Our Sun could get angrier than we thought

Fresh research has revealed that powerful solar storms known as "superflares" are generated via the same process as common solar flares produced by our Sun. These superflares are capable of posing a significant threat to our advanced technology, and seriously harming Earth's protective ozone layer.Read More

A better model for star aging

Working out the age of any given star in the night sky can be a very difficult task, and estimates are easier to make based on readings from groups rather than individual objects. A new model might significantly improve the situation, providing a conceptual framework to explain the rotation of stars, the intensity of their stellar winds and their X-ray emissions, arriving at a much more accurate estimate of age.Read More

Newly-discovered galaxies are "outrageously luminous"

When looking at light from distant galaxies, the very brightest examples are often given labels like "ultra" or "hyper-luminous." Now, astronomers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass Amherst) have observed a new set of galaxies for the very first time that are as much as ten times as luminous as previous findings. The galaxies aren't quite all they seem, however, with their notable appearance a result, at least in part, of a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.Read More

Dawn continues to unravel Ceres' secrets

Dawn's science team has presented a treasure trove of data and images captured by the spacecraft as it orbits a mere 240 miles (385 km) above the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres. The observations, which include a stunningly detailed view of the famous Occator crater, are leading to a series of breakthroughs regarding the nature of the enigmatic wanderer including the first detection of ice water on the planetoid's surface.Read More

Fire, meteor and gecko-gripper experiments en route to Space Station

At this moment, a spacecraft containing the means for astronauts to set fire outside the International Space Station is rocketing into outer space. The craft is an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, and it was launched courtesy of an Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 22 at 11:05 p.m. EDT. In addition to the materials for the fire-starting experiment, the resupply craft also has 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) of additional supplies aboard including the gear for a total of 250 experiments to be conducted aboard the ISS in the coming months. Here's a look at a few of the highlights.Read More

First observed shockwave to shed light on supernovas

As the late Carl Sagan said, "we are made of star stuff." The question is, where did this star stuff come from? The answer may be a bit nearer now that an international team of astronomers has for the first time captured the initial few minutes of a pair of supernovae as they exploded, as well as the first recorded supernova shockwave. According to the scientists, this could give us a better understanding of how many of the elements formed that make up the Earth and us.Read More

Cygnus Orbital ATK CRS-6 cargo mission on its way to the ISS

The Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned Cygnus cargo ship lifted off today atop an Atlas V booster in a spectacular nighttime launch at 11:05 pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a three-month mission to deliver about 7,500 lb (3.400 kg) of supplies and experiments to the space station.Read More

High-resolution gravity map confirms Mars’ molten core

NASA has released a new gravity map for Mars stitched together from telemetry data collected by a trio of spacecraft over the course of 16 years orbiting the Red Planet. The map has already led to the confirmation that Mars hosts a molten liquid outer core, and insights relating to the titanic transfer of atmospheric material to the polar regions of the Red Planet during their winter cycle.Read More

Exoplanet's orbit is the most eccentric yet

Astronomers at San Francisco State University (SF State) have observed an exoplanet located just 117 light-years from Earth, which exhibits the most eccentric orbit yet found. The light reflected as the planet passed close to its parent star is providing researchers with clues as to the make up of the body's atmosphere, which is thought to be similar to that of Jupiter.Read More

Fractured comet to make near-Earth pass today

Over the next two days a pair of comets will make dual close proximity flybys of Earth. It is theorized that at some point the comets had formed a single body, which may have fractured in two as it traveled through the solar system.Read More


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