NASA studies laser to remove space junk

Junk is not only limited to our planet, we have a problem with space pollution as well. In 1978, a brilliant NASA researcher named Donald Kessler predicted that a collision between two pieces of space junk could trigger a cascade of further impacts, which would create a significant quantity of debris which would then cause major trouble. He pointed out

Brilliant Very Large Telescope image captures the tumult of a starbirth

The process of starbirth is a beautiful yet violent one; newborn stars spew material into the surrounding gas, creating surreal photos, often with glowing bulbs, arcs or streaks. This kind of picture is always spectacular, and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) managed to catch quite a few of them on camera, delighting astronomers and the general public as well. This

$63 million a seat? NASA says ‘fine’

Amidst all the stuff that’s going on for NASA right now, they can still find the resources to strike a $753 million deal with Russia for 12 round trips to the International Space Station, paying about $63 million a seat. “It’s an 8.5 percent annual increase,” NASA spokesman Josh Bluck told Space.com, referring to the overall increase. “The increase covers

Japan Earthquake causes Earth axis to tilt – shortens day!

As a consequence of last Friday’s devastating earthquake near the coast of Japan, the nation’s most powerful recorded earthquake to date actually since it began archiving results in the late 1800, scientists have assessed that the Earth axis has tilted by a few inches and that the chronological day has been shortened by a millionth of a second. The link

Mars Rover on the edge of a crater

The Opportunity Rover is one brave little guy – he managed to defeat even the most optimistic of predictions, functioning several years after its primary objective was fulfilled. But now, he is little more than a bluish speck on this picture of the Santa Maria crater on the surface of Mars, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s high resolution camera.

Cassini finds that Saturn Moon is a powerhouse

It’s been quite a while since we published anything about the Cassini mission, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been active. The information it keeps sending back to Earth is priceless, and at some points, totally surprising. This was also the case of the Saturn Moon Enceladus, which appears to give out much more heat than previously estimated, according to

Difficult decisions ahead for Mars exploration

The joint exploration by NASA and ESA, encompassing joint efforts from the American and European space agency seemed like a dream come true for astronomers from both sides. Especially after the European side designed and started building the Mars Rover, everything appeared to go in the right direction. But the issues NASA is facing at the moment will take their

The search for DNA on Mars

They came from Mars; they invaded our planet billions of years ago. But they were small, and came with rocks instead of spaceships. At least that’s what Christopher Carr from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) thinks. He claims that sheltered within meteorite rocks, microbial Martians could have survived the cold dark space, and make it through to Earth, where

Discovery shuttle prepares for final landing

As I told you yesterday, the Discovery shuttle is preparing for a well deserved retirement, after 365 days spent in space, during which it traveled more than 150 million miles. All systems are go for landing at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, thus concluding its 13th and final mission. The shuttle left the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after the crew

Space Shuttle Discovery heads home after final mission

When launched in 1984, Discovery was top notch; it was the best available around, and only the third operational orbiter; now, after 3 flights, over five thousand orbits and no less than 365 days spent in space, during which it traveled 150 million miles Discovery left the International Space Station (ISS) for the last time; it is still, for a

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

In case you have no idea who Carl Sagan is… well, you should, basically. Carl Sagan is one of those men who brought science to the people, making numerous fields such as astronomy, astrophysics, exobiology, and many, many more accessible for the masses. He published more than six hundred research papers and popular science works, and reached the minds and

NASA slams alien life claims

Two days ago, the whole world was teeming with excitement, after some NASA researchers reported finding traces of alien life in meteorites; now, even their employer distances itself from them, and the whole scientific world seems to frown upon this work. However, in what is a very unusual move, NASA has denied any involvement with the paper, and even the

Amazingly beautiful and eerie footage of a NASA shuttle launch

NASA isn’t going through its best period, but it’s not all bad for the American space agency; just recently, they successfully attached a contact microphone and video camera to one of the solid rocket boosters and recorded the launch. The sounds and video that are recorded show how it enters space, separates from the shuttle and then falls back to

NASA satellite crashes deal serious blow to geoscience efforts

NASA is going through a whole lot during period: discussions about budget cuts, problems with launches, even with Hubble, and many, many more smaller or bigger problems are denting one of the finest organizations in the world. But a pair of costly satellite crashes mean dealt an even more severe blow to the space agency, especially to the earth science

US Space Plane is in orbit

Whenever Boeing and NASA team up, you can bet your sweet lasers something wicked is going to happen; actually, the first logical thing that would come to mind is a space plane – and this is what they did. The US X-37B is now in orbit, after a successful launch that took place without any incidents whatsoever. The orbital test

NASA scientists find evidence of life in meteorites

Wherever it’s possible, life finds a way; the old saying seems to be more and more actual these days, with NASA and other space agencies reporting interesting discoveries that point towards life existing in many more other places other than our own planet. After rewriting the biology books with the arsenic eating microbe, NASA researchers claim to have found evidence

How many planets are in the Milky Way? Over 50 billion

Yes, you’ve read that right. There are over 50 billion planets in our galaxy alone, according to the Kepler telescope, scientists now estimate that not only there are over 500 bilion planets in the galaxy, but that there are over 500 million life-cable planets out there as well. These numbers obviously come from Nasa’s own database created by the Kepler

Solar flare causing some major trouble

As we were telling you recently, the biggest solar flare in the last 4 years is upon us, and while this doesn’t pose any direct danger for us, but the flare is making an impact throughout the world. Radio communications were disrupted, especially in China, but concern was generated everywhere throughout the world. However, experts say the Sun has just

Solar flare radiation expected to hit today – expect a Northern Lights spectacle

On Monday the sun fired up an X class solar flare, the most powerful of its kind, the effects of which are expected to be felt by us today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), and are expected to last somewhere between 24 and 48 hours. This may lead to disruptions in radio communications, interfere with satellites and affect power grids. This

Giant solar blast headed directly for Earth – perfect for photographers

First of all, there’s no need to panic; solar blasts can cause geomagnetic perturbances, but they pose no direct danger for humans or any other inhabitants of our planet in a direct manner. The biggest such flare in the past four years erupted on Monday, and it’s sending jets of charged particles that will reach our planet in the next