Space news stories

NASA study finds solar storms could spark soils at moon’s poles
10th January 2017 phys.org | Space

Powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, and may possibly produce “sparks” that could vaporize and melt the soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid impacts, according to NASA-funded research. This alteration may become evident when analyzing future samples from these regions that could hold the key to understanding the history of the moon and solar system.

Colliding stars will light up the night sky in 2022
10th January 2017 | sciencemag.org | Space

A team of astronomers is making a bold prediction: In 2022, give or take a year, a pair of stars will merge and explode, becoming one of the brightest objects in the sky for a short period. It’s notoriously hard to predict when such stellar catastrophes will occur, but this binary pair is engaged in a well-documented dance of death that will inevitably come to a head in the next few years

Evidence of supermassive black holes found in neighbouring galaxies
10th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Space

Monster black holes may be lurking behind smokescreens in our cosmic backyard, say scientists. But they are still millions of light years away and much too distant to pose any threat to Earth.

Observations cast new light on cosmic microwave background
10th January 2017 phys.org | Space

Arecibo Observatory observations of galactic neutral hydrogen structure confirm the discovery of an unexpected contribution to the measurements of the cosmic microwave background observed by the WMAP and Planck spacecraft.

Mars should have loads more water – so where has it all gone?
9th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

MARS has a real water shortage. It seems we have either misunderstood what its early years were like – or vast amounts of water are hiding beneath its surface.

A lot of evidence points towards Mars being warm and wet early in its history; features that look like rivers, lakes and outflows have been spotted both from orbit and by rovers on the surface, and a lot of the planet’s minerals contain water.

The White House has finally released a strategy for dealing with deadly asteroids
9th January 2017 | sciencealert.com | Space

For years, scientists have been expressing their concern over how unprepared the world is for a potentially extinction-level asteroid or meteor strike.

We’re getting better than ever at monitoring these incoming space rocks, but we still only get a few days or weeks notice when something is about to shoot past our planet. Luckily, up until now, nothing we’ve spotted has been on a collision course with Earth. But what happens if they are?

NASA plan for housing astronauts on Mars borrows from Eskimos
7th January 2017 | csmonitor.com | Space

NASA’s plan to send astronauts to Mars within the next few decades still faces several challenges before humans can actually set foot on the red planet. One of the most significant problems is providing shelter for human explorers on the planet that can safely house them for long periods of time in a completely alien environment.

The Sun May Be Busting Asteroids into Tiny Pieces
7th January 2017 mysteriousuniverse.org | Space

While NASA struggles to find ways to destroy asteroids and meteors before they crash into the Earth, the Sun is doing its part by ripping asteroids apart at their cosmic seams and casting their tiny pieces into the solar wind. Should NASA try bumping space objects into a tight solar orbit so they get bumped off by the Sun?

Metal asteroid and Trojans selected for next NASA missions
7th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

Asteroids ahoy. NASA just announced the destinations for its next low-cost space ventures: the Trojan asteroids that flank Jupiter and the large metallic asteroid 16 Psyche. Both targets will reveal secrets of the early solar system.

We just got the first experimental proof of a 70-year-old hypothesis of magnetism
7th January 2017 | sciencealert.com | Space

Physicists have finally demonstrated the magnetic behaviour of a special class of 2D materials in the lab, delivering the first experimental proof of a widely accepted hypothesis proposed more than 70 years ago.

Will scientists ever prove the existence of dark matter?
7th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Space

Astronomers in the US are setting up an experiment which, if it fails – as others have – could mark the end of a 30-year-old theory

Mystery cosmic radio bursts pinpointed
6th January 2017 | bbc.com | Space

They’re one of the most persistent puzzles in modern astronomy.

As the name suggests, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short-lived – but powerful – pulses of radio waves from the cosmos.


Alt: Strange Radio Bursts Seen Coming From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Forget the Shovel, Ancient Finds Now Made From Space
5th January 2017 | seeker.com | Ancient, Space, Tech

Badgers discovered the burial site of 12th century Slavic warriors and a Stonehenge cremation burial. The Lascaux cave paintings were discovered by four schoolchildren and a dog. The 5,000-year-old corpse of Ötzi was discovered when hikers happened upon in the Alps. The Rosetta Stone was discovered by French soldiers expanding their fort.

Many discoveries in archaeology have happened this way, by accident. But archaeology now has much better tools than badgers and lucky amateurs with shovels.

Take, for example, the search for the ancient lost city of Itjtawy in Egypt.

Universe May Have Lost ‘Unstable’ Dark Matter
5th January 2017 | livescience.com | Space

The early universe may have contained more dark matter than there is today, new research suggests. The findings could help scientists better understand what the universe was like just after the Big Bang, researchers said.

An Alternate Universe: Our Cosmos May Have Been Spawned by a Hypermassive Black Hole
5th January 2017 futurism.com | Space

Experts discuss the possibility that the universe could have started from a black hole, a scenario supported by the singularity, an occurrence found in only two instances — the Big Bang and black holes.

This could mean that each time a black hole is formed, a two-dimensional universe spawns.

Geoengineering Could Be a Disaster for Astronomy
2nd January 2017 gizmodo.com | Earth, Space

Geoengineering is one of those things that sounds like maybe a good idea on paper but could also go horribly, apocalyptically wrong. But if the prospect of plunging Earth’s weather systems into chaos isn’t enough to convince scientists we need to tread very cautiously with the ultimate global warming tech-fix, perhaps this will: geoengineering could be a disaster for science.

2017 Will Bring Us More Earth-Like Alien Worlds Than We Ever Dreamed
2nd January 2017 futurism.com | Space

Since 1992, astronomers have found and confirmed a total of 3,431 exoplanets, star-orbiting planets beyond Earth’s solar system.

With several high-tech telescopes and observatories on the way in the next year, we have a better-than-ever chance of finding exoplanets with the potential to host extraterrestrial life.

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