Space

Rare noctilucent clouds dazzled Seattle with starlight this morning

Rare noctilucent clouds dazzled Seattle with starlight this morning

Folks near and in Seattle were treated with a rare type of cloud formation early this morning, one that looked stunning with a backdrop of starlight. Images and details about the clouds were recently published by the National Weather Service, which says the clouds were visible over Lake Washington at the Service's Seattle location earlier today.

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Aevum Ravn unmanned aircraft launches space payloads every 3 hours

Aevum Ravn unmanned aircraft launches space payloads every 3 hours

An Alabama-based aerospace company plans to offer small space payload launches every 180 minutes using an unmanned aircraft system called Ravn. Unlike existing launch vehicles, which are used to carry payloads into space, Aevum's Ravn system is designed to operate like a commercial aircraft, reducing the turnaround time from landing to the next takeoff to anywhere between 30 and 80 minutes.

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Trump “Space Force” wants American “dominance” in space

Trump “Space Force” wants American “dominance” in space

America needs a "Space Force" to dominate space, President Trump has declared this morning, directing the government to create a new branch of the Armed Forces. The news came as part of a NASA event to discuss space traffic around Earth, held at the White House.

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Stephen Hawking’s voice to be beamed towards black hole

Stephen Hawking’s voice to be beamed towards black hole

Legendary scientists Stephen Hawking passed away in March of 2018 at the age of 76. Word has now surfaced that Hawking's family plans to do something that the scientist would have certainly found to be very cool. The family plans to beam a recording of his voice toward a black hole.

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Black hole spied ripping apart, then spewing, star that got too close

Black hole spied ripping apart, then spewing, star that got too close

A supermassive black hole with a mass 20 million times greater than our own Sun was recently spotted shredding a massive star that got too close. The event was directly observed forming and launching a jet of material, marking the very first time such an observation has happened. The star that fell victim to the supermassive black hole had more than twice the mass of our Sun.

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New star has three infant planets growing around it

New star has three infant planets growing around it

Scientists have been studying a distant exoplanet that is very young. The star is called HD 163296 and is about 330 light years from our solar system. The star is a scant 4 million years old, an infant by astronomical standards. The star is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

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NASA flies UAV in public airspace sans safety chaser for first time

NASA flies UAV in public airspace sans safety chaser for first time

For the first time, NASA has operated an unmanned aircraft without a safety chase plane in public airspace. This is a new milestone for the space agency, which says the flight involved its Ikhana remote-controlled UAV. Though the agency has operated unmanned aircraft in public airspace before, past missions always included a safety plane following it.

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NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA researchers fear the space agency's Opportunity rover may soon reach the end of its life as a major Mars dust storm continues to blot out the sun. As we reported last week, a Martian dust storm bigger than North America is currently interfering with the rover's ability to operate on the Red Planet, and the rover has now put itself into a deep sleep mode.

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Scientists peer inside interplanetary dust particles

Scientists peer inside interplanetary dust particles

Scientists have longed for generations to know exactly how the planets formed from the fields of interstellar dust that orbited the sun. Dust from that phase no longer exists having been destroyed, reformed, and reaggregated in multiple phases over the eons. Scientists can study presolar dust that is part of the cometary comas using ground-based analysis and data from Cassini.

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NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA's Opportunity rover may not have to worry about running into traffic congestion on Mars, but vast dust storms are definitely an occupational hazard. The science robot has been forced to go into emergency lock-down, after a storm larger than all of North America whipped itself into a frenzy on the red planet.

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NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

As promised, NASA has announced new milestone Mars discoveries, namely the presence of organic molecules and seasonal changes in atmospheric methane. The findings add to the body of evidence suggesting Mars may once have been able to sustain life. Both discoveries were made possible by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and have been detailed in a pair of new studies.

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Jupiter’s lightning is more frequent than expected and very Earth-like

Jupiter’s lightning is more frequent than expected and very Earth-like

We have all seen lightning at some point on a stormy night. Earth isn’t the only planet in the solar system to have storms that produce lightning. Spacecraft that have flown by Jupiter over the decades have picked up indications of lightning on the planet. With Juno in orbit around Jupiter, more information about Jovian lightning has been gathered.

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