Hubble’s ‘heir’ is coming together

NASA is very close to reaching a milestone in the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Hubble’s successor that will be launched in 2018.

New, more precise method to measure exoplanet mass

In the past two decades alone, some 900 exoplanets – planets outside our solar system – have been identified, with some 2300 more in queue. Most of these were confirmed using the now discontinued Kepler space telescope. It’s remarkable how much scientists can find out about a distant plant, hundreds of light years away, simply by studying how light emitted

Stunning Horsehead nebula imaged in infrared

Two fantastic space telescopes, Hubble and ESA’s Herschel, have teamed up to image one of the most popular astronomical sights in the sky, the “Horsehead” nebula, in infrared  as well as longer wavelengths to provide unprecedented insights as to what’s going on in this stunning star hatchery. Listed in catalogues under “Barnard 33”, but better known as the Horsehead nebula thanks

Alien life hunters hold white dwarf stars as safest bet

Though hundreds of potentially life harboring exoplanets have been discovered thus far, until the James Webb Space Telescope becomes operational, sometime around 2018, scientists today lack the resources to peer into the guts of these planet and  determine a realistic chance of hosting life. Even when the JWT goes live, however, it will take hundreds of hours of observations to

Ethereal glow might harbor the Universe’s first objects

First discovered in 2005, and then studied in more depth since 2007, NASA scientists have finally isolated the ethereal glow thought to originate from the very first objects in the Universe with the highest precision yet. As seen in the image above, depicted in orange and red, the ‘lumpy’ infrared glow was observed using the ever faithful Spitzer Space Telescope,

“Water-world” alien planet confirmed by Hubble

The hunt for the second Earth, a similar life-bearing paradise like our own, rages on, and while no candidate came any close so far, scientists have made some extraordinary discoveries in the process. The latest exciting find is a super-Earth, a planet larger than Earth, but no bigger than Neptune, that represents the first of a new class of exoplanets

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