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

Comet flyby produces “stunning pictures”

After six years of loneliness, this Valentine’s day was the charm for one of the veteran comet-chasing spacecrafts. As Stardust briefly met with the comet nicknamed Tempel 1, the spacecraft took dozens of pictures of the comet’s icy surface; but this was no random encounter – the purpose of it was to see how a comet’s surface changes when it

Astronauts start “walk on Mars” experiment

After months of anticipation, three death defying astronauts set foot on Mars; well, actually, in a dark sand-filled room designed specifically to simulate walking on Mars. The explorers make up half of the team behind the Mars500 mission, a project started with the goal of showcasing the psychological effects a walk on the red planet would have. Starting since June

NASA’s 2012 budget – $18.7 Billion

Earlier today Obama’s administration budget plan for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was proposed to $18.7 billion, at the same amount as in 2010, and puts predominance towards science research, exploration and commercial flight development. The $18.7 billion funding layout is $300 million less than the draft budget approved for 2011 in the NASA Authorization Act last year and

A star is born [great pics]

The nebula you are looking at is known as the North American nebula, and the pictures were taken with the Spitzer telescope, using an infrared vision; researchers still have some unanswered questions about the group of massive stars thought to be dominating the nebula. The lower left of this first image shows the “baby” stars in the complex, no older

NASA rejects Russian report: Apophis asteroid extremely unlikely to hit earth

In 2004, NASA researchers identified the Apophis asteroid and after some quick calculations they states there is a chance the asteroid will hit our homey planet in 2029. A few observations and some other calculations later, they explained that that chance is extremely small for 2029, as well as other years to come. However, reports from Russia claim that the

First time 360 view of the SUN

Forget the Moon – for the first time ever we have a full view of the star in our solar system, as can be seen from images recently released by NASA. The pictures of the Sun were taken with the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory). The goal of the project is to monitor movements of mass and energy from the

What’s a black hole?

Black holes are some of the most interesting and puzzling phenomena we have encountered so far; everybody has heard of them, from movies or books or whatever, but there are many misconceptions or just things most people don’t know about them, so we’re going to take a journey to the “bowels” of a black hole. I won’t get into the

The Kepler mission: searching for planets in the Goldilocks area

The Goldilocks area is one of the most interesting for astronomers throughout the known Universe, as it has great hope for finding planets similar to our Earth. The Kepler 10b planet is not the most hospitable one you could think of: located some 560 million light years away from our planet, and with a surface temperature hot enough to melt

The visible Earth at night

If you ever wondered what the Earth looks at night, NASA has just the right thing for you (pretty much as always). In this picture you can clearly see the natural city lights, wildfires (just take a look at central Africa and Southeast Asia and prepare to be baffled), natural gas flares and fishing fleet lights. Just click the pick