Space

Half of this antelope population may have been killed by rocket fuel

Half of this antelope population may have been killed by rocket fuel

A mysterious loss of life suddenly grips the remaining population of an endangered species throughout Asia. The Saiga Antelope is experiencing major loss over the past several weeks, and all in Kazakhstan. "This loss is a huge blow for saga conservation in Kazakhstan and in the world," said Kazakhstan's vice agriculture minister Erlan Nysynbaev. Scientists suggest that this scale of death in a single species is absolutely unprecedented. Why is it that in a place where more than 90% of this creature's population exists, is it dying so rapidly?

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LightSail test mission plagued by software glitch

LightSail test mission plagued by software glitch

Earlier this month, we talked a bit about the LightSail spacecraft that was going to be launched into space for its first official test. The actual launch of the spacecraft fitted with the SolarSail went off without a hitch and the test craft is now in orbit. That is where things began to go wrong for the team of scientists behind the project. Right now, the LightSail test mission is on hold after a software glitch has left the craft frozen and unresponsive.

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Hubble captures time lapse of shock collision from black hole

Hubble captures time lapse of shock collision from black hole

In a galaxy far away — about 260 million light years from our planet, to be exact — there was a plasma jet blasted from within a giant black hole. We know this thanks to the Hubble telescope, which captured images of the event that were later assembled into a time-lapse video (which we have after the jump). This is said to show a “rear-end collision” of a couple of high-speed knots of matter being blasted out of a supermassive black hole. It’s also the first discovery of such a phenomenon.

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This One Photo: The birth of a star-forming nebula, RCW 34

This One Photo: The birth of a star-forming nebula, RCW 34

Witness the birth of a nebula by the name of RCW 34, complete with the cosmic process called "champagne flow" as young stars cook themselves inside-out. The image you're seeing here was captured by the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. This is the birth of a brightly, gloriously light cloud of gas, found in the southern constellation of Vela. Otherwise known as the south of The Sails, this image is the result of the workings of the Very Large Telescope's FORS instrument - that's the Focal reducer and low dispersion spectrograph in effect.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 now also certified for DoD missions

SpaceX Falcon 9 now also certified for DoD missions

Just a week after its NASA Category 2 greenlight, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has just received a new certification. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center or SMC has just announced that the launch system has been certified for use in national security space missions. While this doesn't immediately mean that the Falcon 9 will carry the DoD's next payload, it does mean that SpaceX is now eligible to bid for such contracts, making it one of only two certified launch providers, the other being the United Launch Alliance (ULA).

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This is the tech NASA will take to Jupiter’s ice moon

This is the tech NASA will take to Jupiter’s ice moon

NASA has announced the tech toys its Europa mission will be equipped with, a battery of gadgets to do scientific study with around Jupiter's moon. Nine instruments have been selected after NASA threw open its inbox to suggestions from the research community, in preparation for the $30m study that will hopefully see a solar-powered craft orbit Europa's icy surface for three years. Among the hardware will be instrumentation to figure out if the moon does indeed have huge underground oceans.

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Did stowaway gas foul Curiosity’s Mars methane findings?

Did stowaway gas foul Curiosity’s Mars methane findings?

NASA's Curiosity rover has sparked an unexpected argument over methane on Mars, as operators attempt to figure out whether the gas is local or imported. The existence of methane on the red planet could be a strong indicator either of biological life or even just lingering geological activity, hence scientists' collective interest in whether it's present or not. However, while Curiosity seems to have spotted the gas, there are some who think it itself is responsible for it.

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VAMP inflatable space plane could explore Venus

VAMP inflatable space plane could explore Venus

Aerospace company Northrop Grumman has unveiled a new idea for an aircraft that is designed specifically to explore the upper atmosphere of Venus. The aircraft is called the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverability Platform or VAMP for short. The aircraft is an inflatable device that would be deployed from space and skim the upper atmosphere of Venus. Northrop designed the VAMP to be light enough to stay aloft in the atmosphere of Venus using little or no energy.

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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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