Jupiter’s icy moon Europa said to foster life in its oceans – NASA live transmission

Europa, the icy satellite of Jupiter, is covered in a thick crust of scarred and cross-hatched ice. Missions to Europa, which is comparable in size to Earth’s own moon, by NASA‘s Galileo spacecraft have brought back measurements which indicate the crust is tens of kilometers thick, however under it lies a warm ocean as far as 62 miles in depth (the

China’s first ever space docking mission set for today

In just a few hours, at 5 p.m. EDT, China will make another giant leap forward in its ever ambitious space program after it will launch the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft in a premiere mission for the nation, which will involve an unmanned docking with the Tiangong-1 spacecraft in Earth’s orbit. Besides the PR-driven first docking, the Shenzhou holds a particularily important

Mining the moon: an entrepreneur’s vision

While the Earth is steadily being depleted of its natural resources, it might become imperative to look to the sky for alternatives. Studies so far alone has shown that the moon has twenty times more titanium and platinum than anywhere on Earth, along with helium 3, a rare isotope of helium, which is nonexistent on our planet, that many feel could be

Russia wants to build a base in the Moon’s underground tunnels

Back in 2008, the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft made a fascinating discovery when it found a metres-deep cave in the Sea of Tranquility. Amazed by the find, NASA had its orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) to have in the depth scan of the area, which came back with high res images, like the one above. Scientists believe these are actually entrances to

Pluto gets a new moonand still isn’t a planet

All eyes seem to be pointed on Jupiter and Mars these days, with NASA probes being planned for both of them, and it’s easy to forget that there’s a spacecraft currently heading towards the edge of the solar system, aimed straight at Pluto at a speed of 80,000 kilometers per hour. Even at this speed though, it will still take

Hubble discoveres new moon around Pluto

Astronomers have discovered a fourth moon orbiting Pluto via the famous Hubble telescope, NASA announced this Wednesday. Some of you might be wondering, just exactly how was it possible for astronomers to have missed it so far, considering NASA’s been tracking space rocks even from the edge of the solar system. The truth is, our solar system is vast, and

Incredible picture of the red Moon during the eclipse (with explanation)

I sure hope everybody knows what an eclipse is and there’s no need to pass through that again; if not, here’s the wikipedia article about eclipse. What I’m more interested in telling you about is why the Moon tends to get this delicious reddish hue during some eclipses – as observed in this fascinating picture. The matter can be understood

The moon’s interior is wet, amazing new study shows

Two years ago, NASA’s LCROSS probe was looking for signs of water when it smashed into Cabeus crater at the moon’s south pole. It turned out to be one of those incredible fail moments, since not only did researchers found there was water from the data transmitted back, but that the surface was actually wetter than the Sahara Desert. One

Woman busted for trying to sell ‘moon rock’ for 1.7 million$

  A recent NASA operation (who knew they do this stuff ?) busted a woman who was trying to sell what she claimed was a piece of the Moon for the meager price of 1.7 million dollars. This came as a result of months of targeting her, after rumour spread that she was selling such items. The decisive meeting between

Government officials introduce bill directing NASA to build a moon base

In what can be considered a highly ambitious project, but quite highly unlikely to get passed bill, Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., has introduced H.R. 1641, the “Reasserting American Leadership in Space Act” or the “REAL Space Act” or simply the “Back to the Moon Bill,” as its named in the vernacular. The key brief of the legislation is a directive

Stunning photos of the ‘supermoon’ from across the world

This Saturday night, those lucky enough to catch clear skies were in for a treat when the brightest, “biggest” full moon in nearly two decades enchanted glares. Called a supermoon, the phenomenon describes a perigee full moon, meaning that the moon orbits at a much closer distance from the Earth than usual. Unfortunately for me cloudy skies prevented me from

‘Supermoon’ spectacle will lightup the sky on Saturday night

Romantics and astronomy aficionados alike (much of the same aren’t they?) will rejoice as this Saturday a rare spectacle of the moon will occur when it will come around closest its been to the Earth in 18 years! Much like planetary movement, Earth natural satellite movement is an ellipse, meaning it has points where its closer to the planet, called

New footage of Moon Landing found

A long lost footage of the best minutes of the moon landing (Neil Armstrong going down the ladder) has been found in Australian archives and will be released next week in Sidney. Wait, What ?! How do you lose footage of the Moon landing ? Just like that, according to Australian archivists. The film was lost for decades and when

Japan plans a Moon base by 2020, built by the robots, for the robots

While America seems to have delayed it’s Moon base ambitions, Japan seems to have no such plans; according to their own statements, they have absolutely no intention of letting perfectly good lunar lands go to waste. An ambitious plan of (just?) $2.2 billion investments is in the works at JAXA (Japan’s space agency), with the goal of landing humanoid robots

Additional evidence of water activity on moon as ice is found on the North Pole

Employing the help of the Mini-SAR instrument (a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar), NASA managed to find more than 40 craters covered with ice. Despite the fact that the craters are relatively small, it’s estimated that there is about 600 million metric tons in that area. “The emerging picture from the multiple measurements and resulting data of the instruments on lunar

Saturn’s moon full of geysers

There are many things we have yet to find out about Saturn, but the Cassini probe has definitely shed some light on the planet, and will surely do the same in the following years. The most recent flyby showed a significant number of geysers just waiting to pop out from under the surface – even more than previously believed. The

Water and fog found on Titan, Saturn’s moon

As I was writing in a previous post, Titan is quite unique, in that aside from our planet it’s the only place in our solar system where significant quantities of liquid are to be found (though most are liquid ethane and methane). That doesn’t seem to make much of a difference considering the chemistry of it, but according to astronomer

A 400 year old Moon map corrects history, making Galileo Galilei a runner up

As we learn (or at least should) at quite an early age, Galileo Galilei had quite the impact on science, making numerous improvements in telescopes and conducting early observations of the Moon, making the first map of our planet’s satellite. Right? Wrong. Despite the fact that he will always remain “father of modern observational astronomy” and his name will be

Moon did hold water

Scientists have believed for years that the moon doesn’t have water, only to find that its interior proved them wrong, challenging our current understanding on how the satellite was formed The current most accepted theory is that it formed in a violent collision between Earth and another planet-sized object.But if this had been the case, there wouldn’t have been any

Get me to the Moon on time

NASA’s space shuttle is set to take off on its last mission in 2010; the agency is really busy preparing to get a ship on the moon until 2020 [Update: Atlantis mission ends the NASA program]. But recent developments suggest that there may be delays, as does Nature news. NASA officials say that the programme is still on track, but