Space

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

The NASA Van Allen twin probes launched last year have revealed that the Earth is a giant particle accelerator. Recently it was reported that particles in the magnetosphere sometimes accelerate across distances of a few hundred meters. But the newer discovery shows the acceleration can occur across hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The data will be helpful to to scientists helping satellite operators and the International Space Station to predict and prepare for the destructive tendencies of the seemingly random fluctuations that can occur in the magnetosphere.

Continue Reading...

NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to exploring our solar system and spending time away from Earth is food and water. A spacecraft taking humans to explore the moon and beyond has to be able to carry the crew, air, fuel, water, and food to serve the entire mission. Finding ways to reduce the amount of one of those items that has to be packed in the ship leaves more space for others.

Continue Reading...

SpaceX wraps up first successful geostationary transfer mission

SpaceX wraps up first successful geostationary transfer mission

SpaceX has announced the completion of a big milestone for the company, which has successfully wrapped up its first geostationary transfer mission, sending an SES-8 satellite to its intended destination. The mission went off without a hitch, with SpaceX saying the rocket -- a Falcon 9 -- had a "picture-perfect flight" and that all mission objectives were met in their entirety.

Continue Reading...

Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Signs of water on five distant planets have been spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope, with scientists finessing their measurements so as to better differentiate which stand the best likelihood of potentially supporting life. Evidence of water had been initially spotted on several Jupiter-like exoplanets previously, but the team led by the University of Maryland in College Park was able to use infrared wavelength measurements to more specifically calculate the nature of the individual atmospheres.

Continue Reading...

Comet ISON likely a ball of dust now says NASA

Comet ISON likely a ball of dust now says NASA

Astronomers ranging from the professional level down to the amateur sky watcher are all disappointed with comet ISON. The comet had the potential to be the brightest in hundreds of years and was called the comet of the century by some. Unfortunately, the comet didn't make it around the sun intact. NASA says that the investigation into exactly what happened to ISON and what remains is ongoing.

Continue Reading...