Space

NASA discovers brightest galaxy, burning with 300 trillion suns

NASA discovers brightest galaxy, burning with 300 trillion suns

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has discovered a remote galaxy, far, far away that is the brightest galaxy known to date. Researchers calculated it burns with the light of 300 trillion suns. The sheer brightness of this galaxy puts it in an entirely new class of space objects, extremely luminous infrared galaxies (ELIRGs), discovered using WISE. NASA has been using WISE, opposed to other methods, to target ELIRGs because the dust surrounding these super-luminous galaxies blocks visible light, and reduces it to infrared light.

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This One Photo: An Eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery

This One Photo: An Eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery

On Memorial Day 2015, a photo of a bald eagle perching on the gravestone of a fallen soldier rings true to the spirit of the day. Today is a day when the United States remembers those women and men who died serving in the country's armed forces, and this one photo taken at Fort Snelling National Cemetery by photographer Frank Glick has struck a nerve. While the photo itself was taken months ago - scratch that, YEARS AGO - the image has spread *again* in a big way since earlier this morning.

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Here’s what it looks like when your rocket launch aborts

Here’s what it looks like when your rocket launch aborts

A pilot's eye view of what happens when a rocket launch goes wrong is not something most would like to experience, but SpaceX can help you live it vicariously. Elon Musk's commercial space flight company has released capsule footage from the Dragon craft used in the launch abort system test completed successfully earlier this month, a vital backup should something go wrong when the ship starts taking human passengers up into Earth's atmosphere and beyond.

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NaSt1 “Nasty” star blasts gas disk in death display

NaSt1 “Nasty” star blasts gas disk in death display

NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center use the Hubble Space Telescope to watch the Wolf-Rayet star NaSt1 blow its outer layers. This star isn't exactly new - in fact its thousands of years old, and it was first discovered by humans several decades ago. What's strange about this star and what makes it newsworthy today is its unique pancake-shaped disk of gas. Normally a star such as this shows a couple of lobs of gas blasting from opposite sides. The disk surrounding this star is nearly 2 trillion miles wide.

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X37-B: Everything we know about this secret Air Force space mission

X37-B: Everything we know about this secret Air Force space mission

The United States Air Force X37-B Space Plane (one of two) takes off into orbit above Earth in its fourth secretive mission. The craft itself is not a secret - we know what it's capable of. The contents of the craft are not entirely secret - we know MOST of what's inside. What the United States Air Force is doing on this mission with the cargo they carry - that's the question here. With one of two X-37B space planes headed to space with, amongst other cargo, 10 minuscule "cubesats" and a real deal Solar Sail, we'll be interested to see what becomes of their testing and action.

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ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

As the ISS floats above earth, it's actually hurtling around its orbit at 17,000 mph. Any debris that it encounters at that speed could have major consequences, so the ISS often has to change course throughout its orbit just to avoid space debris from previous missions. According to NASA, there are about 3,000 tons of space debris in a cloud around Earth in low-Earth orbit. There is another belt of debris higher above the earth in geo-synchronous orbit. A team of Japanese scientists proposed a solution using lasers to blast the debris before it can damage the ISS.

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SpaceX teases Mars-bound future with retro travel posters

SpaceX teases Mars-bound future with retro travel posters

Back in January, NASA published some inspirational travel posters for far away planets based on real travel posters from the past. Now SpaceX has followed suit, only it wants your attention to be solely on Mars — the subject of its new three retro posters. The space company dropped the posters on its Flickr account over the weekend, and though we doubt this is what life on Mars would actually look like, it’s a fun way to dream of a future in space while enjoy the nostalgia of classic science fiction-like artwork.

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This One Photo: Australia’s aurora captured in space

This One Photo: Australia’s aurora captured in space

A fantastic photo (and short video) of the Aurora Australis are captured by NASA astronaut Terry Virts. "Flying away from one of the most incredible auroras I've seen," said Virts, "just west of Australia." In addition to capturing the photo you're about to see full size, Virts also captured a Vine. That means he captured one of the most fantastical visions most humans on Earth will never see from his position with a camera that then bashed the video down to miniature size in order for us normal citizens to be able to see, over and over again.

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Drone-maker reveals blimp plans for Venus’ skies

Drone-maker reveals blimp plans for Venus’ skies

Venus might not be top of the list for manned missions, but a flock of floating explorers - part drone, part blimp - for its atmosphere are are on the drawing board. Drone-maker Northrop Grumman wants to send its Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) concept, a long-lived, maneuverable, semi-buoyant research platform that would soar through Venus' skies around 30-40 miles up, to the inhospitable planet, with the aim of using data there to figure out how life here on Earth may have evolved.

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NASA spots “galactic cannibalism” served rare

NASA spots “galactic cannibalism” served rare

Galaxies feasting on their smaller siblings may sound like the stuff of science-fiction, but NASA has captured a surprisingly rare example on camera. The shot, of elliptical galaxy NGC 3923 situated more than 90 million light years away from Earth, was snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, though it's not the distance that makes it special. Instead, it's the fact that not only is it a so-called "shell galaxy", but one which shows unusual symmetry that has NASA's astronomers curious.

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