Space

Huge Geminid meteor shower fireball caught on police dashcam

Huge Geminid meteor shower fireball caught on police dashcam

This week brought a treat for astronomy enthusiasts: the Geminid meteor shower. The shooting stars were visible last night in areas where the sky was clear, and now content is starting to roll in. Among the images and videos is a clip featuring a big, green fireball caught streaking across the sky by a police cruiser's dashcam.

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Exoplanet newly discovered is losing its atmosphere at an incredible rate

Exoplanet newly discovered is losing its atmosphere at an incredible rate

Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet that is of a very rare variety called a "hot Neptune." The new exoplanet is dubbed Gliese 3470b, and the big thing about this exoplanet is that it is losing its atmosphere at an incredible rate. Hot Neptunes are exceedingly rare, and scientists have long wondered why this is.

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Look to the sky Sunday to see the year’s brightest comet

Look to the sky Sunday to see the year’s brightest comet

This month has been a good one for people wanting to see something spectacular in the night skies. The Geminid meteor shower has been putting on quite the light show and coming up this weekend some people will be able to see the brightest comet of the year. Comet 46P/Wirtanen began to get brighter back in November, but it will be visible to the naked eye on Sunday.

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Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity supersonic plane makes historic space flight

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity supersonic plane makes historic space flight

Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity supersonic plane successfully breached the edge of space during a flight today, the company has announced. According to Virgin Galactic, this is the first time a crewed vehicle made for passenger service has managed to reach space, a milestone for the company. The achievement has been recognized by the FAA, which plans to award the flight's pilots in a ceremony next year.

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InSight rover spied on Mars by MRO spacecraft’s HiRISE camera

InSight rover spied on Mars by MRO spacecraft’s HiRISE camera

NASA's InSight rover touched down on Mars late last month at a landing site that the space agency's researchers narrowed down to a 81-mile-long ellipses. Thanks to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera, NASA has been able to visually confirm its lander's exact position, as well as its parachute and heat shield. Three images of the objects have been shared with the public.

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Saturn’s moons Dione and Rhea align to create space snowman for the holidays

Saturn’s moons Dione and Rhea align to create space snowman for the holidays

We are only weeks away from Christmas and Saturn's moons Dione and Rhea have gotten into the Christmas spirit by aligning perfectly to create a snowman. This photo was captured by the now deceased Cassini spacecraft but has only now been released. These two moons are very far from each other, and the reason they look roughly the same size is a trick of perspective.

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Russian cosmonauts hack samples from around Soyuz spacecraft hole

Russian cosmonauts hack samples from around Soyuz spacecraft hole

In September of 2018, Russia announced that it was investigating potential sabotage of its Soyuz rocket attached to the ISS. An air leak was discovered aboard the ISS, and on investigation, a hole was found under a panel with evidence that a drill made the hole. Word is that despite the hole in the spacecraft and the fact that astronauts had to resort to using epoxy to seal the hole, the crew aboard the ISS were in no danger.

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Parker Solar Probe sends back Sun data from its closest-ever approach

Parker Solar Probe sends back Sun data from its closest-ever approach

NASA mission scientists have recently been on the receiving end of data gathered by the Parker Solar Probe during its closest-ever solar approach last month. Four researchers with the space agency shared some information about the mission at the 2018 American Geophysical Union meeting today, revealing that they expect to be surprised by some of the probe's future discoveries, among other things.

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InSight snaps its first selfie and shows off its workspace

InSight snaps its first selfie and shows off its workspace

NASA's InSight spacecraft has only been on the surface of the Red Planet for a short while, and already it has shown off some cool photos and first ever facts about Mars. Earlier this week InSight sent NASA its first ever Mars wind recording. We've also seen an image of the spacecraft readying its robotic arm.

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Scientists just created tiny specs of ultra-hot early universe matter

Scientists just created tiny specs of ultra-hot early universe matter

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have been able to create what they call tiny droplets of the ultra-hot matter that once filled the early universe. The matter they created formed three distinct shapes and sizes including circles, ellipses, and triangles. The image below is a visualization of the expanding drops of quark gluon plasmas.

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NASA OSIRIS-REx finds water on Bennu asteroid within days of arrival

NASA OSIRIS-REx finds water on Bennu asteroid within days of arrival

On December 3, NASA announced that its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft had successfully arrived as the asteroid called Bennu, kicking off a mission that will last two years. The spacecraft has only been at the asteroid for a week, but its observations already include a big discovery: the presence of water on the space rock.

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NASA Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space 11 billion miles from Earth

NASA Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space 11 billion miles from Earth

In October, NASA revealed that its Voyager 2 probe, which was launched in 1977, had started to detect an increase in cosmic rays from beyond our Solar System. The space agency said the change hinted at the possibility of nearing interstellar space, something it has now confirmed a little over a month later. The Voyager 2's arrival in interstellar space comes a handful of years after Voyager 1's own similar achievement.

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