SETI shuts down due to lack of funding

Carl Sagan must be twisting and twitching in his grave. SETI, the project which became synonymus with searching for extraterrestrial intelligent life, was unable to gether the $5 million it needed – which is just 0.0074% (!) of the United States military budget; talk about priorities… Anyway, SETI has shut down its telescope array, which consists of 42 20-foot-wide telescopes

Endeavour’s last flight will also be Mark Kelly’s last

Endeavour will pretty soon begin its retirement, just like fellow space orbiter Discovery did just a while ago. However, Endeavour’s last flight will almost certainly be captain Mark Kelly’s last one too. Kelly, 47, showed his flying skills with twin brother Scott, and signed up for the Navy, then became pilots, and finally, became astronauts; they are the world’s first

NASA releases rose galaxy picture to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Hubble telescope

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of Hubble, NASA released this stunning picture of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. Yes, Hubble is more

NASA funds commercial space taxi development worth $269 million

As the last two shuttle flights will mark the end of a thirty year long program, NASA is looking for alternatives to transport astronauts, cargo and equipment to and from outer space. The best alternative seems to come from the private sectore, and with this in mind NASA has awarded a total $269 million dived among several top aeronautical companies

Breathtaking time lapse video of the Milky Way

I’ve recently fallen in love with time lapse videos of the sky, and posted a few lovely ones. We’re setting the bar even higher now, with this brilliant work from photographer Terje Sorgjerd. What happens here is truly magical: a Saharan windstorm invades the sky and throws it into chaos, while the Milky Way is slowly going by its business.

Celestial fireworks from dying stars

A new image of the nebula NGC 3582, which was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescop at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows giant loops of gas that resemble what you would see for New Year’s Eve; however, there probably isn’t much joy in that sector, as these loops are believed to be emitted

Amazing picture of a galactic center

No comment (click the pic to make it big).

Data from NASA’s sky-mapping telescope released

In a move that should make amateur and professional astronomersecstatic, NASA has released a trove of data from its sky-mapping mission, allowing scientists or pretty much anybody with an internet connection to access information and pictures about millions of stars, galaxies, asteroids, etc. Much of the information here is just an update for previous data, but there are a lot

[VIDEO] Watch Yuri Gagarin’s historic orbital flight entirely in “First Orbit”

A few weeks ago I told you a bit about “First Orbit”, a marvelous documentary by Christopher Riley which practically visually recreates the same path Yuri Gagarin undertook exactly 50 years ago when he became the first man ever to go into space. Every six weeks, the International Space Station orbit matches the same arc around the world traced originally

Space ships retirement place announced, Houston snubbed

Everybody was eager to see where the four space ships who will soon be retired will go; the idea was to chose a museum which somehow has connections with the space program, and where a lot of people can see it. Well, what city has more connections with the space program than Houston ? It seems like a no-brainer. But

31 reasons why Yuri Gagarin rocks

Today, we celebrate 50 years since Yuri Gagarin went into outer space, thus becoming the first human being to do this. But there’s more to him than just that. Here’s a list of some of the things that make him awesome: 1. He was the first man to go into outer space, of course. 2. In the middle of the

Mysterious cosmic blast triggered by black hole

On the 28th of March the Swift telescope observed a peculiar gamma-ray blast in a distant corner of the visible universe, some 3.8 billion light years away, bewildered astronomers around the world. The powerful blast is theoretically caused, scientists say, by a black hole located in the center of the distant galaxy whose gravity tore apart a massive star which

NASA to announce permanent homes for retired shuttles

Exactly 30 years ago, the first orbital space shuttle launch took place, marking the start of a slew of successful missions, with 135 successful launches, which provided important insights in space exploration, offered satellite deployment, space lab work and indispensable International Space Station service. The shuttle program however will be permanently retired soon, with only two more flights left –

50 years since Yuri Gagarin went into outer space

Yuri Gagarin, a soviet astronaut was the first man to ever go into outer space, exactly 50 years ago, when his shuttle, Vostok, went into outer space and completed an orbit around the planet. Interestingly enough, Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but what a spaceflight it was ! Many milestones were reached since spatial exploration began, but no matter

NASA to announce home of retiring space ships

Tuesday will mark the 50th year since human space flight, since the day Yuri Gagarin left Russia and became the first man to go in outer space, as well as the 30th anniversary of the launch of the shuttle Discovery, the legendary but already retired space shuttle. This is the day when NASA will announce who will get to house

FBI releases memo about Roswell aliens

In a surprising move that didn’t get quite a lot of attention, the FBI released an online document archive they’re calling the Vault, in which they openly address, among other things, the alleged aliens and flying saucers found at Roswell. Yes, it’s about little green men, like the ones who are usually portrayed in movies. The memo at the core

Kepler star trio is a mystery to astroseismologists

It’s not that uncommon for two stars to dance, but when three of them get together, and dance without singing, now that’s something uncommon. What do I mean ? Well, binary star systems are not really only in Star Wars, they’re quite common throughout the galaxy, but as it turns out, trinary systems might not be that rare either. The

Mars Rover getting last touches

NASA engineers and technicians are making the last adjustments to the Mars Rover, which is about the size of a small SUV; the rover is set to be sent to Florida for launch later this year, so everybody’s in a hurry and trying to make everything as fast as they can, without making any mistake whatsoever. A small army of

Black hole in Dragon’s belly swallows star and everything goes nutty from here

  The Draco constellation (which is Latin for Dragon) is located at about 3.8 billion light years from Earth; just like every dragon that has at least some common sense, it breathes fire, especially after carelessly eating a nearby star. Rewind. A mysterious cosmic blast in the Draco constellation is causing waves that continue to be observed long after researchers

The Universe in a sandbox

I was quite pleasantly surprised by Universe in a Sandbox. It is one of the best pieces of software I’ve come across lately; you get the ultimate power, create and destroy galaxies, run virtually any astronomic simulation you want, but most of all, you get to explore and learn about the very universe you live in. With just a few