257 words)
© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Post tags: ammonia pump repair, expedition 38, expedition 39, mike hopkins, Oleg Kotov, olympic torch, sergey ryazanskiy, Soyuz, torch
With the premiere of the revamped “Cosmos” series, NASA used this opportunity to showcase the imagery and missions that are such a big part of our explorations of the Universe, live-Tweeting during the show:
Read the rest of Real Images From NASA Show the ‘Cosmos’ as a Space-Time Odyssey (355 words)
There’s a lot you can learn by just staring at an object, watching how it changes in brightness. This is the technique of photometry, and it has helped astronomers discover variable stars, extrasolar planets, minor planets, supernovae, and much more.
Read the rest of Astronomy Cast Ep. 337: Photometry (46 words)
With much anticipation from the astronomy and science community, the opening episode of the new and updated version of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series premiered to the masses on television in North America last night. This reboot – this time hosted by astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson — did a wonderful job of paying homage to Sagan while showcasing the grandeur of space, as well as portraying the infinitesimally small amount of time that humanity has existed. Like its original counterpart, the first episode of the series takes viewers on a quick tour of the Solar System and Universe, showing our cosmic “address” as it were, going back to the Big Bang, but also touching on multiverses and a potentially infinite Universe.
As de Grasse Tyson said at the beginning, “from the infinitesimal to the infinite; from the dawn of time to the distant future.”
There were also – seemingly – an infinite number of commercial interruptions. (...)
Read the rest of ‘Cosmos’ Reboot Starts With a (Big) Bang (1,047 words)
Live in the New York City tri-state area, or anywhere near the path above? One of the most unusual big ticket astronomical events of 2014 occurs on in the morning hours of Thursday March 20th, when the asteriod 163 Erigone “blocks” or occults the bright star Regulus.
This is brightest star to be occulted by an asteroid for 2014, and has a potential to be observed by millions.(...)
Read the rest of How to Watch an Asteroid Occult a Bright Star on March 20th (983 words)
Fancy yourself an asteroid hunter? There’s $35,000 available in prizes for NASA’s new Asteroid Data Hunter contest series, which will be awarded to citizen scientists who develop algorithms that could be used to search for asteroids.
Here’s where you can apply for the contest, which opens March 17 and runs through August. And we have a few more details about this joint venture with Planetary Resources Inc. below.
Read the rest of NASA Offers $35,000 In Prizes For Citizen Scientists To Help Find Asteroids (149 words)
After four months behind the sun from Earth’s perspective, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is back in view — and brighter than ever! New pictures of the comet reveal it is 50 percent brighter than the last images available from October 2013. You can see the result below the jump.
Read the rest of Rise And Shine! Rosetta’s Comet Emerges From Behind Sun, Much Brighter Than Before (272 words)
Hosts: Fraser Cain & Scott Lewis
Astronomers: James McGee, Gary Gonella, Tom Nathe, Russell Bateman & Peter Lake
Read the rest of Virtual Star Party – March 9, 2014: James’ Intimate View of the Moon (118 words)
Historic SpaceX Landing Leg Rocket and Dragon Bound for Station Check Fires Engines at T Minus 1 Week
The historic blast off of the first SpaceX rocket equipped with ‘landing legs’ and also carrying a private Dragon cargo vessel bound for the Space Station is now slated for March 16 following a short and “successful” hot fire check test of the first stage engines on Saturday, March 8.
It’s T Minus 1 week to lift off !
The brief two second ignition of all nine upgraded Merlin 1D engines powering the first stage of SpaceX’s next generation, commercial Falcon 9 rocket at the end of a simulated countdown is a key test required to clear the way for next Sunday’s planned night time lift off at 4:41 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
“Falcon 9 and Dragon conducted a (...)
Read the rest of Historic SpaceX Landing Leg Rocket and Dragon Bound for Station Check Fires Engines at T Minus 1 Week (1,100 words)
© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Post tags: cape canaveral, cargo resupply, commercial cargo, commercial resupply services (CRS), CRS, CRS-3, Dragon capsule, Falcon 9, International Space Station (ISS), ISS, kennedy space center, NASA, SpaceX
Ever dabbled in the occult? You’ll have your chance Monday night March 10 when the waxing gibbous moon glides in front of the star Lambda Geminorum for much of North America, occulting it from view for an hour or more. Occultations of stars by the moon happens regularly but most go unnoticed by casual skywatchers. Lambda is an exception because it’s one of the brighter stars that happens to lie along the moon’s path. Shining at magnitude +3.6, any small telescope and even a pair of 10×50 or larger binoculars will show it disappear along the dark edge of the moon. (...)
Read the rest of Watch a Bright Star Disappear Behind the Moon Monday Night (623 words)
The powerful telescopic camera aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured spectacular new images detailing the traverse of China’s Yutu moon rover around the landing site during its first two months exploring the Moon’s pockmarked grey terrain.
The newly released high resolution LRO images even show Yutu’s tracks cutting into the lunar surface as the world famous Chinese robot drove in a clockwise direction around the Chang’e-3 lander that delivered it to the ground in mid-December 2013.
You can precisely follow Yutu’s movements over time – from ‘above and below’ – in our new composite view (shown above) combining the latest LRO image with our timelapse mosaic showing the rover’s history making path from the touchdown point last December to today’s location.(...)
Read the rest of NASA Lunar Orbiter snaps Spectacular Images of Yutu Moon Rover driving around Chang’e-3 Lander (1,084 words)
© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Post tags: Apollo Moon landings, Chang'E-3, China, china space program, LRO, LROC, Luna 24, Mare Imbrium, Moon, NASA, Soviet Union, yutu lunar lander
Host: Fraser Cain
Astrojournalists: David Dickinson, Matthew Francis, Casey Dreier, Jason Major, Brian Koberlein, Alan Boyle
This week’s stories:
We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Friday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Google+, Universe Today, or the Universe Today YouTube page.Fraser Cain on Google+
Sunday is going to be a once-in-a-generation moment. For those of us who were too young to remember the original Cosmos (writer puts hand up) or those who are eager to see the classic 1980 Carl Sagan series updated with discoveries since then, we’re all in luck. A new series starring astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson is premiering on Fox.
NASA hosted a sneak preview of the series at several NASA centers, and the early reviews on Twitter indicated a heck of a lot of excited people in the audience. In the video above, you can watch the Q&A with the main players after the premiere concluded.
Read the rest of TV Show ‘Cosmos’ Gets An Epic Reboot This Sunday (289 words)
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