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 2018-12-10 22:37 

Universe Today

Carnival of Space #590...

Welcome to the 590th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy writers and bloggers, who submit their best work each week for your benefit. We have a fantastic roundup today so now, on to this week's worth of storie...

 2018-12-10 21:52 

Universe Today

A Rapid Rise in Temperature Led to the Worst Extinction in our Planet's History...

Everyone knows about the extinction of the dinosaurs. A cataclysmic asteroid strike about 66 million years ago (mya) caused the Death of the Dinosaurs. But there've been several mass extinctions in the Earth's history, and they didn't involve ...

 2018-12-07 21:33 

Universe Today

Mercury-Bound BepiColombo is About to Start Using the Most Powerful Ion Engines Ever Sent to Space...

A handful of spacecraft have used ion engines to reach their destinations, but none have been as powerful as the engines on the BepiColombo spacecraft. BepiColombo is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Explorat...

 2018-12-07 19:39 

Universe Today

The Draco Constellation...

Located in the northern hemisphere, between the two "dippers", is the Draco constellation - one of the 48 compiled by Ptolemy and one of the 88 recognized by the IAU. The post The Draco Constellation appeared first on Universe Today ....

 2018-12-07 18:30 

Universe Today

InSight's Robot Arm is Ready to go to Work...

Some new images sent home by the InSight Lander show the robotic arm and the craft's instruments waiting on deck, on the surface of Mars. The lander is still having its systems tested, and isn't quite ready to get to work. It'll use its arm to...

 2018-12-07 02:58 

Universe Today

Astronomers Count all the Photons in the Universe. Spoiler Alert: 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Photons...

Imagine yourself in a boat on a great ocean, the water stretching to the distant horizon, with the faintest hints of land just beyond that. It's morning, just before dawn, and a dense fog has settled along the coast. As the chill grips you on your ear...

 2018-12-06 22:20 

Universe Today

Ice loss in Greenland is Accelerating...

The rate at which Greenland is losing its ice is accelerating. This unsurprising conclusion comes from a new study based on 25 years of satellite data from the European Space Agency. The new study was published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The ...

 2018-12-06 10:14 

Universe Today

On the Astronomy Trail in Nebraska...

Most of us think of distant sites such as Death Valley, the Kalahari Desert or the Canary Islands when it comes to dark skies. And while it's true that many observers are now traveling farther and farther away from home in search of truly dark skies, ...

 2018-12-05 23:29 

Universe Today

New SPECULOOS Telescope Sees First Light. Soon it'll be Seeing Habitable Planets Around Ultra-Cool Stars...

Our newest planet-hunting telescope is up and running at the ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile. SPECULOOS, which stands for Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars, is actually four 1-meter telescopes working together. The first imag...

 2018-12-05 22:39 

Universe Today

Good News: a SpaceX Cargo Resupply is Off to the Space Station. Bad News: Failed Hydraulics in the Grid Fins Caused the First Stage Booster to Crash Into the Ocean...

SpaceX's sixteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-16) successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft to orbit, but the first stage didn't quite stick the landing. The post Good News: a SpaceX Cargo Resupply is Off to the Space Station. Bad N...

 2018-12-05 21:23 

Universe Today

The Large Hadron Collider has been Shut Down, and Will Stay Down for Two Years While they Perform Major Upgrades...

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is getting a big boost to its performance. Unfortunately, for fans of ground-breaking physics, the whole thing has to be shut down for two years while the work is done. But once it's back up and running, its enhanced ca...

 2018-12-05 19:15 

Universe Today

Weekly Space Hangout: Dec 05, 2018: Dr. Pamela Gay talks CosmoQuest Hangoutathon!...

Hosts: Guest Host Dr. Pamela Gay (astronomycast.com / cosmoquest.org / @starstryder) Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier ) Dr. Morgan Reh...

 2018-12-04 21:27 

Universe Today

A Meteor may have Exploded in the Air 3,700 Years Ago, Obliterating Communities Near the Dead Sea...

A meteor that exploded in the air near the Dead Sea 3,700 years ago may have wiped out communities, killed tens of thousands of people, and provided the kernel of truth to an old Bible story. The area is in modern-day Jordan, in a 25 km wide circular plai...

 2018-12-04 21:00 

Universe Today

Building Gas Stations and McMurdo Scale Outposts on the Moon...

When you go on a camping trip, when is it really tough? When are you really roughing it? It is really tough if there is no supply store and no facilities at the place you are going. If you have to bring everything with you in your car then that makes it t...

 2018-12-04 20:50 

Universe Today

New Gravitational Waves Detected From Four More Black Hole Mergers. Total Detections up to 11 Now...

The LIGO and Virgo The post New Gravitational Waves Detected From Four More Black Hole Mergers. Total Detections up to 11 Now appeared first on Universe Today ....

 2018-12-04 18:26 

Universe Today

Carnival of Space #589...

It's that time again! This week's Carnival of Space is hosted by Pamela Hoffman at the Everyday Spacer blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #589. And if you're interested in looking back, here's an archive to all the past Carnivals o...

 2018-12-04 00:51 

Universe Today

SpaceX Uses a Thrice-Launched Booster to Send 64 Satellites Into Space....

Earlier today (Monday, Dec. 3rd), private aerospace giant SpaceX launched its Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission. The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Aboard the rocket were 64 sp...

 2018-12-03 22:42 

Universe Today

OSIRIS-REx has Finally Caught up with Asteroid Bennu. Let the Analysis and Sample Collection Commence!...

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has reached its destination and is now in orbit around asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft travelled for over two years and covered more than 2 billion kms. It will spend a year in orbit, surveying the surface of the Potentiall...

 2018-12-03 21:12 

Universe Today

Micrometeorite Damage Under the Microscope...

A new study by a team from MIT has shed light on the physical processes that take place when tiny particles (like micrometeorites) hit a surface while traveling at high speeds. The post Micrometeorite Damage Under the Microscope appeared first on Universe...

 2018-12-03 21:00 

Universe Today

Astronomy Cast Ep. 508: 2018 Holiday Gift Guide...

We did it, we made it to the end of another year. Once again it's time to wonder what gifts to get your beloved space nerds. We've got some suggestions. Some are brand new this year, others are classics that we just can't help but continue to ...

 2018-12-01 18:51 

Universe Today

A New Atomic Clock has been Built that Would be off by Less than a Second Since the Big Bang...

Physicists have developed an atomic clock so accurate that it would be off by less than a single second in 14 billion years. That kind of accuracy and precision makes it more than just a timepiece. It's a powerful scientific instrument that could meas...

 2018-12-01 00:19 

Universe Today

Prehistoric Cave Paintings Show That Ancient People Had Pretty Advanced Knowledge of Astronomy...

According to a new study that examined ancient cave paintings and archaeological sites, it appears that prehistoric humans had a greater understanding of astronomy than we thought. The post Prehistoric Cave Paintings Show That Ancient People Had Pretty Ad...

 2018-11-30 22:23 

Universe Today

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria has been Found on the Space Station's Toilet...

NASA keeps a close eye on the bacteria inhabiting the International Space Station with a program called the Microbial Observatory (M.O.) The ISS is home to a variety of microbes, some of which pose a threat to the health of astronauts. As part of their mo...

 2018-11-30 07:53 

Universe Today

A 2018 Outburst From the December Andromedids?...

A relatively obscure meteor shower may put on a surprise performance in early December 2018. Chances are, you've never heard of the Andromedids, though it's worth keeping an eye out for these swift-moving meteors over the next week. The post A 201...

 2018-11-29 19:38 

Universe Today

There Could be Hundreds of Interstellar Asteroids and Comets in the Solar System Right Now That we Could Study...

According to a new study, there could be hundreds of identifiable objects in our Solar System like 'Oumuamua, some of which we could study in just a few years! The post There Could be Hundreds of Interstellar Asteroids and Comets in the Solar System R...

 2018-11-29 18:55 

Universe Today

Now that TESS is Operational, Astronomers Estimate it'll Find 14,000 Planets. 10 Could Be Earthlike Worlds in a Sunlike Star's Habitable Zone...

How many exoplanets are there? Not that long ago, we didn't know if there were any. Then we detected a few around pulsars. Then the Kepler spacecraft was launched and it discovered a couple thousand more. Now NASA's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Surv...

 2018-11-28 21:18 

Universe Today

We May Soon Be Able To See the First, Supergiant Stars in the Universe...

We need to talk about the dark ages. No, not those dark ages after the fall of the western Roman Empire. The cosmological dark ages. The time in our universe, billions of years ago, before the formation of the first stars. And we need to talk about the co...

 2018-11-28 20:29 

Universe Today

We Have the Technology. Airplanes Could Spray Particles into the Atmosphere to Battle Climate Change. But Should We?...

If climate change models are correct, humanity is working itself—and dragging the rest of life on Earth with it—into a corner. Scientific pleas to control emissions and battle climate change are starting to have some effect, but not enough. So...

 2018-11-28 18:21 

Universe Today

One of the Most Exciting Parts of InSight is Actually the Tiny Cubesats Tagging Along for the Ride and Their Role in the Mission...

A very important, but perhaps overlooked, aspect of the InSight mission was the first-ever deployment of CubeSats (MarCO) to deep space. The post One of the Most Exciting Parts of InSight is Actually the Tiny Cubesats Tagging Along for the Ride and Their ...

 2018-11-28 13:36 

Universe Today

Weekly Space Hangout: Nov 28, 2018: David Eicher's "Mission Moon 3-D"...

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier ) Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org) This week we...

 2018-11-28 01:52 

Universe Today

Astronomy Cast Ep. 507: From Fiction to Fact : Ion Drive...

Ion engines are a mainstay of science fiction, featured in both Star Trek and Wars. But this is a very real technology, successfully used on several missions out there in the Solar System right now. How do they work and what are the limits? We usually rec...

 2018-11-27 22:08 

Universe Today

Hubble's First Picture After Returning to Service. The Telescope is Fully Operational Again with Three Working Gyros...

The Hubble Space Telescope is a hero in the astronomy world. And when it suffered a malfunctioning gyro on October 5th, it took a heroic effort on the part of the Hubble team to get it working again. Now we have Hubble's first picture after its return...

 2018-11-27 20:39 

Universe Today

InSight Deploys its Solar Cells, Prepared for Surface Operations on Mars!...

The InSight Lander, which had touched down on the Martian surface just hours before, has deployed its solar cells and is ready to begin science operations! The post InSight Deploys its Solar Cells, Prepared for Surface Operations on Mars! appeared first o...

 2018-11-27 18:39 

Universe Today

Some of the Stars in this Cluster are Almost as Old as the Universe Itself While Others Formed in a Second Generation. It Looks Young and Old at the Same Time...

Star clusters are not rare. They're one of the most common arrangements of stars in the Universe. But star cluster NGC 1866, as seen in this image from Hubble, is different than its brethren. Most clusters are populated by stars the same age, BUT NGC ...

 2018-11-27 00:28 

Universe Today

InSight Lander Touches Down! Begins Mission to Unlock the Secrets of Mars...

Earlier today, after a seven month journey through space, NASA's InSight Lander mission touched down on the Martian surface. The post InSight Lander Touches Down! Begins Mission to Unlock the Secrets of Mars appeared first on Universe Today ....

 2018-11-26 20:22 

Universe Today

Carnival of Space #588...

This week's Carnival of Space is hosted by me at the CosmoQuest blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #588 And if you're interested in looking back, here's an archive to all the past Carnivals of Space. If you've got a space-related b...

 2018-11-25 23:26 

Universe Today

The Earth's Wandering Poles Could Have Caused the Ice Age...

A new study by a team of Rice University geophysicists indicates that the Earth's wandering poles could have triggered the last ice age. The post The Earth's Wandering Poles Could Have Caused the Ice Age appeared first on Universe Today ....

 2018-11-23 23:53 

Universe Today

Name Change Alert! SpaceX's BFR is Now Just Called "Starship"...

In September of 2016, Musk treated the world to an early sneak-peak at his proposed super-heavy launch vehicle. Previously known as the Mars Colonial Transporter, the renamed Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) was the centerpiece to Musk's long-ter...

 2018-11-23 19:41 

Universe Today

Europe's Vision of a Future Moon Base. Made out of Moon Dust....

We all know that the time is past due for a Moon base. But the cost of sending everything needed from Earth to build a base is prohibitive. Earth's gravity well is too deep and too strong to get everything there with rockets. So what's the solutio...

 2018-11-22 22:12 

Universe Today

Massive Triple Star System Creates this Bizarre Swirling Pinwheel of Dust. And it Could be the Site of a Gamma Ray Burst...

An international team of astronomers recently located a triple star system in our galaxy that will someday unleash a massive gamma-ray burst. The post Massive Triple Star System Creates this Bizarre Swirling Pinwheel of Dust. And it Could be the Site of a...

 2018-11-22 00:48 

Universe Today

Lakes on Mars Filled up so Quickly They Would Overflow Catastrophically Carving Canyons Within Weeks...

According to a new study, ancient lakes on Mars filled up so quickly that they overflowed, carving canyons in the surface that are still visible today. The post Lakes on Mars Filled up so Quickly They Would Overflow Catastrophically Carving Canyons Within...

 2018-11-22 00:47 

Universe Today

Astronomers Detect Water in the Atmosphere of a Planet 179 Light-Years Away...

Gathering detailed information on exoplanets is extremely difficult. The light from their host star overwhelms the light from the exoplanet, making it difficult for telescopes to see them. But now a team using cutting-edge technology at the Keck Observato...

 2018-11-21 22:30 

Universe Today

Astronomers Find One of the Sun's Sibling Stars. Born From the Same Solar Nebula Billion of Years Ago...

The AMBRE project, an international consortium of astronomers, was able to find a star that formed with our Sun (and is almost identical) about 184 light-years away The post Astronomers Find One of the Sun's Sibling Stars. Born From the Same Solar Neb...

 2018-11-21 19:18 

Universe Today

It's Decided, the Mars 2020 Rover Will Land in Jezero Crater...

Jezero crater is the landing spot for NASA's upcoming 2020 rover. The crater is a rich geological site, and the 45 km wide (28 mile) impact crater contains at least five different types of rock that the rover will sample. Some of the landform features...

 2018-11-21 12:30 

Universe Today

SpaceX to Launch 64 Satellites, Including Orbital Reflector...

A unique smallsat mission promises to be the latest satellite "brighter than a Full Moon!" in the sky... or not. The Mission: We're talking about Orbital Reflector, conceived by Trevor Paglen and fielded by the Nevada Museum of Arts. The post ...

 2018-11-20 23:27 

Universe Today

Strange Grooves on Phobos Were Caused by Boulders Rolling Around on its Surface...

Back in the 1970s, NASA's Mariner and Viking Missions were sent out to explore other planets in our Solar System. All three of them (there were two Viking missions) captured images of Mars' moon Phobos during their travels. They were our first ima...

 2018-11-20 15:50 

Universe Today

The Power of the Wobble: Finding Exoplanets in the Shifting of Starlight...

They say there's more than one way to skin an interstellar cat, and in astronomy there's more than one way to find alien exoplanets orbiting a distant star. With the recent shut-down of NASA's prolific Kepler mission and its windfall of discov...

 2018-11-20 01:14 

Universe Today

Astronomers Finally Spot the Type of Star That Leads to Type 1C Supernovae...

Thanks to a recently-observed supernova in a distant galaxy, astronomers have been able to find what type of star leads to a Type Ic supernova. The post Astronomers Finally Spot the Type of Star That Leads to Type 1C Supernovae appeared first on Universe ...

 2018-11-19 18:19 

Universe Today

Carnival of Space #587...

This week's Carnival of Space is hosted by Brian Wang at his Next Big Future blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #587 And if you're interested in looking back, here's an archive to all the past Carnivals of Space. If you've got a sp...

 2018-11-18 22:58 

Universe Today

Chinese Fusion Experiment Reaches 100 Million Degrees...

Scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor set a new temperature record by super-heating plasma to six times the heat of the Sun! The post Chinese Fusion Experiment Reaches 100 Million Degrees appeared first on ...

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