Archive for the ‘Solar System’ Category

SOLAR ACTIVE REGION ‘LARGER THAN JUPITER’

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

You may be preoccupied with Tuesday’s asteroid 2005 YU55 flyby, but there’s another astronomical event currently unfolding in the solar system. Zoom out from the Earth-moon system for a moment and focus your attention to the surface of our nearest star, nearly 100 million miles away. Yes, that star: the sun.

NASA Tracking Huge Asteroid with Radar for Tuesday Encounter

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A quarter-mile wide asteroid called 2005 YU55 will slip close by Earth Tuesday (Nov. 8) while astronomers around the world watch through telescopes. But some scientists are using a different way to scan the space rock: radar.

How to Spot the Huge Asteroid 2005 YU55’s Close Encounter With Earth

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Skywatchers hoping to glimpse a huge asteroid as it flies close by Earth Tuesday (Nov. 8) will need the right equipment — and a little bit of luck — to spot the faint and fast-moving space rock in telescopes, scientists say.

Deflecting Killer Asteroids Away From Earth: How We Could Do It

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A huge asteroid’s close approach to Earth tomorrow (Nov. 8) reinforces that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery, and we can’t just sit around waiting to get hit again, experts say.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 to Pass Earth; Closer Than Moon

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

We have a visitor — a large asteroid called 2005 YU55 that is expected to come within approximately 201,700 miles of Earth on Tuesday, according to NASA. That’s slightly less than the distance from Earth to the moon.

NASA prepares for moon tourism

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

“Looting, that would be pretty bad,” says archaeologist Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Looting is the bane of archaeological sites and O’Leary has spearheaded efforts to declare moon landing sites as historic preserves or national parks, seeking to head off similar depredations before before tourists leave Earth for the moon. “I put landing people on the moon up there with creating fire as a technological achievement.”

Planetary Scientists Hope to Bring Back Mars Moondust

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Planetary scientists may soon get the dirt on a Martian moon—literally. A Russian spacecraft will soon depart for Phobos, the larger of Mars’s two tiny moons. It will attempt to land there, scoop up some soil and return it to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft, called Phobos-Grunt, launches as soon as November 8th.

Will Russia end its curse at Mars?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Russian space agency Roscosmos marked Halloween by publishing a photo essay of preparation work on Phobos-Grunt, the Mars probe set to launch from Baikonur on Wednesday. Although the timing was likely coincidental, the symbolism was rich. Mars has been a house of horrors for the Russian and Soviet space programs for the past 50 years.

Asteroid Yu55 on course for close encounter with Earth

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Astronomers around the world have readied their telescopes to catch a glimpse of a speeding ball of rock that will hurtle past the Earth on Tuesday night.

SDSU helps find first planet with two suns

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Remember the scene in the first “Star Wars” movie where Luke Skywalker gazes off in the distance and sees two suns above the horizon? That sort of world actually exists. Scientists using NASA’s Kepler space telescope and other instruments have found the first planet that orbits two suns, a discovery made with the help of researchers from San Diego State University.

Oceans of Water in a Planet-Forming Disk

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Astronomers have detected massive quantities of water in a planet-forming gas disk around a young star

UH Astronomer Finds Planet in the Process of Forming

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The first direct image of a planet in the process of forming around its star has been captured by University of Hawaii astronomer Adam Kraus.

Researchers Explain the Formation of Scheila’s Unusual Triple Dust Tails

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A research team of planetary scientists and astronomers, primarily from Seoul National University, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), and Kobe University, has explained the formation of peculiar triple dust tails from the asteroid Scheila (asteroid #596).

Cassini Presents Saturn Moon Quintet

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this portrait of five of Saturn’s moons poised along the planet’s rings.

NASA’s Dawn Collects a Bounty of Beauty from Vesta

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

A new video from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft takes us on a flyover journey above the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta.
The data obtained by Dawn’s framing camera, used to produce the visualizations, will help scientists determine the processes that formed Vesta’s striking features. It will also help Dawn mission fans all over the world visualize this mysterious world, which is the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt.

Pluto’s icy exterior may conceal an ocean

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

PLUTO could hide a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Indeed, other bodies on the solar system’s frigid fringe could also harbour subsurface oceans, and these could provide the conditions to sustain life.

‘Star Wars’ planet found

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

In a case of science fiction turning into fact, astronomers have detected a planet orbiting two stars, nicknamed Tatooine after the fictional planet that was home to Luke Skywalker++

Outback helps NASA understand Mars

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Western Australian scientists, high school teachers and students have joined NASA researchers on a trip to the Pilbara region to learn more about the planet Mars.
The trip is part of NASA’s Spaceward Bound Program aimed at creating the next generation of space explorers.

“Dark Fireworks” Seen on Sun—Blast as Big as Ten Earths

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

New high-res videos of a June 7 solar flare, released by NASA this week, show strange blobs of plasma—what one scientist called “dark fireworks”—in the sharpest detail yet.

Comet Hartley 2 Leaves a Bumpy Trail

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

New findings from NEOWISE, the asteroid- and comet-hunting portion of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, show that comet Hartley 2 leaves a pebbly trail as it laps the sun, dotted with grains as big as golf balls.