Latest Space News
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:43:00 +0100
Vega Flight VV04 Preparations are moving forward for next month's Vega flight, with its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) passenger now integrated in the lightweight launcher's payload fairing. During activity at the Spaceport's S5 payload preparation facility on Monday, IXV was installed on the cone-shaped adapter that serves as its interface with Vega - the smallest member of Arianespace's launch vehicle family. Today, IXV was encapsulated inside Vega's payload fairing, which will...
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:51:00 +0100
Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission have discovered a planetary system of five small planets dating back to when the Milky Way galaxy was a youthful two billion years old. The tightly packed system, named Kepler-444, is home to five planets that range in size, the smallest comparable to the size of Mercury and the largest to Venus. All five planets orbit their sun-like star in less than ten days, which makes their orbits much closer than Mercury's sweltering 88-day o...
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:46:00 +0100
Researchers studying data from NASA's Cassini mission have observed that Saturn's largest moon, Titan, behaves much like Venus, Mars or a comet when exposed to the raw power of the solar wind. The observations suggest that unmagnetized bodies like Titan might interact with the solar wind in the same basic ways, regardless of their nature or distance from the sun. Titan is large enough that it could be considered a planet if it orbited the sun on its own, and a flyby of the giant m...
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:00:00 +0100
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery. In 1976 several elongated comet-like objects were discovered on pictures taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Because of their appearance, they...
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:06:00 +0100
Sometimes it takes a village to find new and unusual objects in space. Volunteers scanning tens of thousands of starry images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, using the Web-based Milky Way Project, recently stumbled upon a new class of curiosities that had gone largely unrecognized before: yellow balls. The rounded features are not actually yellow -- they just appear that way in the infrared, color-assigned Spitzer images.  "The volunteers started chatting about the yell...
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