Space news stories
Cosmologists from the UK, France, and Germany have come up with new maps of how dark matter moves throughout the universe.
The Indian Subcontinent’s first astronomy texts date back 3,000 years. The Madras Observatory marks the triumphal fusion of scientific knowledge and imperial power. Astronomy held the key to the sovereignty of a rich and powerful empire.
Mars has an invisible magnetic ‘tail’ that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft.
Turn-of-the-century science fiction posited the existence of aliens living deep beneath the surface of the moon. Someday those subterranean creatures could very well be us. New data has uncovered a 30 mile long tunnel under the moon’s surface, likely the relic of ancient lava flows.
Astronomy has benefited from amateur efforts, including myths that seek to explain astronomical phenomena. That is true for tribal lore of India too, researchers have found. A study of tribal people settled around central India has revealed a rich mythology.
The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Among them, one finds a unique group, all moving in very similar orbits, suggesting that they originated from the same object. But the mechanism that produced this family has been a mystery. Now an international team of astronomers believe they have identified the culprit: sunlight.
A spacecraft destined to explore a unique asteroid will also test new communication hardware that uses lasers instead of radio waves. Psyche is both the name of an asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter — and the name of the NASA mission to visit that asteroid.
Researchers have long sought control over the weather, but have yet to find a realistic way to master it. Smithsonian takes a look at the film Geostorm to separate fact from science fiction.
The search giant Google has been working with NASA to include data from the Cassini mission, along with data from other missions, to allow users to tour 12 new worlds.
The Ancient Maya were keen astronomers, recording and interpreting every aspect of the sky. They believed that the will and actions of the Gods could be read in the stars, moon, and planets, so they dedicated time to doing so, and many of their most important buildings were built with astronomy in mind. The sun, moon, and planets, Venus, in particular, were all studied by the Maya.
The Constellation Centaurus is named for a Greek mythological being which is a half-man-half-horse called a centaur. Due to the Earth’s wobble on its axis called precession, the position of Centaurus in the sky has changed over historical time. In the distant past, it was seen from all over the planet. In a few thousand years, it will once again be visible to people around the world.
A ring system has been found around a dwarf planet for the first time: the distant, potato-shaped Haumea, which lies beyond Neptune, first discovered in 2004.
Great excitement has rippled through the physics world at news of the first-ever detection of two ultra-dense neutron stars converging in a violent smashup.
Apparently a star known as HD 240430, now dubbed Kronos, has eaten about 15 Earths worth of rocky planets, as astrophysicists concluded from the planetary equivalent of the stench of garlic in its chemical signature.
The meteorite weighs more than 15 kilograms and is so valuable that it is being held under lock-and-key in a secret location on the northside of Brisbane, Australia. The meteorite likely came from the asteroid belt, but it was not apparent just how special it was until the end was sawed off to reveal a stunning cross-section of metal.
A NASA satellite has provided remarkable new insights on how CO2 is moved through the Earth’s atmosphere. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) tracked the behaviour of the gas in a 2015/2016 period when the planet experienced a major El Niño event.