NASA plans for an Earth-independent future in space

nasaimage
February 17, 2017

NASA has selected proposals for the creation of two multi-disciplinary, university-led research institutes that will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system. The new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) created under these proposals will bring together researchers from various disciplines and organizations to collaborate on the advancement of cutting-edge technologies in bio-manufacturing and space infrastructure, with the goal of creating and…

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Start your search for a whole new world with NASA

wiseimageee
February 16, 2017

NASA is inviting the public to help search for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space. A new website, called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, lets everyone participate in the search by viewing brief movies made from images captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The movies highlight objects that have gradually moved across the sky. “There are just over…

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Cell phone’s could find galactic fast radio bursts

February 15, 2017

There have been fewer than two dozen Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) identified in the past decade using giant radio telescopes such as the 1,000-foot dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. FRBs are the brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious. Of these two dozen, only one has been pinpointed to originate from a galaxy about three billion light-years away. The other known FRBs…

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Space-based spectrometer developed through NASA collaboration

February 15, 2017

To develop a quantum dot spectrometer for use in space, the all-important device used by virtually all scientific disciplines to measure the properties of light emanating from astronomical objects, including Earth itself, a NASA technologist has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mahmooda Sultana, a research engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, now is collaborating with Moungi Bawendi, a chemistry professor at the Cambridge-based…

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Scientists observe first star with a heart-beat

February 15, 2017

A star has been found pulsing in response to its orbiting planet for the first time. MIT astronomers observed the star, which goes by the name, HAT-P-2. Being about 400 light years from Earth, the star is circled by a gas giant measuring eight times the mass of Jupiter – one of the most massive exoplanets known today. The planet, named HAT-P-2b, tracks its star in a highly eccentric orbit,…

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Tropical Cyclone Dineo caught on camera

February 14, 2017

Yesterday (February 13th) saw the fifth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season formed, and NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of the storm. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of newly developed Tropical Cyclone Dineo in the Mozambique Channel on February 13th, 2017. Madagascar is to the east of the storm and Mozambique lies to the west….

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Cluster spits out stars like never before

February 14, 2017

Astronomers observe black hole producing cold, star-making fuel from hot plasma jets and bubbles. Consisting of 1,000 galaxies, and being located 5.7 billion light years away from Earth, the Phoenix cluster holds a massive galaxy at its center, which appears to be spitting out stars at a rate of about 1,000 per year. Most other galaxies in the universe are far less productive, squeaking out just a few stars each…

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Database of over 1,000 stars can help find new exoplanets

February 13, 2017

The largest collection of observations made with a technique called radial velocity, which is used for hunting exoplanets, has been released by a team of MIT researchers and led by the Carnegie Institution for Science. The search for planets beyond our solar system is gaining some new recruits. The huge dataset, taken over two decades by the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, is now available to the public, along with…

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Dwarf star hiding life’s building blocks

February 10, 2017

There is this belief that when the Earth was formed it was dry, and that the building blocks for life of our planet, carbon, nitrogen and water, appeared later only as a result of collisions with other objects in the solar system who already had these elements. UCLA has led a team of scientists, and has reported that it has discovered the existence of a white dwarf star whose atmosphere…

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Young red dwarf stars’ spew makes them uninhabitable

reddwarfimageee
February 9, 2017

The search for life beyond Earth starts in habitable zones, the regions around stars where conditions could potentially allow liquid water – which is essential for life as we know it – to pool on a planet’s surface. New NASA research suggests some of these zones might not actually be able to support life due to frequent stellar eruptions – which spew huge amounts of stellar material and radiation out…

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