Astronews Daily (2455548)

December 17, 2010 12:46 by scibuff

Top Stories

Become an Exoplanet Hunter With Newest Zooniverse Citizen Science Project – Planet Hunters is the latest in the Zooniverse project, and users will help scientists analyze data taken by NASA’s Kepler mission, the biggest, badest exoplanet hunting telescope in space. The project goes live on December 16 at http://www.planethunters.org. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Could This be the Start of a New Space Shuttle? – All is not lost for the space shuttle idea. Richard Branson is thinking big again and along with orbital sciences Corp, Sierra Nevada Corp and some others they may build a reusable taxi to space just like the space shuttle. NASA will find $200 million to help with the development. –Weirdwrap

A delicately violent celestial shell game – One of my favorite types of objects in space are the thin, ethereal shells of gas stars create when they die. So I was thrilled* to see this new image of one taken in exquisite detail by the Hubble Space Telescope: –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

X-rays From Lightning – What Superman would See – Using a custom-built camera the size of a refrigerator, Florida researchers have made the world’s first crude pictures of X-rays streaming from a stroke of lightning. –Daily Galaxy

Bright White Storm Raging on Saturn – About a week ago, a bright white storm emerged on Saturn’s northern hemisphere, and amateur astronomer/planet astrophotographer extraordinaire Anthony Wesley from Australia has captured a few images of it. “This is the brightest Saturn storm in decades,” Anthony said on his website, Ice In Space. “If you get a chance to see it visually then take it, as it may be one of the rare “Great White Spot” (GWS) outbreaks on Saturn.” –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

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Videos

Cassini Spots Potential Ice Volcano on Saturn Moon - New data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal topography on Saturn's moon Titan that makes the best case yet for an ice volcano on Titan and reveals the most Earth-like candidate in the outer solar system.

  

Photos

Discovery on the pad

Discovery on the pad

ISS through clouds

ISS through clouds

Erupting Volcano

Erupting Volcano

Geminid in Death Valley

Geminid in Death Valley

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Launch of TMA-20

Soyuz lift-off with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli together with Dmitri Kondratyev and Catherine Coleman for a challenging 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expeditions 26/27. They were launched in the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 15 December at 19:09 GMT. Paolo’s MagISStra mission will be Europe’s third long-duration mission on the ISS. Between December 2010 and June 2011 he will be part of the ISS crew as a flight engineer. - Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2010

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 (2455485)

October 15, 2010 10:38 by scibuff

Top Stories

Is the World Ready for An Asteroid Threat? Apollo’s Schweickart Pushes for Action – If we discover an asteroid heading directly towards Earth, are we ready to deal with the challenges of either deflection strategies or an evacuation prior to impact? Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart has spent years championing the need for the human race to prepare for what will certainly happen one day: an asteroid threat to Earth –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Are most pulsars really magnetars in disguise? – Astronomers using XMM-Newton and other world-class X-ray telescopes have probed a curious source, which emits flares and bursts just like a magnetar but lacks the extremely high external magnetic field typical of these objects. –ESA / Science and Technology

Mysterious pulsar with hidden powers discovered – Dramatic flares and bursts of energy – activity previously thought reserved for only the strongest magnetized pulsars – have been observed emanating from a weakly magnetised, slowly rotating pulsar. The international team of astrophysicists who made the discovery believe that the source of the pulsar’s power may be hidden deep within its surface. –UK Space Agency

Chandra: What Lies Beneath? Magnetar Enigma Deepens – An artist’s rendering of SGR 0418+5729, a slowly rotating neutron star with a very weak magnetic field at its surface. Observations from several telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, have revealed that the star is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. –NASA/Chandra

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Videos

Sneak preview into the the National Geographic documentary on Virgin Galactic.
The first episode will be shown on Monday 18th October at 10.00pm both ET and PT in the USA. Never seen footage of the team at Scaled Composites and the journey towards the completion of SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo.

  

Photos

Madagascar

Madagascar

Crew of STS-133 before the TCDT

Crew of STS-133 before the TCDT

Mars landslide spotted

Mars landslide spotted

Klyuchevskaya volcano in Kamchatka

Klyuchevskaya volcano in Kamchatka

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Hawaii from the ISS

Approaching Hawaii Islands, big view, as seen by Expedition 25 commander Douglas H. Wheelock

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 (2455481)

October 11, 2010 13:11 by scibuff

Top Stories

Breaking News: Small NEO Could Pass Within 60,000 km of Earth on Tuesday – A small asteroid will pass very close to Earth this week Tuesday. Astronomers are still tracking the object, now designated as 2010 TD54, and various estimates say it could possibly come within 46,000 km on October 12, with closest approach at approximately 11:25 UT. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Virgin Galactic achieve first solo glide flight – Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo achieved its first solo glide flight, marking another step in the company’s eventual plans to fly paying passengers. –The Independent

Chang’E 2 update: in orbit and returning data – From Yong-Chun Zheng at National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences have come several updates on the status of China’s second lunar orbiter, Chang’E 2. Chang’E 2 launched successfully on October 1 at 10:59:57 UTC. –Emily Lakdawalla / The Planetary Society

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Videos – This Week @ NASA

Expedition 25 crew members Oleg Skripochka, Scott Kelly and Sasha Kaleri lifted off in the Soyuz capsule for the International Space Station. They're joining Commander Doug Wheelock, Fyodo Yurchikhin and Shannon Walker, who have been in orbit since June. Also, the Congress approved the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, paving the way for the agency's future exploration plans. Plus, Mars Meteorite, Back in the Air, the Best Station Views, and more.

  

Photos

Comet 103P/Hartley

Comet 103P/Hartley

Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania

Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania

NGC 2683

NGC 2683

Globular Star Cluster NGC 6934

Globular Star Cluster NGC 6934

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

NGC 406

The beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 406 was discovered in 1834 by John Herschel and is here imaged in great detail by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

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 (2455471)

October 1, 2010 12:48 by scibuff

Top Stories

Additional Shuttle Mission Almost Guaranteed – For some time now there have been rumors and speculation that there will be an additional flight added to the two currently remaining on the shuttle manifest. With the passage of the Senate 2010 NASA Authorization Act (S. 3729) the mission which would be STS-135 – is now all but a certainty. -Jason Rhian / Universe Today

China’s 2nd lunar probe Chang’e-2 blasts off – China launched its second unmanned lunar probe, Chang’e-2 on Friday, inaugurating the second phase of a three-step moon mission, which will culminate in a soft-landing on the moon. –xinhuanet

Astronomers Confirm a New Type of Supernova – When our sun comes to its ending in five billion years or so, it will fade into a quiescent white dwarf. Bigger stars go out with a bang—those with more than 10 times the mass of our sun collapse with enough vigor to spark a supernova, one of the most energetic events in the universe. –Michael Moyer / Scientific American

Virgin Galactic Will Be Ready For Space Travel Within 18 Months – Virgin Galactic was said to be ready for space tourism in about 2 years. Usually, shit happens and those deadlines get pushed way down the line. However, according to Virgin Galactic, everything is on track. (So far, that is.) –timehuman blog

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Videos

The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft watched as an eruptive prominence near the back of the Sun arched up but then headed back to the Sun's surface over a few hours (Sept. 19, 2010) - Credit: Courtesy of SOHO/STEREO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

  

Photos

The Antennae galaxies

The Antennae galaxies

Comet 103P/Hartley 2

Comet 103P/Hartley 2

ISS transit

ISS transit

Chang'e II Lift-off

Chang'e II Lift-off

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Paris from the ISS

Paris from the International Space Station

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery. The photo was taken by Douglas H. Wheelock (@Astro_Wheels), a member of the Expedition 24/25 crew, and the first US Army astronaut to command the International Space Station.

SpaceShipTwo Unveiled [Video]

December 8, 2009 18:50 by scibuff

Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceshipOne (SS1) designer, Burt Rutan, unveiled the first commercial spacecraft SpaceShipTwo (SS2) and its mothership WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) to the public at a ceremony in Mojave dessert in California. Watch the video from the unveiling party below.

SpaceShipTwo being unveiled to the public in a ceremony in Mojave desert in California

Virgin Galactic unveils Spaceship Two

December 8, 2009 01:19 by scibuff

Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceshipOne (SS1) designer, Burt Rutan, unveiled the first commercial spacecraft SpaceShipTwo (SS2) and its mothership WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) to the public at a ceremony in Mojave dessert in California. After the success of SpaceShipOne, that completed the first privately funded human spaceflight on June 21, 2004, and five years of waiting, SpaceShipTwo is now ready to take over 300 registered passengers for their first ride into space.

SpaceShipTwo and VMS Eve (WhiteKnightTwo) - Source: Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo and VMS Eve (WhiteKnightTwo) - Source: Virgin Galactic

The governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, speaks at the Virgin Galactic ceremony in Mojave dessert.

The governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, speaks at the Virgin Galactic ceremony in Mojave dessert.