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Does dark matter annihilate quicker in the Milky Way?

Researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai have proposed a theory that predicts how dark matter may be annihilating much more rapidly in the Milky Way, than in smaller or larger galaxies and the early Univer...

Sun eruptions hit Earth like a 'sneeze', say scientists

Long-term power cuts, destruction of electronic devices and increased cancer risk for aeroplane passengers are all potential effects of the Earth being hit by a powerful solar eruption.

Dutch astronomers discover recipe to make cosmic glycerol

A team of laboratory astrophysicists from Leiden University (the Netherlands) managed to make glycerol under conditions comparable to those in dark interstellar clouds. They allowed carbon monoxide ice to react with hydrogen atoms at minus 250 degrees Celsius. The researchers published their findings in the Astrophysical Journal.

ESA to develop gravitational wave space mission with NASA support

ESA (the European Space Agency) has selected the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) for its third large-class mission in the agency's Cosmic Vision science program. The three-spacecraft constellation is designed to study gravitational waves in space and is a concept long studied by both ESA and NASA. 

Why no one under 20 has experienced a day without NASA at Mars

As the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft approached its destination on July 4, 1997, no NASA mission had successfully reached the Red Planet in more than 20 years.

Total solar eclipse casts spotlight on rural Oregon town

Just before sunrise, there's typically nothing atop Round Butte but the whistle of the wind and a panoramic view of Oregon's second-highest peak glowing pink in the faint light.

Scientists uncover origins of the Sun's swirling spicules

At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun's surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and despite their grass-like abundance, scientists didn't understand how they form. Show More Summary

Jerry Nelson, astronomer who built advanced telescopes, dies

Jerry Nelson, an astronomer who designed advanced telescopes that help scientists glimpse far reaches of the universe, has died in California. He was 73.

New orbiters for Europe's Galileo satnav system

The European Space Agency signed a contract with a German-British consortium Thursday to build eight more satellites for its Galileo satnav system, an alternative to America's GPS, the agency said Thursday.

Magnetic memories of a metal world

4.5 billion years ago in the violent, high-speed environment of the early solar system, a protoplanet roughly the size of Mars was involved in a series of fierce collisions with other large planetary bodies.

Could asteroids bombard the Earth to cause a mass extinction in 10 million years?

Scientists have spent decades debating whether asteroids and comets hit the Earth at regular intervals. At the same time, a few studies have found evidence that the large extinction events on Earth – such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 66m years ago – repeat themselves every 26m to 30m years. Show More Summary

JPL scientists predict future space probes will have artificial intelligence to operate autonomously

(—A pair of space scientists working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology has written a Focus piece for the journal Science Robotics. Steve Chien and Kiri Wagstaff suggest that future space probes will be given enough intelligence to carry out much of their mission without prompts from people back on Earth.

Software on Mars rover allows it to pick research targets autonomously

(—A team of researchers form the U.S., Denmark and France has created a report regarding the creation and use of software meant to give exploratory robots in space more autonomy. In their paper published in the journal Science...Show More Summary

Student-built satellite aims to provide insight on effects of solar storms

This summer, astronauts on the International Space Station will launch a Penn State student-built satellite into orbit that will help learn more about space weather.

Image: Visualization of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse

On August 21, 2017, the Earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. Eclipses happen about every six months, but this one is special. For the first time in almost 40 years, the path of the moon's shadow passes through the continental United States. This visualization shows the Earth, moon, and sun at 17:05:40 UTC during the eclipse.

Trilobites: Solving the Scorching Mystery of the Sun’s Erupting Plasma Jets

After decades of study, scientists have developed a model to explain how violent solar spicules form.

Is human hibernation possible? Going to sleep for long duration spaceflight

We've spent a few articles on Universe Today talking about just how difficult it's going to be to travel to other stars. Sending tiny unmanned probes across the vast gulfs between stars is still mostly science fiction. But to send humans on that journey? That's just a level of technology beyond comprehension.

The astronaut's extra nose

How do we prevent astronauts in space from inhaling hazardous gases? A German-Norwegian hi-tech optical gas sensor provides a solution.

Could a dedicated mission to Enceladus detect microbial life there?

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is best known for its numerous geysers ejecting plumes of water and ice. These eruptive fountains perplex researchers searching for signs of microbial life beyond Earth. A dedicated spacecraft designed to study the plume-like features spewing from Enceladus could definitely tell us whether or not they contain alien microorganisms.

The Guardian view on plutocratic Mars missions: escape velocity | Editorial

The race between wealthy tech billionaires to get to Mars is a distraction from mortality For science fiction writers ranged across the astronomical distance that separates Edgar Rice Burroughs and Kim Stanley Robinson, Mars has been a theatre of dreams, variously realistic. Show More Summary

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