Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) The Milky Way over the Seven Strong Men Rock Formations

You may have heard of the Seven Sisters in the sky, but have you heard about the Seven Strong Men on the ground? Located just west of the Ural Mountains, the unusual Manpupuner rock formations are one of the Seven Wonders of Russia. How these ancient 40-meter high pillars formed is yet unknown. The persistent photographer of this featured image battled rough terrain and uncooperative weather to capture these rugged stone towers in winter at night, being finally successful in February of last [...]

(Discovery News) Spacecraft's Double-Take Reveals Changes on Mars

Here today, gone tomorrow; a bright layer of frost lining a crater wall is vanquished by the springtime sun -- and seen by a NASA Mars satellite high overhead.   

(Space Fellowship) A Twisted Solar Eruptive Prominence

Ten Earths could easily fit in the "claw" of this seemingly solar monster. The monster, actually a huge eruptive prominence, is seen moving out from our Sun in this condensed half-hour time-lapse sequence. This large prominence, though, is significant not only for its size, but its shape. The twisted figure eight shape indicates that a complex magnetic field threads through the emerging solar particles. Differential rotation of gas just inside the surface of the Sun might help account for th [...]

(Discovery News) What is That Mysterious White Blob on Ceres?

A strange, flickering white blotch found on the dwarf planet Ceres by a NASA spacecraft has scientists scratching their heads.   

(Space Fellowship) Light from Cygnus A

Celebrating astronomy in this International Year of Light, the detailed image reveals spectacular active galaxy Cygnus A in light across the electromagnetic spectrum. Incorporating X-ray data ( blue) from the orbiting Chandra Observatory, Cygnus A is seen to be a prodigious source of high energy x-rays. But it is actually more famous at the low energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the brightest celestial sources visible to radio telescopes, at 600 million light-years distant Cyg [...]

(Discovery News) Drone Invasion: A New Way to Explore Mars

Drones are taking over Earth -- will they soon invade Mars? If a new NASA project gains momentum, remote-controlled drone exploration of the red planet could soon become a thing.   

(Space Fellowship) CATS Installed, Eye Checks and Science Maintenance for Station Crew

With CATS successfully installed to an external platform on Japan’s Kibo laboratory, the Expedition 42 crew spent Friday working life science, combustion and a variety of other experiments. The Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), located inside the Destiny lab module, needs fuel so scientists can ignite materials to study the behavior of flames and smoke in space. Pieces of hardware that store and deliver fuel, including igniter tips, were replaced on the CIR Friday by Commander Barry Wilmore [...]

(Discovery News) Mystery Galactic Bubble Traveling at Breakneck Speed

Giant bubbles of gas that erupted from the core of the Milky Way galaxy millions of years ago are expanding out into space at mind-blowing speeds, according to new observations that may help reveal how the strange balloon-like lobes formed.   

(Space Fellowship) A Hubble Sweep of the Dust Filaments of NGC 4217

In this image the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope takes a close look at the spiral galaxy NGC 4217, located 60 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy is seen almost perfectly edge on and is a perfect candidate for studying the nature of extraplanar dust structures — the patterns of gas and dust above and below the plane on the galaxy, seen here as brown wisps coming off NGC 4217. These tentacle-like filaments are visible in the Hubble image only because the contrast with their surr [...]

(Discovery News) DNews: Ceres Might Be a Dwarf Planet But It's Still Amazing

Ceres is an embryonic planet that had the misfortune of seeing Jupiter crush its dreams of becoming a legit planet on its own. But the more scientists learn about the plucky dwarf, the more they like it.   

(Discovery News) Black Hole Goes on Crash Diet and Dims its Quasar

For the first time, astronomers have observed the rapid dimming of a distant quasar and realized that the active black hole engine must have gone on an extreme diet.   

(Discovery News) See 3 Moons of Jupiter Perform Rare Triple Transit

On Friday night, observers all across North America will witness a rare event (weather permitting).   

(ScienceDaily) Alamo impact crater: New study could double its size

Carbonate rock deposits found within the mountain ranges of south-central Nevada, USA, record evidence of a catastrophic impact event known as the Alamo impact. This event occurred roughly 382 million years ago when the ancient seafloor was struck and a submarine crater was formed. The crater was filled-in with fragmented rock, and later with more typical ocean deposits, as the energy from the impact lessened and the environment returned to normal.   

(ScienceDaily) How does the universe creates reason, morality?

Recent developments in science are beginning to suggest that the universe naturally produces complexity. The emergence of life in general and perhaps even rational life, with its associated technological culture, may be extremely common, argues a scientist.   

(ScienceDaily) Yes, black holes exist in gravitational theories with unbounded speeds of propagation

Gravitational theories with broken Lorentz invariance have attracted a great deal of interest as they provide a test-bed of LI and offer a mechanism to improve their ultraviolet behavior, so that the theories may be renormalizable. However in such theories, particles can travel with arbitrary velocities and black holes may not exist at all. In contrast to this expectation, it has been shown that an absolute horizon exists, which traps signals despite infinitely large velocities.   

(ScienceDaily) H.E.S.S. finds three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources

The High Energy Stereoscopic System telescopes have again demonstrated their excellent capabilities in searching for high-energy gamma rays.   

(ScienceDaily) Rosetta data reveals more surprises about comet 67P

As the Rosetta spacecraft orbits comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an international team of scientists have discovered that the comet's atmosphere, or coma, is much less homogenous than expected and comet outgassing varies significantly over time.   

(ScienceDaily) Rosetta data give closest-ever look at a comet

On Nov. 12, 2014, the Rosetta mission's Philae lander touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. While this achievement gained lots of headlines, it was only the beginning for researchers back on Earth. New data provides the closest and most detailed look at a comet that scientists have ever seen.   

(ScienceDaily) Gas variations are suggestive of seasons on comet Chury

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko continues to reveal more of its secrets: Researchers have detected considerable variations in the gas escaping from the comet. This could amount to seasonal changes on the tiny celestial body. Meanwhile, the camera OSIRIS on board the Rosetta comet probe is revealing new details of the surface of Chury.   

(Space Fellowship) Helicopter Could be 'Scout' for Mars Rovers

Getting around on Mars is tricky business. Each NASA rover has delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the Red Planet, but a rover's vision is limited by the view of onboard cameras, and images from spacecraft orbiting Mars are the only other clues to where to drive it. To have a better sense of where to go and what's worth studying on Mars, it could be useful to have a low-flying scout. Enter the Mars Helicopter, a proposed add-on to Mars rovers of the future t [...]

(Space Fellowship) Space Launch System Booster Aimed and Ready to Fire

A full-scale version of the booster for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is ready to fire for a major ground test and is paving the way on NASA’s journey to Mars. When completed, two five-segment boosters and four RS-25 engines will power the SLS to orbit and enable astronauts to explore destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and the Red Planet. The two-minute static test -- scheduled for March 11 at booster prime contractor ATK's test facility in Promontory, Ut [...]

(Space Fellowship) Hilltop Panorama Marks Mars Rover's 11th Anniversary

A panorama from one of the highest elevations that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached in its 11 years on Mars includes the U.S. flag at the summit. The view is from the top of "Cape Tribulation," a raised section of the rim of Endeavour Crater. The panorama spans the interior of the 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater and extends to the rim of another crater on the horizon. Opportunity has driven 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers) since it landed in the Meridiani Planum [...]

(Space Fellowship) Interior View

Some prefer windows, and these are the best available on board the International Space Station. Taken on January 4, this snapshot from inside the station's large, seven-window Cupola module also shows off a workstation for controlling Canadarm2. Used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and assist astronauts during spacewalks, the robotic arm is just outside the window at the right. The Cupola itself is attached to the Earth-facing or nadir port of the station's Tranquility module, offering dyn [...]

(Discovery News) Rosetta's Comet is Weirder Than We Thought

Early results from Europe’s ongoing Rosetta comet mission show the icy body, believed to be a remnant from the formation of the solar system, is far more complex and diverse than scientists expected.   

(Space Fellowship) Chandra Celebrates the International Year of Light

The year of 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light (IYL) by the United Nations. Organizations, institutions, and individuals involved in the science and applications of light will be joining together for this yearlong celebration to help spread the word about the wonders of light. In many ways, astronomy uses the science of light.  By building telescopes that can detect light in its many forms, from radio waves on one end of the “electromagnetic spectrum” to gamma rays o [...]

(Discovery News) NASA's Ultimate Space Twin Experiment Ready for Launch

Are identical twins still identical after one spends a year in space?   

(ScienceDaily) Black hole on a diet creates a 'changing look' quasar

Astronomers have identified the first 'changing look' quasar, a gleaming object in deep space that appears to have its own dimmer switch. The discovery may offer a glimpse into the life story of the universe's great beacons.   

(ScienceDaily) Wild west physics: Bridging the gap between the study of 'outer space' and 'inner space'

The next frontier in physics may require teeny-tiny answers to big questions, and vice versa. Call it macro-micro physics: the study of the huge paired with the study of the very, very small.   

(ScienceDaily) Growing bone in space: Study to test therapy for bone loss on the International Space Station

Stem cell researchers are to send rodents into space to test new therapy for prevention of bone loss. The research has enormous translational potential for astronauts in space flight and patients on Earth with osteoporosis or other bone loss problems from disease, illness or trauma.   

(ScienceDaily) Telescope to seek dust where other Earths may lie

The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, has completed its first study of dust in the "habitable zone" around a star, opening a new door to finding planets like Earth. Dust is a natural byproduct of the planet-formation process, but too much of it can block our view of planets.