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Water Worlds of the Universe Revealed --"Date Back to the Big Bang"

During almost four years of observing the cosmos, the Herschel Space Observatory traced out the presence of water. With its unprecedented sensitivity and spectral resolution at key wavelengths, Herschel revealed this crucial molecule in star-forming molecular clouds, detected it for...        

New research suggests Mercury's poles are icier than scientists thought

(Brown University) A Brown University study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory.

NASA Astrobiologists --"Life On Saturn's Enceladus and Alien Bodies May Have Exotic Molecular Structures" (WATCH Video)

NASA astrobiologists say that we must recognize that life on Enceladus or other alien bodies may have originated by a process very different from the process by which life emerged on Earth. Alternatively, alien life may have originated in the...        

The Sky This Week - Thursday September 21 to Thursday September 28

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday, September 28. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the late twilight sky. The thin crescent Moon is close to Jupiter on the 22nd. Earth is at spring equinox on the 23rd. Saturn is visible all evening in the heart of the Milky Way and is close to the Moon on the 26th and 27th. Show More Summary

OSIRIS-REx Earth flyby: What to Expect

OSIRIS-REx launched on September 8, 2016. Now, a year later, it's returning to its home to get a second boost on to its destination, the asteroid Bennu. It'll test all its cameras on Earth and the Moon in the 10 days after the flyby...

Solar antics

The Sun’s recent activity has caught the interest of scientists and space weather forecasters worldwide, highlighting the need to keep a watchful eye on our star and its awesome power.

The cosmic water trail uncovered by Herschel

During almost four years of observing the cosmos, the Herschel Space Observatory traced out the presence of water. With its unprecedented sensitivity and spectral resolution at key wavelengths, Herschel revealed this crucial molecule...Show More Summary

NASA small satellite promises big discoveries

Small satellites provide a cheap, responsive alternative to larger, more expensive satellites. As demand grows, engineers must adapt these "nanosatellites" to provide greater data returns. NASA, in collaboration with educational partners, targets 2021 for the launch of an innovative CubeSat that addresses these challenges.

Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids

A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study led by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises 50 spacecraft propelled...Show More Summary

What do we need to know to mine an asteroid?

The mining of resources contained in asteroids, for use as propellant, building materials or in life-support systems, has the potential to revolutionise exploration of our Solar System. To make this concept a reality, we need to increase our knowledge of the very diverse population of accessible Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). Show More Summary

Size matters in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres

A group analysis of 30 exoplanets orbiting distant stars suggests that size, not mass, is a key factor in whether a planet's atmosphere can be detected. The largest population-study of exoplanets to date successfully detected atmospheres around 16 'hot Jupiters', and found that water vapour was present in every case.

A day in the life of NASA's Voyagers

At more than 10 billion miles away from Earth, there is no day and night. Time and space are fathomless and our Sun is a distant point of starlight—a faint reminder of the home NASA's twin Voyagers, humanity's farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, left behind 40 years ago. Show More Summary

Discovery of the closest binary supermassive black hole system in the galaxy NGC 7674

(Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) Scientists from NCRA-TIFR, Pune, and RIT, USA, have discovered the closest ever binary supermassive black hole system in a spiral galaxy NGC 7674, located about 400 million light years from Earth. Show More Summary

"It's the Space Race of the 21st century" --The Major Roadblock to a Quantum Computer May Just Have Been Solved (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

The quantum computer has the potential to revolutionize the 21st century, solving problems so massively complex th today’s computers would take a century to solve. But a single quantum computer is still no match for the more than billion classical...        

What we're hoping to learn from the magnetic readings of Cassini's final orbits

It was a proud but sad moment when NASA announced that mission control had lost the signal from the Cassini spacecraft on September 15. As it takes the signal over an hour to travel from Saturn to Earth, this meant that the spacecraft had already been destroyed in Saturn's atmosphere.

New quasar discovered by astronomers

(—A team of astronomers led by Jacob M. Robertson of the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee has detected a new quasi-stellar object (QSO). They found the new quasar, designated SDSS J022155.26-064916.6, as a result of an analysis of available spectroscopic data. The finding is reported in a paper published Sept. 10 on the arXiv pre-print server.

Earth from Space

Pepijn Veefkind from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute joins the Earth from Space video programme to discuss Sentinel-5P’s Tropomi instrument

Expect the unexpected from the big-data boom in radio astronomy

Radio astronomy is undergoing a major boost, with new technology gathering data on objects in our universe faster than astronomers can analyse.

Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety

Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? The question has been scrutinized by chaos theorists, stock-market analysts and weather forecasters for decades. For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth - particularly when a real disaster strikes.

New mirror-coating technology promises dramatic improvements in telescopes

Materials scientist Nobuhiko Kobayashi wasn't quite sure why the astronomer he met at a wine-tasting several years ago was so interested in his research, but as he learned more about telescope mirrors it began to make sense.

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