Why isn’t the universe as bright as it should be?

Boston MA (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available.

Now researchers from MIT and Michigan State University have pieced together a theory describing how clusters of galaxies may regulate star formatio —> Read More Here

Subaru Telescope Observes Rapid Changes in a Comet’s Plasma Tail

Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

Images from a December 2013 observation of the comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) (Note 1) reveal clear details about rapidly changing activity in that comet’s plasma tail. To get this image, astronomers used Subaru Telescope’s wide-field prime-focus Suprime-Cam to zero in on 0.8 million kilometers of the comet’s plasma tail, which resulted in gaining precious knowledge regarding the extreme activity in —> Read More Here

Single Site on Mars Advanced for 2016 NASA Lander

Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 05, 2015

NASA’s next mission to Mars, scheduled to launch one year from today to examine the Red Planet’s deep interior and investigate how rocky planets like Earth evolved, now has one specific site under evaluation as the best place to land and deploy its science instruments.

The mission called InSight – an acronym for “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport —> Read More Here

Shaking test for for Space Launch System at Redstone Test Center

Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

There’s a whole lot of shaking going on at the Redstone Test Center in Alabama for NASA’s new mega rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

NASA and The Boeing Co., prime contractor for the SLS core stage, have teamed up for thrust vector control actuator vibration tes —> Read More Here

Planet ‘Reared’ by Four Parent Stars

Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 05, 2015

Growing up as a planet with more than one parent star has its challenges. Though the planets in our solar system circle just one star – our sun – other more distant planets, called exoplanets, can be reared in families with two or more stars. Researchers wanting to know more about the complex influences of multiple stars on planets have come up with two new case studies: a planet found to have t —> Read More Here

Galactic ‘rain’ could be key to star formation

East Lansing, MI (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

Some of the galaxies in our universe are veritable star nurseries. For example, our own Milky Way produces, on average, at least one new star every year. Others went barren years ago, now producing few if any new stars.

Why that happens is a question that has dogged astronomers for years. But now, more than 20 years of research by a team led by Michigan State University has culminated in w —> Read More Here

Exorings on the Horizon

Medellin, Colombia (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the University of Antioquia (Medellin-Colombia), have devised a novel method for identifying rings around extrasolar planets (exorings). The method is relatively simple and can be used to rapidly analyze large photometric database and to find a list of exoring candidates deserving further analysis.

Exoplanetary science is —> Read More Here

ESA experts assess risk from exploded satellite

Paris (ESA) Mar 05, 2015

After studying the recent explosive break-up of a US satellite, ESA space debris experts have concluded this event does not increase the collision risk to nearby ESA missions in any meaningful way.

The US Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Programme Flight 13 (DMSP-13) broke up into some 40 pieces on 3 February. The military weather satellite was in a low-Earth orbit – commonly u —> Read More Here

Comet flyby: OSIRIS catches glimpse of Rosetta’s shadow

Paris (ESA) Mar 05, 2015

Images from the OSIRIS scientific imaging camera taken during the close flyby on 14 February have now been downlinked to Earth, revealing the surface of Comet 67P/C-G in unprecedented detail, and including the shadow of the spacecraft encircled in a wreath of light.

The image released shows an area near the edge of the comet’s “belly” close to the Imhotep-Ash regional boundary, where a mes —> Read More Here

CU students probe magnetic reconnection with MMS tools

Boulder CO (SPX) Mar 05, 2015

The University of Colorado Boulder will serve as the Science Operations Center for a NASA mission launching this month to better understand the physical processes of geomagnetic storms, solar flares and other energetic phenomena throughout the universe.

The $1.1 billion Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will be comprised of four identical, octagonal spacecraft flying in a pyramid for —> Read More Here

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