Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) This Week On The Space Show

The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week: 1. Monday, August 3, 2015, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-22:30 GMT) BRENT SHERWOOD of JPL returns to discuss "power from the sky." Brent Sherwood is a space architect living in the Pasadena area near Los Angeles.  He has extensively published fields related to the human exploration and development of space. Currently he is Program Manager, Solar System Mission Formulation at NASA’s Jet  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) A Proton Arc Over Lake Superior

The setting had been picked out -- all that was needed was an aurora. And late last August, forecasts predicted that an otherwise beautiful night sky would be lit up with auroral green. Jumping into his truck, the astrophotographer approached his secret site -- but only after a five hour drive across the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What he didn't know was that his luck was just beginning. While setting up for the image, a proton arc -- a rare type of aurora -- appeared. The red arc lasted [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Apollo 17 at Shorty Crater

On the Moon, it is easy to remember where you parked. In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. This sharp image was taken by Cernan as he and Schmitt roamed the valley floor. The image shows Schmitt on the left with the lunar rover at the edge of Shorty Crater, near the spot where geologist Schmitt discovered orange lunar soil. The Apollo 17 crew re [...]
  

(Discovery News) Blue Moon of 2015 Thrills Skywatchers: Photos

The second full moon of July wowed skywatchers around the world - and even in space.   

(Discovery News) NASA Pings a Passing Space Peanut

On July 25, 2015, the near-Earth asteroid 1999 JD6 -- a 'contact binary -- made its closest pass of Earth in at least over a century.   

(Space Fellowship) Stripping ESO 137-001

Spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 hurtles through massive galaxy cluster Abell 3627 some 220 million light years away. The distant galaxy is seen in this colorful Hubble/Chandra composite image through a foreground of the Milky Way's stars toward the southern constellation Triangulum Australe. As the spiral speeds along at nearly 7 million kilometers per hour, its gas and dust are stripped away when ram pressure with the cluster's own hot, tenuous intracluster medium overcomes the galaxy's gravity. Evid [...]
  

(Discovery News) How did Saturn Moon Tethys get Those Weird Stripes?

In new observations beamed back from Cassini, Saturn's icy moon Tethys has decided to show off its mysterious stripes.   

(Discovery News) Fragile Apollo Artifacts in Need of Some Love: Photos

There are many precious Apollo artifacts at the Smithsonian that need a little tender, loving care.   

(Space Fellowship) Exoplanets 20/20: Looking Back to the Future

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star. The groundbreaking discovery had been announced less than week earlier by the European team of Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. But the news was met with some initial skepticism in the astronomical community. By a stroke of good luck, Marcy and Butler happened to have previously scheduled observa [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Telescopes Team Up to Find Distant Uranus-Sized Planet Through Microlensing

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have made independent confirmations of an exoplanet orbiting far from its central star. The planet was discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing. This finding opens a new piece of discovery space in the extrasolar planet hunt: to uncover planets as far from their central stars as Jupiter and Saturn are from our sun. The Hubble and Keck Observatory results will appear in two papers in the July 30 edit [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) The ISS and a Colorful Moon

Tonight's Full Moon, the second Full Moon in July, could be called a blue moon according to modern folklore. But this sharp and detailed mosaic, recorded with telescope and digital camera just before July's first Full Moon, actually does show a colorful lunar surface. The colors have been enhanced in the processed image but are real nonetheless, corresponding to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Also easy to see especially when the Moon is near full phase, bright  [...]
  

(Discovery News) Three 'Super-Earths' Spotted Around Nearby Star

Astronomers said Thursday they had found a planetary system with three super-Earths orbiting a bright, dwarf star -- one of them likely a volcanic world of molten rock.   

(ScienceDaily) Organic molecules on comets: Philae's first results from Churi prove surprising

Organic molecules never previously observed in comets, a relatively varied structure on the surface but a fairly homogeneous interior, organic compounds forming agglomerates rather than being dispersed in the ice: these are just some of first results provided by Philae on the surface of comet Churi. These in situ findings, which contain a wealth of completely new information, reveal several differences in comparison with previous observations of comets and current models.   

(Space Fellowship) NASA's Spitzer Confirms Closest Rocky Exoplanet

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system, larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data. Dubbed HD 219134b, this exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is a mere 21 light-years away. While the planet itself can't be seen directly, even by telescopes, the star it orbits is visible to the naked eye in dark skies in the Cassiopeia constellation, near the North Star.  [...]
  

(Discovery News) Rosetta's Comet Does Battle With the Solar Wind

As Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaches perihelion, the sun is heating up its nucleus and the solar wind is causing its tail to evolve. And the Rosetta mission has a ringside seat.   

(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Getting Ready for Spacewalk and Japanese Cargo Mission

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are wrapping up U.S. spacesuit maintenance today. Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko are also moving along with their preparations for an Aug. 10 spacewalk. All three cosmonauts, including Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, also worked on Russian biomedical experiments. The trio explored such things as stress caused by living in space as well as the causes and countermeasures of bone loss in microgravity. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Y [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) An exceptional planetary system discovered in Cassiopeia

Astronomers have teased out a secret planetary system hiding in the arms of Cassiopea, just 21 light years away from us. The remarkable system, named HD219134, hosts one outer giant planet and three inner super-Earths, one of which transits in front of the star. The transiting super-Earth has a density similar to the Earth. It is by far the closest transiting planet known today. It provides the ideal candidate for follow-up studies and a deeper understanding of planetary formation, internal composition, and atmospheres. The system is so close that astronomers already dream about taking pictures of the new "Stars."   

(ScienceDaily) Comets: Soft shell, hard core?

Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko poses new riddles: Surface material measurements performed by the Philae landing module indicate that the near surface material might have changed since its formation. Up to now, many researchers had assumed that it has remained in virtually the same state since its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.   

(Space Fellowship) Stormy seas in Sagittarius

Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae — hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the centre of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust. Nebulae are often named based on their key characteristics — particularly beautif [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) Stars in Milky Way have moved

Researchers are part of a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) that created a new map of the Milky Way that shows nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their obits.   

(ScienceDaily) Stormy seas in Sagittarius

Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae -- hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the center of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.   

(euronews) Retreating ice reveals climate secrets on Qori Kalis glacier

The Qori Kalis Glacier snakes out of the Peruvian Andes. It is one of the few tropical glaciers left in the world and one of the most…






  

(Discovery News) DNews: Should We Be Excited About 'Earth 2.0'?

Recently, NASA’s Kepler space telescope discovered the most Earth-like planet yet! Is it really just like us, or should we maybe dial down our excitement?   

(Discovery News) 'Once in a Blue Moon' Happens on Friday -- Why?

On Friday, much of the world will have the opportunity to observe a Blue Moon: A somewhat rare occurrence that doesn't have anything to do with the moon's color.   

(ScienceDaily) Distant Uranus-sized planet discovered through microlensing

Astronomers have confirmed the existence of a Uranus-sized exoplanet orbiting far from its central star, discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing.   

(Space Fellowship) Astronomers Discover Powerful Aurora Beyond Solar System

Astronomers have discovered the first aurora ever seen in an object beyond our Solar System. The aurora -- similar to the famous "Northern Lights" on Earth -- is 10,000 times more powerful than any previously seen. They found the aurora not from a planet, but from a low-mass star at the boundary between stars and brown dwarfs. The discovery reveals a major difference between the magnetic activity of more-massive stars and that of brown dwarfs and planets, the scientists said. "All the  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Milky Way over Uluru

The central regions of our Milky Way Galaxy rise above Uluru/Ayers Rock in this striking night skyscape. Recorded on July 13, a faint airglow along the horizon shows off central Australia's most recognizable landform in silhouette. Of course the Milky Way's own cosmic dust clouds appear in silhouette too, dark rifts along the galaxy's faint congeries of stars. Above the central bulge, rivers of cosmic dust converge on a bright yellowish supergiant star Antares. Left of Antares, wandering Sat [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

The merger of two black holes is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. The first observatories capable of directly detecting gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime predicted by Albert Einstein -- will begin observing the universe later this year. When these waves rolling in from space are detected on Earth for the first time, astrophysicists predict astronomers will 'hear,' through these waves, five times more colliding black holes than previously expected.   

(ScienceDaily) 'Failed stars' host powerful auroral displays

By observing a brown dwarf 20 light-years away using both radio and optical telescopes, astronomers have found that such so-called failed stars host powerful auroras near their magnetic poles -- additional evidence that brown dwarfs are more like giant planets than small stars.   

(Space Fellowship) Hiding in Plain Sight: Undergraduates Discover the Densest Galaxies Known

Two undergraduates at San José State University have discovered two galaxies that are the densest known. Similar to ordinary globular star clusters but a hundred to a thousand times brighter, the new systems have properties intermediate in size and luminosity between galaxies and star clusters (Figure 1). The first system discovered by the investigators, M59-UCD3, has a width two hundred times smaller than our own Milky Way Galaxy and a stellar density 10,000 times larger than that in the ne [...]
  

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