Articles about space

space

AI beats astroboffins at sniffing out fast radio bursts amid the universe's clutter

AI is helping astronomers spot fast radio bursts, a mysterious class of signal emitted from a new type of object very rarely found in space that boffins are still trying to classify. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are difficult to study. They don’t crop up too often - there have only been around 30 confirmed events since their …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Sep 2018
Pluto

Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion

The drama surrounding Pluto’s planetary status just won’t die. A bunch of physicists are still fired up over the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) decision to demote Pluto from being a fully fledged planet to a mere dwarf world in 2006. Pluto hovers on the edge of our Solar System, mixing it up with bits of icy debris …
radio_telescopes

First low-frequency fast radio burst to grace our skies detected at last

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, a super-duper radio telescope, has detected the first low-frequency fast radio burst, a class of rare extragalactic emissions of an unknown origin. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) were first spotted over ten years ago. Since 2007, there have been around 30 confirmed sightings. On …
meteorite

The Solar System's oldest minerals reveal the Sun's violent past

An analysis of hibonite, thought to be among the oldest minerals in the Solar System, has shown the turbulent and violent early history of our sun. A team of scientists analysed meteorite samples containing hibonite using a scanning electron microscope and a mass spectrometer. The mineral contains small pockets of inert gases …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Jul 2018
mars_radar_lake

Hurrah! Boffins finally discover liquid water sloshing around on Mars

Scientists have discovered a lake of liquid water on Mars hidden beneath multiple layers of dust and ice, according to a paper published in Science on Wednesday. It has long been suspected that the Red Planet is not as dry and arid as it looks. Over the years, spacecrafts and rovers have uncovered evidence of its watery past. …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Jul 2018
jupiter

By Jove! Astroboffins spot 12 new spanking moons around Jupiter

Jupiter already had the most moons in the Solar System, but now scientists have discovered twelve new ones bringing the total up to 79. They were first spotted last year by a team of astronomers originally on the hunt for the elusive Planet Nine, a hypothetical body speculated to exist beyond Neptune. Unfortunately, they …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Jul 2018
quasar_radio

Astroboffins spy the brightest quasar that lit the universe's dark ages

Scientists have spotted the brightest ancient quasar formed when the universe was less than billion years old, according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal. The newly discovered quasar, known by its not very catchy name PSO J352.4034-15.3373 or P352-15, also shoots out huge jets of plasma that appear extremely …
oumuamua

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Pic 'Oumuamua, the odd elongated cigar-shaped interstellar object zipping through the Solar System, continues to flummox scientists. What is that thing? At first, there were a group of fantasists who believed it was an alien starship. Those claims were quickly debunked by researchers who classified it as an interstellar asteroid …
Katyanna Quach, 28 Jun 2018
GOES-16 Earth with Moon

No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

Are you tired and grumpy after such a long day? Well, now you know what to blame: the Moon. Scientists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Columbia University, in the US, found that days on Earth grew longer as the Moon inched further away. Some 1.4 billion years ago, a day lasted just over 18 hours, the eggheads …
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA makes the James Webb Telescope a looker with a heart of gold

While the spaceship name Heart of Gold was taken by the late, great Douglas Adams, NASA has come up with something similar for its forthcoming space telescope. To capture incoming radiation, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will need to fend off outgoing radiation. The telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020 following several …
Autophage Engine

You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

Scottish boffins, along with colleagues in Ukraine, have developed a "self-eating" rocket engine that could affordably fling a cubesat into orbit. The solid-fuel rocket does away with heavy tanks, with the propellant itself forming much of the launcher's structure. As the engine burns its way through that structure, the rocket …
Richard Speed, 25 May 2018

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

The "impossible" EmDrive may be just that, though don't count it out just yet. A group of German physicists at TU Dresden has tested two proposed means of propellantless propulsion – the EmDrive and Mach Effect Thrusters – and found the act of testing is what makes these arguably physics-flouting technologies appear to work. …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2018

Undocumented alien caught stealing orbits in our Solar System

Scientists have discovered the first “interstellar immigrant” living among our Solar System's matter. Unlike Oumuamua, the asteroid that made headlines for appearing to be a gigantic spliff or a potential alien spacecraft, asteroid (514107) 2015 BZ509, affectionately known as Bee-Zed, has been circling the Sun for some 4.5 …
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2018
NGC_6744_LEGUS

Get an eyeful of the stunning galaxies near us in ultraviolet light

Astronomers have published the largest ultra-violet survey of the local universe, showcasing 50 active galaxies in high resolution using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The project nicknamed LEGUS (Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey) captures a whopping 39 million hot blue stars and about 8,000 star clusters within a 60 million …
Katyanna Quach, 18 May 2018
galaxy_impression

Astroboffins find most distant source of oxygen in the universe

Astrophysicists have detected the most distant signal of oxygen yet, in a galaxy more than 13 billion light years away, when the universe was less than 4 per cent of its current age. A paper published in Nature shows that the galaxy, MACS1149-JD1, was surprisingly mature enough to be forming abundant amounts oxygen at such a …
Katyanna Quach, 17 May 2018
Skylab (pic: NASA)

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

Two NASA anniversaries rolled around this week, but you would be forgiven for missing them. The first was the 45th anniversary of the launch of the United States' only solo Space Station, Skylab, designed to host astronauts for months at a time. The second big day, yesterday, marked 55 years since the space agency launched the …
Richard Speed, 16 May 2018

Astroboffins spy the most greedy black hole yet gobbling a Sun a day

Astronomers have spotted the greediest supermassive black hole going through the fastest growth spurt some 12 billion years ago. The humongous hole, codenamed QSO SMSS J215728.21-360215.1, is the staggering size of about 20 billion suns, and grows at a rate of 200 million suns over a million years. It has a voracious appetite …
Katyanna Quach, 15 May 2018
Milky Way photo via Shutterstock

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace

A universe containing life like ours is probably more common in the multiverse than previously thought, according to new theoretical studies. The idea of multiple universes existing in parallel has gained traction in the last few decades and boffins are throwing large chunks of computing power at the problem, testing out …
Katyanna Quach, 14 May 2018

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