Tech News Feed

Glow in space is evidence of a hot bubble in our galaxy

Science Daily Astronomy - Mon, 2014-07-28 09:44
A recent study shows that the emission is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas -- 1 million degrees -- with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system. The findings should put to rest the disagreement about the origin of the X-ray emission and confirm the existence of the local hot bubble.

New mass map of distant galaxy cluster is most precise yet

Science Daily Astronomy - Thu, 2014-07-24 10:42
Astronomers have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations from Hubble's Frontier Fields observing program, the map shows the amount and distribution of mass within MCS J0416.1-2403, a massive galaxy cluster found to be 160 trillion times the mass of the Sun.

Hubble finds three surprisingly dry exoplanets: 'Hot Jupiters' had only one-tenth to one one-thousandth the amount of water predicted

Science Daily Astronomy - Thu, 2014-07-24 09:28
Astronomers have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun -- and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth and were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres because of their high temperatures where water turns into a measurable vapor.

Voyager spacecraft might not have reached interstellar space

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:41
In 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed into interstellar space, traveling further from Earth than any other humanmade object. But, in the nearly two years since that historic announcement, and despite subsequent observations backing it up, uncertainty about whether Voyager 1 really crossed the threshold continues.

New approach in search for extraterrestrial intelligence: Target alien polluters

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:12
Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs? They might, if they spew industrial pollution into the atmosphere.

Atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:10
An astronomer has published the results of the comparison of his model of Titan's atmosphere with the latest data.

Lives and deaths of sibling stars

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:09
In a new image from ESO, young stars huddle together against clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are laboratories that allow astronomers to learn about how stars evolve.

Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:08
Astronomers have studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always move in rotating discs. However, such satellite galaxy discs are not predicted by current models of the formation of structures in the Universe. This discovery could cause modelers serious headaches in the years ahead.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary

Science Daily Astronomy - Tue, 2014-07-22 12:48
Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.

NASA's Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar

Science Daily Astronomy - Tue, 2014-07-22 12:04
In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Hubble traces halo of a galaxy more accurately than ever before: An in-depth look at giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A

Science Daily Astronomy - Tue, 2014-07-22 10:22
Astronomers have probed the extreme outskirts of the stunning elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. The galaxy's halo of stars has been found to extend much further from the galaxy's center than expected and the stars within this halo seem to be surprisingly rich in heavy elements. This is the most remote portion of an elliptical galaxy ever to have been explored.

Transiting exoplanet with longest known year: 704 Earth days

Science Daily Astronomy - Mon, 2014-07-21 14:22
Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered to date are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods.

Oceans vital for possibility for alien life

Science Daily Astronomy - Sun, 2014-07-20 20:34
Researchers have made an important step in the race to discover whether other planets could develop and sustain life. New research shows the vital role of oceans in moderating climate on Earth-like planets Until now, computer simulations of habitable climates on Earth-like planets have focused on their atmospheres. But the presence of oceans is vital for optimal climate stability and habitability.

Looking back at the Jupiter crash 20 years later

Science Daily Astronomy - Fri, 2014-07-18 10:30
Twenty years ago, human and robotic eyes observed the first recorded impact between cosmic bodies in the solar system, as fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the atmosphere of Jupiter. Between July 16 and July 22, 1994, space- and Earth-based assets managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, joined an armada of other NASA and international telescopes, straining to get a glimpse of the historic event.

NASA rover's images show laser flash on Martian rock

Science Daily Astronomy - Fri, 2014-07-18 10:22
Flashes appear on a baseball-size Martian rock in a series of images taken Saturday, July 12 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the arm of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover. The flashes occurred while the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument fired multiple laser shots to investigate the rock's composition.

Rosetta spacecraft approaching twofold comet

Science Daily Astronomy - Fri, 2014-07-18 10:20
As the European Space Agency's spacecraft Rosetta is slowly approaching its destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet is again proving to be full of surprises. New images obtained by OSIRIS, the onboard scientific imaging system, confirm the body's peculiar shape hinted at in earlier pictures. Comet 67P is obviously different from other comets visited so far.

Lunar pits could shelter astronauts, reveal details of how 'man in the moon' formed

Science Daily Astronomy - Thu, 2014-07-17 18:04
While the moon's surface is battered by millions of craters, it also has over 200 holes -- steep-walled pits that in some cases might lead to caves that future astronauts could explore and use for shelter, according to new observations.

Sharpest map of Mars surface properties

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-16 14:13
A heat-sensing camera has provided data to create the most detailed global map yet made of Martian surface properties. Surface properties tell geologists about the physical nature of a planet or moon's surface. Is a particular area coated with dust, and if so, how thick is it likely to be? Where are the outcrops of bedrock? How loose are the sediments that fill this crater or that valley? A map of surface properties lets scientists begin to answer questions such as these.

Asteroid Vesta to reshape theories of planet formation

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2014-07-16 13:16
Researchers have a better understanding of the asteroid Vesta and its internal structure, thanks to numerical simulations and data from the space mission Dawn. Their findings question contemporary models of rocky planet formation, including that of Earth.

NOAA's GOES-R satellite Magnetometer ready for spacecraft integration

Science Daily Astronomy - Tue, 2014-07-15 21:43
The Magnetometer instrument that will fly on NOAA's GOES-R satellite when it is launched in early 2016 has completed the development and testing phase and is ready to be integrated with the spacecraft.