Space

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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NASA sets $2.25m prize for 3D printed Mars habitats

NASA sets $2.25m prize for 3D printed Mars habitats

Getting astronauts safely to Mars is only the start of your problems when you're trying to explore the red planet: then you have to give them somewhere to live. NASA has kick-started a competition to figure out just how to do that, challenging inventors to come up with a way to not only 3D print a habitat - preferably using materials found on-site - but do so at least semi-autonomously. To encourage the best brains in construction, NASA is dangling a $2.25m prize in the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge.

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Russian rocket crash destroys billion-dollar satellite

Russian rocket crash destroys billion-dollar satellite

Russia has suffered another embarrassing and expensive rocket failure, with today's Proton launch failing just minutes after take-off. The incident above Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan destroyed a $1.6bn Boeing-made satellite which Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, was launching for the Mexican government's Ministry of Communications and Transportation, not to mention again calling into question the country's capacity for commercial space missions.

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Astronomers discover rare quasar quartet in close proximity

Astronomers discover rare quasar quartet in close proximity

Finding a single quasar in space is something rare in astronomy and scientists say that quasars are usually separated by hundreds of millions of light years. That isn't the case with a recently discovered quartet of quasars that are in close proximity to each other. The quasars are indicated in the image by the arrows and scientists say that the blue haze is a nebula made of cool and dense gas that the quasars are inside.

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NASA probe take first photo of Pluto’s 5 moons

NASA probe take first photo of Pluto’s 5 moons

Pluto may not have full planet status anymore, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a moon or two… or five. And for the first time, NASA has managed to capture the dwarf planet and all five of those moons in a single photo. The image was taken by the New Horizons spacecraft and its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera. The spacecraft is scheduled for a flyby of Pluto on July 14th, and took a series of pictures from April 25th through May 1st, resulting in the historic photo.

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Science Fiction: Roswell Alien Slides Debunked

Science Fiction: Roswell Alien Slides Debunked

Several sixty-year-old slides, recently claimed by their owner, Adam Dew, to be photos of aliens from Roswell, New Mexico, have been debunked. Just this past week, several people - citizens, UFO "believers" and even some so-called experts in the field - were invited to a New Mexico event to screen a documentary on the slides. As it turns out, the images show no more than the remains of a mummified child. The child currently resides in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, after having visited San Francisco on temporary loan in the 1940s.

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Ceres bright spots caused by unknown “highly reflective material”

Ceres bright spots caused by unknown “highly reflective material”

Back in February, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft snapped some nearer pictures of the dwarf planet Ceres than previously obtained, and in them we saw a mystery: a couple of very bright spots on the surface. The cause of the spots was — and still is — unknown, but as the spacecraft draws closer to the planet it has been able to take increasingly clearer images. The latest show the same two bright spots are still there, only now they look more like they’re made of a bunch of smaller reflective patches.

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This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

Monday can be tough, but spare a thought for NASA's Curiosity rover, up on Mars witnessing spectacular blue sunsets but with no-one to watch them with. The first such sunset to be captured in color by the plucky robot rover, the four shots - you can see the animation after the cut - were snapped on April 15, 2015 from Mars' Gale Crater, as Curiosity marked its 956th Martian day on the red planet.

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