Space

NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA’s Curiosity rover is rolling around Mars, and has provided researchers with all kinds of data on the Red Planet, not to mention the cache of photos. While Curiosity is busy doing its thing, NASA is already working on its next Mars-destined rover, and it recently showed off a detailed render of the contraption. According to the space agency, the rover’s design has passed “a major development milestone” and will soon be getting its finalized design.

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Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

NASA told its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to do a barrel roll, and it listened. The result is an incredible collection of photos that, when assembled together into an animation, appear to show our sun spinning in space at crazy-fast speeds. Though the spin is shown at a rapid clip, the SDO’s actual rotation took place over the course of seven hours, with one photo being captured every 12 seconds during that time.

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Astronomers catch first glimpse of water snowline around young star

Astronomers catch first glimpse of water snowline around young star

Astronomers have announced a rather big discovery today, as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has captured what appears to be the water snowline around V883 Orionis, a young star that has taken up residence in the Orion Nebula cluster, about 1,350 light years from Earth. This is the first time the water snowline has been seen in the disk of debris that forms around young stars and will eventually come together to form new planets.

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Juno’s first image of Jupiter shows the red spot and moons

Juno’s first image of Jupiter shows the red spot and moons

Juno arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4 and a few days later the spacecraft was snapping images of the planet and its moons. The very first image that the spacecraft took after going into orbit has been shared by NASA and it's an image showing roughly half of Jupiter and a trio of the planet's moons. In the image along with Jupiter are Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

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Curiosity rover resumes full functionality after going into safe mode

Curiosity rover resumes full functionality after going into safe mode

Earlier this month, NASA's Curiosity rover, which is currently prowling the surface of our neighbor Mars, went into safe mode for an unknown reason. Though NASA scientists weren't exactly sure why Curiosity went into safe mode, it has been announced that the rover resumed full functionality as of July 9. Since then, scientists have been working to find the reason for the mishap, and now they're saying they have a good idea of what happened.

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Ceres may hold ice deposits in permanently shadowed regions

Ceres may hold ice deposits in permanently shadowed regions

The search for water in our solar system is one that hasn't turned up too many results, but scientists may have a lead on water in a rather unlikely place. According to new research, the dwarf planet Ceres has spots on its surface that are permanently dark, and could therefore remain cold enough to trap water ice and keep it at stable temperatures.

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Researchers find evidence of water clouds beyond our solar system

Researchers find evidence of water clouds beyond our solar system

Researchers have discovered evidence of water clouds beyond our solar system for the first time, it has been announced, and they were found in an unlikely place: the cold brown dwarf star WISE 0855. The dwarf was first discovered in 2014, and it is relatively close to our own planet, being only 7.2 lightyears away. Most notably, WISE 0855 is the coldest object humans have yet discovered beyond our solar system, and it is so dim researchers have to use need infrared technologies to see it.

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Exoplanet has three suns and takes 550 years for a single orbit

Exoplanet has three suns and takes 550 years for a single orbit

Scientists have discovered an exoplanet far, far from the Earth that has a unique solar system. The planet is called HD 131399Ab and it is dubbed the widest ranging exoplanet in a mutli star system. That is a fancy way of saying that this planet lives in a solar system where there are three suns and it has a massive orbit. How massive is that orbit you ask- about 500 times larger than the Earth's.

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Data from lost Hitomi satellite suggests black holes may be galactic regulators

Data from lost Hitomi satellite suggests black holes may be galactic regulators

Earlier this year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched its Hitomi satellite into space. The x-ray satellite was intended to study, among other things, the Perseus cluster, a massive cluster of galaxies more than 200 million light years from Earth. Hitomi was the most advanced x-ray satellite to launch successfully into space and had the potential to lead to a number of excellent discoveries, but unfortunately, it was only a month before the satellite started to spin out of control and break apart, with JAXA announcing it had failed in its attempts to reconnect with the satellite not long after.

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World’s largest radio telescope completed in China

World’s largest radio telescope completed in China

For the last half decade, researchers in China have been at work on a gigantic radio telescope hailed as the world's largest single dish radio telescope. That monster telescope completed construction on July 3, 2016 with the installation of the last of its 4,450 reflecting panels. The telescope is equivalent in size to 30 soccer fields and is called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope or FAST.

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Juno probe is finally in orbit around Jupiter

Juno probe is finally in orbit around Jupiter

Five years after it left our home, the Juno probe, aptly named after the Roman queen of the gods, has finally entered Jupiter's orbit. Although it is but a means to the probe's ultimate goal, which is, of course, studying the biggest planet in the solar system, the fact that it got to that point in one piece is nothing short of a scientific and engineering miracle. Presuming it survives the next 20 months, Juno will be able to amass a wealth of scientific data that will hopefully give further insight not only into the nature of the giant but into the origins of our solar system itself.

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Rosetta will end its mission by crashing into comet on September 30

Rosetta will end its mission by crashing into comet on September 30

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which involves a probe orbiting Comet 67P (also known as Churyumov-Gerasimenko), will finally be coming to an end after 12 years of study. The space agency has scheduled September 30th as the spacecraft's last, where it will make a controlled crash into the surface of its partnering space rock. Think of it like a viking funeral, but only for a space probe.

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