Astronews Daily (2455495)

October 25, 2010 12:12 by scibuff

Top Stories

China Plans Mars Mission – China has drawn up a technical plan for an independent Mars orbiter exploration project, space technology experts said. Based on research conducted by the China Academy of Space Technology, the plan envisions a launch date as early as 2013, Huang Jiangchuan, a scientist with the academy, was quoted by Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily. The Mars probe will be sent to an Earth-Mars transfer orbit first, and then fly about 10 months before entering an elliptical orbit around Mars. The Mars exploration will last one to two years, he said. –Daily Galaxy

LRO/LCROSS’ Discoveries Prove Obama’s Lunar Policy is Flawed – It has been about a year since scientists announced the discovery of water on the moon. On Thursday, Oct. 21 they revealed new data uncovered by NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). -Jason Rhian / America Space

Rethinking Habitability – Astronomers are re-thinking the requirements that need to be met for an exoplanet to be considered ‘habitable.’ A new simulation of the Gliese 581 system is helping astrobiologists refine their search for Earth-like worlds in the Universe. Gleise 581 recently made news because a planet could be orbiting within the system’s habitable zone. -Jon Voisey / Astrobiology Magazine

Life aboard the International Space Station – It’s 10 years since the first crew entered the International Space Station 360 km above the Earth. But what is it like aboard a big tin can traveling at 28,200 km/s? –Ian Sample/Guardian

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Videos

NASA's Kennedy Space Center came under attack from the merciless Decepticons this week. However, Optimus Prime and his valiant band of Autobots fended them off, and then stood watch over the space center for the remainder of the week - along with the cast and crew of "Transformers 3, The Dark of the Moon." Although the set was closed - there were some interesting revelations about what one can expect to see in the third installment of the highly-successful film franchise -- including a very special guest star.

  

Photos

Soyuz 24S

Soyuz 24S

Moon in daylight

Moon in daylight

NGC 1806

NGC 1806

Lake Malawi, Great Rift Valley

Lake Malawi, Great Rift Valley

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

San Francisco bay area

San Francisco bay area from the International Space Station - Credit: Douglas H. Wheelock / Expedition 25 / NASA

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.

Astronews Daily (2455488)

October 18, 2010 12:43 by scibuff

Top Stories

How to Weigh a Star Using a Moon – How do astronomers weigh a star that’s trillions of miles away and way too big to fit on a bathroom scale? In most cases they can’t, although they can get a best estimate using computer models of stellar structure. –Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics

Get ready to see lots more exoplanet images soon – Nearly 500 exoplanets — planets orbiting other stars — have been detected since the first was discovered in the mid-90s. A variety of methods have been used to find them: Doppler shift of starlight as the circling planets tug their stars, the dip in light as a planet passes directly in front of its star, even the change in light of a distant star as the gravity of a planet briefly magnifies it a la Einstein. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

STS-133: TCDT completed – Engineers troubleshooting leaky flight cap – Another milestone was passed on Friday, after Discovery, along with her astronauts and controllers, successfully completed the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). With the dress rehearsal completed, engineers are pushing forward with troubleshooting on a Air Half Coupling (AHC) flight cap, a Quick Disconnect (QD) which is leaking small amounts of hypergolic vapors. –NASA Space Flight

Soyuz moves to the launch pad with its six Globalstar second-generation satellites – The Soyuz vehicle with Globalstar’s initial cluster of six second-generation satellites is now on Launch Pad #6 at Baikonur Cosmodrome, where it is being readied for liftoff on October 19 in an Arianespace mission performed by its Starsem affiliate. –Ariane Space

Facing the radiation dangers of interplanetary travel – In principle, with enough money and expertise, it should be possible to build and fly a manned spacecraft to Mars and return safely to Earth. However, nobody knows yet how to deal with the dangerous cosmic radiation that floods through space. –ESA

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Videos

10 Years of www.esa.int

10 Years of www.esa.int

  

Photos

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

Solar prominence

Solar prominence

Alluvial fans in Pakistan

Alluvial fans in Pakistan

Waxing gibbous Moon

Waxing gibbous Moon

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

STS-133 heading for the TCDT

The STS-133 crew leaves the crew quarters at the Operations and Checkout Building to head to the launch pad 39A for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) - Credit: NASA/KSC

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery. =

Astronews Daily (2455483)

October 13, 2010 10:36 by scibuff

Top Stories

Gliese 581g, that new “goldilocks” exoplanet we got excited about a few weeks ago, might not exist – A group of Swiss astronomers announced yesterday at the International Astronomical Union’s annual meeting in Turin, Italy, that they couldn’t detect the “goldilocks” exoplanet found by U.S. researchers a few weeks ago. –Discovery Blogs

SOHO sheds new light on solar flares – After detailed analysis of data from the SOHO and GOES spacecraft, a team of European scientists has been able to shed new light on the role of solar flares in the total output of radiation from our nearest star. Their surprising conclusion is that X-rays account for only about 1 per cent of the total energy emitted by these explosive events. –ESA SOHO

Giant Star Goes Supernova, Smothered by its Own Dust – Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered that a giant star in a remote galaxy ended its life with a dust-shrouded whimper instead of the more typical bang. –JPL/NASA

iPhone Equipped Balloon Leaves Brooklyn for the Edge of Space – Video from a camera attached to a weather balloon that rose into the upper stratosphere and recorded the blackness of space. Seven-year-old Max Geissbuhler and his dad Luke Geissbuhler dreamed of visiting space… –NASA Hack Space

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Videos

The six-member crew of the next space shuttle mission, STS-133, arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 12 to participate in a full launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, and related training. The test provides an opportunity for the crew and ground teams to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency exit training. Shuttle Discovery's crew members are Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra and Nicole Stott. Discovery is targeted to launch Nov. 1 on its final scheduled flight. - Credit: NASA TV

  

Photos

ISS View of the Southwestern USA

ISS View of the Southwestern USA

Crew of STS-133 arrives at KSC

Crew of STS-133 arrives at KSC

NGC 1316

NGC 1316

NGC7000 + IC 5070 in Ha/sG/OIII

NGC7000 + IC 5070 in Ha/sG/OIII

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Olympus Mons from space

Olympus Mons stands 27 kilometres high above the mean surface of Mars, being the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. It is about three times taller than Earth's Mt. Everest.

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.