Latest Space News
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:14:00 +0100
Astronomers using NASA Kepler data have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b orbits its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our sun once every 780 days. Most of the more than 1,800 confirmed exoplanets discovered to date are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods. "Finding Kepler-421b was a stroke of luck," says lead author David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "The ...
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:22:00 +0100
WASHINGTON -  Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to "knock modern civilization back to the 18th century," NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth's orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday. However, few Earthlings had any idea what was going on. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier,...
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:15:00 +0100
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun -- and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth and were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres because of their high temperatures where water turns into a measurable vapor. These so-called &ld...
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:50:00 +0100
Following last week's successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage reentered Earth’s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity. After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal p...
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:33:00 +0100
It can take decades to mature an astrophysics flagship mission from concept to launch pad. For example, the iconic Hubble Space Telescope — arguably the greatest telescope in history and certainly the most recognized — was proposed in the 1940s. Its development began in the 1970s and it launched in 1990. Similarly, the James Webb Space Telescope will launch in 2018, 23 years after work began on the concept. And if approved for development, the Wide-Field Infrared Space Telesco...
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