Space

TESS and Spitzer discover planet closely orbiting a white dwarf star

TESS and Spitzer discover planet closely orbiting a white dwarf star

NASA has announced that the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope discovered the first intact planet found closely orbiting a white dwarf star. The white dwarf star is the dense remnant of a Sun-like star that is only 40 percent larger than the Earth. The planet orbiting the star is the size of Jupiter and is called WD 1856 b. It's about seven times larger than the star it orbits.

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NASA says Solar Cycle 25 has begun

NASA says Solar Cycle 25 has begun

The sun goes through cycles where it has more or less activity, and NASA has now confirmed that Solar Cycle 25 has begun. Experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed analysis and predictions about the new solar cycle during a media event on Tuesday of this week. Among the information shared during the event was how the coming upswing in space weather impacts life on Earth, technology, and astronauts in space.

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Human Landing System National Team completes System Requirements Review

Human Landing System National Team completes System Requirements Review

The Human Landing System National Team, led by Blue Origin and partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper, has completed the System Requirements Review (SRR). SRR is the first "gated milestone" for the program and marks successful baselining of the mission, space vehicles, and ground segment requirements. The design of the spacecraft and systems has proceeded to the NASA Certification Baseline Review. Lower-level element SRRs will follow in the preliminary design phase in the future.

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Venus study reveals ‘surprising’ evidence of life: What you should know

Venus study reveals ‘surprising’ evidence of life: What you should know

The world was shocked on Monday with the announcement that strong evidence of life on Venus has been discovered. That's according to a new study published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy, revealing that a smelly, flammable gas associated with life on Earth has been identified in 'surprising' quantities in the atmosphere of Venus. NASA, which wasn't involved with the study, has issued an official comment on the findings.

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Some carbon-rich exoplanets could be made of diamonds and silica

Some carbon-rich exoplanets could be made of diamonds and silica

A study was recently published from researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Chicago that determined some carbon-rich exoplanets could, under the right circumstances, be made of diamonds and silica. The researchers say that these exoplanets are unlike anything in our solar system.

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Asteroid 2020 QU6 was discovered by an amateur astronomer

Asteroid 2020 QU6 was discovered by an amateur astronomer

Early this week, a massive asteroid measuring about 3280 feet wide flew past the Earth. The asteroid was dubbed 2020 QU6 and was discovered by an amateur astronomer from Brazil. The asteroid is classified as potentially hazardous but safely passed by the Earth at a distance of more than 20 million miles.

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China’s mysterious reusable spacecraft returns to earth

China’s mysterious reusable spacecraft returns to earth

Last weekend we talked a bit about a mysterious Chinese mission that put an unknown payload into space. Reports indicated at the time that the payload was a reusable spacecraft, but no one knew exactly what the mission of the spacecraft was. That spacecraft spent two days in orbit around the earth before reentry and landing.

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Astra Orbital Launch Test Fails During First Stage Burn

Astra Orbital Launch Test Fails During First Stage Burn

Launching rockets is very difficult work, and while some companies, such as SpaceX, make it look very easy, it's not easy at all. A company called Astra, based in California, conducted its first orbital test flight last night. The intent was to send the two-stage Rocket 3.1 into orbit from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska.

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Japan’s MMX space mission will include capturing 8K images of Mars

Japan’s MMX space mission will include capturing 8K images of Mars

Japan's previously announced Martian Moons eXploration mission will include capturing the Red Planet and its moons in 8K resolution, JAXA has announced. The mission, which is scheduled to go live the same year NASA will return humans to the Moon, is a joint effort between JAXA and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK). Under their partnership, the two entities plan to develop the Super Hi-Vision Camera for snapping these images from orbit.

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Hubble snaps stunning image with thousands of multi-colored stars

Hubble snaps stunning image with thousands of multi-colored stars

NASA's aging Hubble Space Telescope has snapped an image showing 'a pocketful of stars,' according to the space agency -- a cluster of the universe packed full of thousands of stars with different colors. The stars range in size from quite small to very large, painting a colorful picture of celestial bodies located so closely together that they've likely crowded out any hope of surrounding planet systems.

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Hubble observations suggest a discrepancy in dark matter theories

Hubble observations suggest a discrepancy in dark matter theories

Observations made using the Hubble Space Telescope have helped scientists worldwide solve mysteries and gather data since it was placed in orbit many years ago. Recently, astronomers have used Hubble observations to discover a discrepancy between theoretical models of how dark matter should be distributed in galaxy clusters and observations of dark matter's grip on galaxy clusters.

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NASA wants private companies to sell it Moon rocks and dust

NASA wants private companies to sell it Moon rocks and dust

NASA has announced a new contract opportunity that will involve it purchasing Moon dust (called regolith) and rocks from a private space company. The intention was announced by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a post this week, with the official stating that utilizing private companies under its Artemis lunar program will help it save money and access new innovations developed by these companies. The new contract is part of this effort.

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