Vatican sceptical about close encounters of the third kind

Castel Gandolfo, Italy (AFP) July 31, 2015
The recent discovery of an Earth twin has boosted chances there is intelligent life on other planets. But while Pope Francis’s telescope scans the starlit skies, the Vatican is sceptical of ever meeting Mr. Spock.

On a leafy hilltop near the papal summer home of Castel Gandolfo sits the Vatican’s Observatory, one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world, where planetary —> Read More

Philae results shed light on the nature of comets

Washington DC (SPX) Aug 01, 2015
During the first ever landing of a probe on a comet, the world held its breath as Philae survived a bouncy landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. This special issue of Science highlights seven new studies that delve further into the data that has been transmitted back by Philae.

In a detailed account, Jens Biele et al. describe the critical moments where Philae de —> Read More

New rocket could one day launch flight to Europa

Washington DC (Sputnik) Aug 01, 2015
The huge rocket NASA is developing to transport astronauts to an asteroid, Mars and other distant destinations will be “transformative for science,” NASA told members of Congress on Tuesday.

The Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, set to launch in 2018, will blast spacecraft toward their targets at incredible speeds, dramatically reducing interplanetary travel times, NASA’s John Grunsfel —> Read More

ISU Educates Future Space Leaders

Cleveland, OH (SPX) Jul 29, 2015
Over 100 people, considered future leaders in the space industry, visited NASA’s Glenn Research Center in July to learn more about the center’s research and technology. The engineers, scientists and other professionals are part of International Space University’s (ISU) 2015 Space Studies Program based at Ohio University this summer.

The nine-week program, held yearly in locations throughou —> Read More

Earth’s magnetic shield is much older than previously thought

Rochester NY (SPX) Aug 01, 2015
Since 2010, the best estimate of the age of Earth’s magnetic field has been 3.45 billion years. But now a researcher responsible for that finding has new data showing the magnetic field is far older. John Tarduno, a geophysicist at the University of Rochester and a leading expert on Earth’s magnetic field, and his team of researchers say they believe the Earth’s magnetic field is at least four b —> Read More

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