Home / Space and Astronomy

Space and Astronomy

Auto Added by WPeMatico

The 2017 Solar Eclipse May Prove the Sun Is Bigger Than We Think

A growing number of researchers think that the sun is actually larger than commonly thought. Scientists don’t know the sun’s size as precisely as the details of the Earth and moon, making it a sticking point for perplexed eclipse modelers. Xavier Jubier creates detailed models of solar and lunar eclipses that work with Google Maps to show precisely where the shadow of the sun will fall on the Earth, and what the eclipse will look like at each point. He came to realize there was something off about the sun’s measurements as he matched his  eclipse simulations with actual photos. …

Read More »

Senate Bill Finds Middle Ground for NASA Funding

The Senate appropriations bill increases funds for the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, matching the companion House bill. Credit: NASA WASHINGTON — A Senate appropriations subcommittee approved a spending bill July 25 that would provide NASA with $19.5 billion, striking a middle ground between the administration’s original request and a more generous House bill. The commerce, justice and science subcommittee (CJS) approved the bill in a brief markup session, delayed by more than an hour due to a procedural vote on the Senate floor about healthcare legislation. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill …

Read More »

Boom! Powerful Cosmic Explosion May Hint at How Black Holes Form

An artist’s illustration of a gamma-ray burst, an energetic blast of jets that fly at nearly the speed of light from a massive star collapsing into a black hole. New research has revealed more about how the blasts are generated and how they evolve over time. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center An ultrapowerful, superfast explosion in space is providing new insight into how dying stars turn into black holes. An international team of researchers looked at a gamma-ray explosion called GRB 160625B that brightened the sky in June 2016. Gamma-ray bursts are among the most powerful explosions in the …

Read More »

Perseid Meteor Shower 2017: When, Where & How to See It

The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower is coming in just a few weeks! According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year. Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. In 2017, the Perseids will be a little more difficult to see due to the presence of the moon, which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak around midnight local time. (Live in a big …

Read More »

Astrobotic’s Private Moon Lander Will Launch in 2019

Artist’s illustration of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander on the surface of the moon. Credit: Astrobotic A private moon lander now has a ride to space for its maiden lunar mission in 2019. Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic’s robotic Peregrine lander will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on its first trip to the moon’s surface two years from now, representatives of both companies announced today (July 26). “Astrobotic is thrilled to select a ULA launch vehicle as the means to get Peregrine to the moon,” Astrobotic CEO John Thornton said in a statement. “By launching with ULA, Astrobotic …

Read More »

Reaching for the Stars, Breakthrough Sends Smallest-Ever Satellites into Orbit

Breakthrough Starshot, the $100 million initiative aiming to send robotic missions to nearby stars by the mid-21st century, has achieved what might prove to be a “Sputnik moment” in successfully lofting its first spacecraft — the smallest ever launched and operated in orbit. In 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the world by flying the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, a 183-lb. (83 kilograms) metallic orb about twice the size of a basketball that broadcast a radio message to anyone listening down on Earth. On June 23, Breakthrough Starshot sent not one but six satellites into low-Earth orbit, riding as supplementary payloads on …

Read More »

Jeff Bezos Makes Instagram Debut in Wild Blue Origin Rocket Factory Video

Jeff Bezos sure knows how to make an entrance.  The billionaire Amazon CEO and founder of the private spaceflight company Blue Origin joined Instagram Thursday (July 20) in a truly novel way: with an aerial tour of Blue Origin’s rocket factory in Florida as a sunglasses-wearing Bezos relaxed on the roof in a lawn chair.  “Rocket Factory Coming Soon,” a sign in Bezos’ hand reads.  Blue Origin is building the rocket factory in Exploration Park near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Orlando. The 750,000 square-foot facility is where Blue Origin will build …

Read More »

Success! Engine for NASA’s Space Launch System Megarocket Aces 3rd Test

The RS-25 rocket engine for NASA’s future megarocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), was test-fired for about 8.5 minutes yesterday (July 25). The test, the third in a row for NASA, occurred at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  “In the heart of baseball season, NASA completed its equivalent of a clean inning, successfully testing the third RS-25 flight controller for use on the new Space Launch System (SLS) deep space rocket,” NASA officials wrote in a statement. The test lasted about 500 seconds and was conducted on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis, they added. [Watch:How NASA’s Space Launch …

Read More »

How to Prep for Totality with New Eclipse Safari Mobile App

The Great American Solar Eclipse is only a month away! The last time a total solar eclipse crossed from one coast to the other of the continental United States was June 8, 1918. With so many North Americans within driving distance, this event promises to be one of the most watched eclipses in history. And just in time to help you plan for it and learn all about solar eclipses and related news, Space.com and Simulation Curriculum have released the free Eclipse Safari App for iOS and Android. In this edition of Mobile Astronomy, we’ll delve into the features of …

Read More »

Cassini Snaps Dazzling Photo of a ‘Ring-Bow’ in Saturn’s Rings

This image of Saturn’s rings was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on April 10, 2017, when the probe was about 680,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from the gas giant. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Saturn’s glorious rings take center stage in a beautiful new photo by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which scientists dubbing it a “ring-bow.” “Although the rings lack the many colors of the rainbow, they arc across the sky of Saturn,” NASA officials wrote in a photo description today (July 25). “From equatorial locations on the planet, they’d appear very thin since they would be seen edge-on. Closer to the …

Read More »