Space

Astronomers find oldest stars ever near center of Milky Way

Astronomers find oldest stars ever near center of Milky Way

Astronomers have found some truly ancient stars near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. These stars are believed to have formed when the Universe was only 300 million years old. Scientists say that while these stars are surprisingly pure, they do contain material from an even older star that exploded in something called a hypernova.

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There might be another planet at the edge of our solar system

There might be another planet at the edge of our solar system

If you thought that Pluto was the gatekeeper of the outer edge of our solar system, your knowledge might need a massive update. Aside from comets that routinely orbit, and sometimes get too close, to our sun, there are a whole host of space objects beyond the little minor planet. And one of them might even be a planet in its own right. That is the discovery announced by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute of Washington last November 10. Simply called V774104, it is considered to be the most distant object in the solar system currently known.

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Obliterated asteroid forms glowing star ring in new photo

Obliterated asteroid forms glowing star ring in new photo

A white dwarf star, recently photographed by researchers at the University of Warwick, has a bright red ring around it, one formed by the dead star’s brutal destruction of space rocks that fly by too closely. According to the researchers, the debris ring around the white dwarf is composed of debris and dust particles; the new image, which is the first of its kind, shows an asteroid torn apart by the star’s gravity and sent into orbit around the core.

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Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

It seems that our red neighbor just can't catch a cosmic break. After losing most of its atmosphere and almost all of its water thanks to bombardment from the sun, Mars is now likely to lose one of its moons in a few million years. Phobos, the moon that orbits closest to Mars, is showing external signs that it might be on its way out and could fall apart in 30 to 50 million years. This time, however, it might be Mars itself that will be partly to blame.

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NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

As promised, NASA made a huge announcement regarding Mars thanks to its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN. It revealed that the Martian atmosphere is thinning at a fast rate every second. The culprit? The same solar winds that whip our system, including Earth. The data gathered by MAVEN can help scientists piece together the mystery of how Mars become the cold and arid planet it is today, and perhaps offer hints about future habitable planets in solar systems much similar to ours.

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Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

November 3, the Super Strypi rocket, also known as the Spaceborne Payloads Assist Rocket Kauai (SPARK), launched from Barking Sands in Hawaii. It was a monumental launch given the rocket's name and history. Sadly, within just a minute of its first stage flight, the rocket suffered a failure, causing it to disintegrate. Although all its payload of scientific instruments is now gone forever, the rocket's existence and mission remains, with a possible second attempt next year that, if successful, would herald a more affordable launch system for putting small payloads into orbit.

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NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA’s pining for Mars, and it’ll need people to send there. The space agency announced today that it will soon start accepting applications for new astronauts, doing so “in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars,” among other things. More so now than ever, NASA has human spacecraft in development and it’ll need humans to operate them. The new class of astronauts, as the space agency calls them, could fly in one of four different vessels over the course of their hopeful career.

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NASA talks about future robotic spacecraft for servicing satellites

NASA talks about future robotic spacecraft for servicing satellites

One of the biggest challenges for NASA and other companies that spend millions of dollars to place satellites into orbit around Earth and other planets is that a malfunction could leave them with no return from their expenditure. NASA is talking up some of the future technology that would allow robotic spacecraft to service satellites in distant orbits.

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New Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two to be completed in February

New Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two to be completed in February

It's been almost a year ago now since tragedy struck Virgin Galactic. During an engine test, the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two aircraft crashed killing one pilot and leaving the other hospitalized. Company founder Richard Branson now says that the company is back on track and the image you see here is the new SpaceShip Two nearing completion.

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Northern Lights visible in NE, midwest U.S. this week

Northern Lights visible in NE, midwest U.S. this week

The Northern Lights are visible much further south than usual this week, and those in the Northeast U.S. have a very good chance of getting to see them. If you’re located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, most of Indiana, parts of Kentucky, and some of the lower New England states, you’ll have a very good chance of seeing the rare celestial show. Those located in the midwestern U.S. also have a decent shot at seeing them, weather permitting, as well as those located in Washington state and Oregon.

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NASA offers 4K video of the sun doing its thing and it’s glorious

NASA offers 4K video of the sun doing its thing and it’s glorious

NASA is constantly taking images of the amazing beauty that abounds in our solar system and around the galaxy. One of the imaging spacecraft that NASA has in service right now is the Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO. The SDO has been placed in a prime location for viewing the Sun 24/7 and it does so in ten different wavelengths.

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Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

"Flyby" has become a hot word in science news ever since the New Horizons probe made its historic flyby of Pluto in July. Of course, that isn't the only probe doing such up close and personal missions. The latest to land on the radar is Cassini, who just made its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus last October 28. Cassini has been hanging around the second largest planet in the solar system since 2004 and its data on its moon could help scientists in their search for a habitable new home.

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