Space news stories

Queensland Museum’s New $100,000 Meteorite Proves Priceless to Scientists
15th October 2017 | | Earth, Space

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.

NASA’s Carbon Space Observatory Watches Earth Breathe
14th October 2017 | | Space

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.

NASA Press Release Announces Planet Nine
14th October 2017 | Space

Planet Nine could have a mass ten times that of Earth’s, and be situated twenty times as far from the sun as Neptune. While it’s very difficult to procure clear evidence of its existence, some scientists are absolutely convinced that it’s out there.

Asteroid’s Close Approach to Test NASA Warning Systems
12th October 2017 | | Space

A house-sized asteroid called 2012 TC4 is set to pass close to the Earth on 12 September, allowing NASA scientists to rehearse future strike threats.

Recent Solar Storm Sparked Global Aurora on Mars
12th October 2017 | | Space

A solar event in September sparked a global aurora on the Red Planet more than 25 times brighter than any previously seen by NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft.  An aurora on Mars can envelope the entire planet because Mars has no strong magnetic field like Earth’s to concentrate the aurora near polar regions.

Ancient Martian Lake Offers Clues for How Life First Started on Earth
11th October 2017 | | Space

Mars may be an arid wasteland today, but that wasn’t always the case – and scientists have discovered evidence that a huge sea existed on southern Mars some 3.7 billion years ago, filled with hot springs pumping out water packed with minerals.  Experts think this hydrothermal undersea activity matches what was happening on Earth at the same time, potentially giving us clues about how life began on our own planet.

Meet the People Who Sent Cannabis Into Space
11th October 2017 | | Space

A cannabis experiment of galactic proportions took place over Phoenix, Arizona, in a daring and unusual feat in an effort to answer the age-old question: What happens when you send cannabis into space?

Lunar Volcanoes and Lava Lakes Gave the Early Moon an Atmosphere
10th October 2017 | | Space

If you traveled back in time 3.5 billion years and looked up at the night sky, you would have seen an atmosphere around the moon. Though today it retains only a few tenuous wisps of atmosphere, new calculations show that massive volcanic eruptions released enough hot gas to create one that took 70 million years to leak away.

Observations of a Red Aurora Over 1770 Kyoto Japan Help Diagnose Extreme Magnetic Storm
8th October 2017 | Ancient, Space

Historical documents are becoming much more accessible for research as newly discovered records surface from private collections across the world. Researchers examined a detailed painting from a Japanese manuscript Seikai Understanding Comets with associated commentary describes a red aurora occurring over Kyoto on 17 September 1770. Also investigated were detailed descriptions of the event from a newly discovered diary of the Higashi-Hakura family of Kyoto.

What We Can Learn From the Ghostly Myths Behind the Northern Lights
7th October 2017 | | Earth, Space

To kick off autumn and, according to NASA, aurora season, this article explores the role that the mysterious awe-inspiring Northern Lights have played in peoples’ lives throughout history.

Ancient Asteroid Impact Exposes the Moon’s Interior
7th October 2017 | Ancient, Space

Around 4 billion years ago, an asteroid collided with the moon and created the largest and deepest impact on the moon: the South Pole-Aitken basin. The collision exposed lunar mantle in the basin and splashed up material onto the far side of the moon.

British Company Launches First Extraterrestrial Funerals in Space
6th October 2017 | | Space

People will be able to have their ashes scattered in space from next month when a British company launches the first extra-terrestrial funeral service.  The new ritual, offered by Ascension Flights, allows families to send their loved ones’ cremated remains to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, where they will be released into the high-altitude winds of the stratosphere.

50 Years Ago a Spacecraft Discovered Oxygen in Moon Rocks
6th October 2017 | | Space

Science News has republished an excerpt from its October 14, 1967 issue regarding the Surveyor 5 spacecraft, along with a short update on the story’s topic as of today.

Dog-Killing Meteorite Just Rewrote Mars’ Volcanic History
5th October 2017 | Space

For millions of years, a group of tiny asteroids circled our solar system. Then, around 9 a.m. on June 28, 1911, one blazed into earthly skies near a village outside Cairo, Egypt. Locals watched the fireball, and they heard its explosion. A farmer even claimed a dog was killed by one meteorite fragment, making it—if true—the only known modern space rock casualty.

Marine Biologist Finds Great Barrier Reef Sinkhole with Satellite Imagery
2nd October 2017 | | Earth, Space

A marine biologist explored a giant sinkhole off the coast of Australia goes so deep that it protects marine life from hurricanes. The enormous hole in the seafloor located within the Great Barrier Reef is home to countless creatures. According to a video post on Instagram, the sinkhole was found for what may be the first time with satellite imagery.

The UAE is Building a Mock Martian City in the Desert for Training Purposes
1st October 2017 | | Space

It is increasingly seeming like only a matter of time before humans get to Mars. One of the big questions is – once we get there, how are we going to live?  The United Arab Emirates is seeking an answer to this question by building an entire city at the projected cost of $136 million USD to simulate Mars conditions, as realistically as possible here on Earth.

News stories covering Space, from the macro to the micro, including Space exploration, quantum physics and quantum weirdness.