Space

New research suggests Saturn’s rings & moons may be younger than dinosaurs

New research suggests Saturn’s rings & moons may be younger than dinosaurs

The most iconic feature of the planet Saturn — it's wide set of rings — along with its many icy moons may actually be much younger than previously thought. A new study published by the SETI Institute says that Saturn's rings and inner moons may be no more than 100 million years old, meaning they likely formed when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. That would make them about 4 billion years younger than the planet Saturn itself.

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NASA says moon spin axis shifted by 5-degrees 3 billion years ago

NASA says moon spin axis shifted by 5-degrees 3 billion years ago

NASA has discovered evidence via research that it funded that indicates eons ago the surface of the moon might have looked different from Earth. According to the research the spin axis of the moon shifted by about 5-degrees around 3 billion years ago. Evidence of this movement was found in how ancient lunar ice is distributed seen as evidence of water delivered to the early solar system.

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NASA Ceres low-orbit pics show salt, mountains, shiny craters

NASA Ceres low-orbit pics show salt, mountains, shiny craters

Yesterday, NASA researchers unveiled a bunch of images revealing a close-up look at Ceres, the dwarf planet. These images were captured by the Dawn spacecraft when it was at its lowest orbit, and they include some detailed views of the Occator Crater, as well as the shiny surfaces causing those mysterious bright spots. A color-enhanced map of Ceres has been released, as well as a video explaining different features on the landscape.

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NASA explores equipment to keep astronauts fit

NASA explores equipment to keep astronauts fit

NASA is talking up some of the equipment that it has invented for astronauts to use to keep fit while they are on a long duration space missions. To avoid losing muscle and bone mass, astronauts must work out for two hours each day. During the week ISS astronauts have access to three different pieces of workout gear, a bike, a treadmill, and the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device dubbed ARED.

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Flash of a dying star “caught on camera” for the first time

Flash of a dying star “caught on camera” for the first time

We may have images, both static and moving, of stars going boom playing in our head, but actually capturing that brilliant flash of light that heralds the start of a supernova isn't that easy. Even when we're talking about an event that has happened possibly thousands if not millions of years ago. And yet the once defunct Kepler space observatory spacecraft managed to make possible the near impossible, capturing for the first time the so-called shock breakout that precedes the explosion of a dying star.

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Comet to pass Earth in close flyby tomorrow morning

Comet to pass Earth in close flyby tomorrow morning

If you missed today's comet flyby, don't fret -- there will be a second one tomorrow morning, and it'll be even closer than today's (though there is no danger, NASA is sure to warn). This flyby will involve comet P/2016 BA14, and it’ll pass by our planet at 2.2 million or so miles. While that’s a great distance away, relatively speaking, it’ll be the third closest comet flyby since 1983. Tomorrow’s event follows this morning’s flyby of comet 252P/LINEAR.

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New Horizons yields more questions about Pluto than answers

New Horizons yields more questions about Pluto than answers

Last year, humanity achieved an important milestone. The New Horizons probe flew by Pluto in history's closest approach to the dwarf planet in the outermost zone of our solar system. The initial batch of photos were already revealing but that is almost literally just the tip of the iceberg. Scientists involved in the New Horizons studies have just published a paper that reveals even more findings gathered since the probe's first data dump, painting a picture of a planet that is more mysterious than we could have imagined.

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Ceres’ mystery spots are dimming, brightening daily

Ceres’ mystery spots are dimming, brightening daily

Ceres' bright spots entertained astronomers and enthusiasts for most of 2015, but ultimately ended as we'd expected all along -- all signs point toward them being shiny salt patches reflecting the sun's light. Enter 2016 and a new plot twist no one anticipated -- the dwarf planet's bright spots are randomly changing in intensity, growing brighter and dimmer throughout the day in a way that doesn't fully line up with the planet's rotation.

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ExoMars 2016 is Go as rocket blasts off for Martian mission

ExoMars 2016 is Go as rocket blasts off for Martian mission

The European Space Agency's mission to Mars has successfully begun, though it'll be seven months before the Proton rocket reaches the red planet. ExoMars 2016 aims to sift through the Martian atmosphere in search of methane and other trace gases which, the scientists suggest, might indicate that there are active biological or geological processes underway on the distant planet.

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Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

As part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, a new unmanned spacecraft will be departing for Mars on Monday thanks to collaboration between the space agencies of Europe and Russia. The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the probe is heading to the red planet to study its atmosphere and dust storms, and to get there it will be riding atop a Russian Proton rocket.

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NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA Mars InSight mission set for May 2018 launch

NASA has announced the new launch date that it is targeting to send the Mars InSight mission into the heavens on course to the Red Planet. The InSight mission was originally set to launch in March 2016, but was delayed. NASA is now targeting InSight for launch on May 5, 2018 with landing scheduled for November 26, 2018.

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How to watch the solar eclipse tonight

How to watch the solar eclipse tonight

This year will prove fun for astronomers and star-gazers alike, as it'll bring both a solar eclipse and, in a couple weeks, a lunar eclipse. The solar eclipse is happening tonight, and you won't have to worry about weather blocking your view -- the eclipse will mostly only be visible in Indonesia and to passengers on select commercial flights. Thanks to our increasingly connected world, though, you'll still have an option for watching the solar eclipse live as it happens no matter where you're located.

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