You Could Fit All the Planets Between the Earth and the Moon

by FRASER CAIN You could fit all the planets within the average distance to the Moon. Enlarge I ran into this intriguing infographic over on Reddit that claimed that you could fit all the planets of the Solar System within the average distance between the Earth and the Moon. I’d honestly never heard this stat before, and it’s […]

Making Cubesats do Astronomy

Will cubesats lead to a new technological branch of astronomy? Goddard engineers are taking the necessary steps to make cubesat-sized telescopes a reality. (Credit: NASA, UniverseToday/TRR) Enlarge One doesn’t take two cubesats and rub them together to make static electricity. Rather, you send them on a brief space voyage to low-earth orbit (LEO) and space them apart […]

SpaceX ship leaves ISS for Earth loaded with lab results

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft left the International Space Station to return to Earth on Saturday after a month in orbit, NASA said. The SpaceX Dragon capsule has been docked in orbit with the International Space Station (ISS) since September 23 Astronauts at the orbiting lab manipulated the space station's robotic arm to detach the Dragon on […]

NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan

ENLARGE / This cloud in the stratosphere over Titan's north pole (left) is similar to Earth's polar stratospheric clouds (right). NASA scientists found that Titan's cloud contains methane ice, which was not previously thought to form in that part of the atmosphere. Cassini first spotted the cloud in 2006. Credit: L. NASA/JPL/U. of Ariz./LPGNantes; R. NASA/GSFC/M. […]

Mind Maze: How Your Memory Deceives You

Credit: agsandrew/ Enlarge Two beloved sci-fi franchises returned to the screens this fall burdened with shaky memories. In ABC's superhero spy TV series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," the lead character, Phil Coulson, is still reeling from a case of implanted memories. Meanwhile, the movie adaptation of the young-adult novel "The Maze Runner" opens on a hero with […]

Climate change caused by ocean, not just atmosphere, study finds

Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. The ocean conveyor transports water and heat through the deep ocean basins. Credit: NASA Enlarge But in a new study published in Science, a group of Rutgers researchers have found that circulation of the […]

New rocket propellant and motor design offer high performance and safety

Rocket flight test at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center launch site near Socorro, NM. Enlarge Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists recently flight tested a new rocket design that includes a high-energy fuel and a motor design that also delivers a high degree of safety. "What we're trying to do is break the performance […]

New insights on the origin of the triple asteroid system (87) Sylvia

Credit: Danielle Futselaar/SETI Institute Enlarge Combining observations from the world's largest telescopes with those from smaller instruments used by amateur astronomers, a team of scientists has discovered that the large main-belt asteroid (87) Sylvia has a complex interior. This has been deduced by using the motions of the two moons orbiting the main asteroid as […]

The abundance of water in asteroid fragments

A new study could provide insights about the abundance of water in fragments from a famous asteroid. ENLARGE / These colorful images are of thin slices of meteorites viewed through a polarizing microscope. Part of the group classified as HED meteorites for their mineral content (Howardite, Eucrite, Diogenite), they likely fell to Earth from 4 Vesta. […]

China launches first mission to moon and back

A rocket carrying an experimental spacecraft intended for the moon and back launches from Xichang space base in China's Sichuan province on October 24, 2014 Enlarge China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious programme to one day land a Chinese […]

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