Space

ISS astronaut holds weekly geography quiz on Twitter

ISS astronaut holds weekly geography quiz on Twitter

It's one thing to say you know your geography by identifying where a place is on a map, but could you recognize a location just from seeing a picture of it? What if the photo was taken from above from the International Space Station? If you're up to the challenge, it's time to start following US astronaut Scott Kelly of NASA on Twitter, where he's started a weekly game of asking people to identify what part of the world the space station is currently flying over, giving them only a photo and a single clue.

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Hubble spots giant gas halo around Andromeda Galaxy

Hubble spots giant gas halo around Andromeda Galaxy

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a giant gas halo around the Andromeda Galaxy, something that is said to be so large it stretched approximately a million lightyears from the Andromeda Galaxy and halfway to the Milky Way. The discovery was made by a team of researchers being led by Notre Dame’s Nicolas Lehner, an astrophysicist. With this discovery, researchers will be able to discern more about these massive spiral galaxies, including both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.

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Mercury’s magnetic mystery deepens with suicide probe data

Mercury’s magnetic mystery deepens with suicide probe data

NASA's Messenger probe may have ended its four year mission by crashing into Mercury last week, but its rich data is still turning up new discoveries for scientists. Readings taken while Messenger buzzed the surface of Mercury - at times less than 10 miles up - have revealed an unexpectedly long legacy of magnetic fields, matched only by Earth's in the inner solar system, which raises new questions about how the planet formed.

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Solar space sail imagined by Carl Sagan readies for test flight

Solar space sail imagined by Carl Sagan readies for test flight

Carl Sagan, creator of the original Cosmos series, proposed that a spaceship could use solar sails, powered by only the sun's rays, to glide through space. Now, the Planetary Society, co-founded by Sagan, and currently run by none other than Bill Nye, is planning a test flight for LightSail, a spacecraft based on his vision. LightSail is an incredibly small spacecraft, measuring in at only 10 x 30 cm, which is about the size of a loaf of bread. The small little box holds 32 square meters of mylar, which will unfold to create solar sails, designed to glide on energy from solar radiation in the same manner that a sailboat is powered by wind.

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Saturn’s moon Enceladus may have curtain eruptions instead of jets

Saturn’s moon Enceladus may have curtain eruptions instead of jets

NASA has revealed that what have appeared to be geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus may, in fact, be “curtain” eruptions — basically long meandering eruptions that form wall-like structures down the moon’s surface. These eruptions are composed of ice and vapor, and can measure in at hundreds of miles in length. They have appeared to be geysers due to optical illusions based on the viewing angle and such. In a video, available after the jump, NASA shows how these optical illusions may work.

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Russian cargo ship to fall to Earth Friday morning

Russian cargo ship to fall to Earth Friday morning

Russian spacecraft, Progress 59, encountered a glitch last week before it could complete its mission to resupply the ISS. The error left the cargo ship unable to dock with the ISS. The spaceship is currently spinning out of control and hurtling toward Earth--Not to worry, the craft shouldn't actually impact Earth. Most of it will burn up from intense heat as it re-enters the atmosphere. The three-ton payload of supplied will burn up in its demise. The ship, and everything on it have been written off as a total loss. It is likely to fall to earth early Friday morning, U.S. time.

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NASA’s new radar detects heartbeats, saving 4 lives in Nepal

NASA’s new radar detects heartbeats, saving 4 lives in Nepal

The latest tech from NASA just saved the lives of four people trapped in the rubble left from the recent earthquake in Nepal. NASA's FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) located people by using a microwave radar that could sense and then locate their heartbeats. The prototype devices are a joint effort from NASA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. Weighing in at the size of a suitcase, two of the devices were brought to aid the humanitarian effort in Nepal.

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SpaceX: Good news, future Dragon crew, you wouldn’t have been pulped

SpaceX: Good news, future Dragon crew, you wouldn’t have been pulped

SpaceX has successfully tested its Dragon launch abort system, having done so with a dummy in the Dragon capsule to see how well potential future occupants would handle such an event. Sensors were used to gauge what kind of forces the dummy was exposed to during the aborted mission, and according to a tweet SpaceX has since fired off, it held up perfectly fine. In fact, SpaceX says that had humans been in the capsule they would have been "in great shape".

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Astronomers discover real Galaxy Far, Far Away

Astronomers discover real Galaxy Far, Far Away

If George Lucas was a prophet with Star Wars, this week's galaxy discovery might be what he was talking about. A set of scientists have used a set of three different telescopes to capture and calculate the age of the galaxy they call EGS-zs8-1. This galaxy is the furthest away from Earth that any galaxy has ever been discovered. The first image you're seeing in this article (minus the TIE fighter), was captured by NASA's Hubble space telescope back in 2013 and has only just now seen itself the subject of a paper that claims it as our most distant galaxy neighbor.

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Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

SpaceX hasn't had a great run with its rocket tests in recent weeks, but its bad luck changed with a successful trial of the Pad Abort Test, a vital process for keeping future space travelers safe at blast-off. The trial tool place at SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning, seeing how Elon Musk & Co.'s brand new launch abort technology would work in practice. However, the crew onboard was a little less delicate than a human might be.

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