Space news stories

‘We’ve left junk everywhere’: why space pollution could be humanity’s next big problem
30th March 2017 | theguardian.com | Space

Jason Held rekindled his love for space while lying in a ditch in Bosnia in 1996, where he was one of 16,500 US troops deployed on a peacekeeping mission at the end of the Bosnian War.

Australian stargazers invited to join hunt for mysterious Planet 9
30th March 2017 | theguardian.com | Space

Everyday stargazers will have a shot at naming a new planet by joining Australian astronomers in the hunt for a mysterious large orb believed to be circling the fringe of the solar system.

Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
30th March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Space

The inner Van Allen belt has less radiation than previously believed, according to a recent study. Observations from NASA’s Van Allen probes show the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are actually much rarer and harder to find than scientists expected. This is good news for spacecraft that are orbiting in the region and can be damaged by high levels of radiation.

Radiation from nearby galaxies helped fuel first monster black holes, says study
30th March 2017 phys.org | Space

The appearance of supermassive black holes at the dawn of the universe has puzzled astronomers since their discovery more than a decade ago. A supermassive black hole is thought to form over billions of years, but more than two dozen of these behemoths have been sighted within 800 million years of the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

Asteroid clay is a better space radiation shield than aluminium
30th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Space

The huge rocks that hurtle through space may prove to be lifesavers for astronauts. Clays extracted from asteroids could be used on deep space missions to shield against celestial radiation.

Asteroid Impacts Spawned Colossal 500-Foot-High Tsunamis in Mars’ Ancient Oceans
29th March 2017 | dailygalaxy.com | Ancient, Space

“The possibility that a large ocean once occupied the Martian northern plains is one of the most important and controversial hypotheses to have originated from the exploration of Mars,” the researchers wrote in the study.


Alt: Did an asteroid trigger ancient tsunamis on Mars?

Giant magnetic fields in the universe
28th March 2017 phys.org | Space

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

Star in closest orbit ever seen around black hole
28th March 2017 phys.org | Space

Astronomers have found evidence of a star that whips around a likely black hole twice an hour. This could be the tightest orbital dance ever seen by a black hole and a companion star in our own Milky Way galaxy.


Alt: Astronomers Just Found a Star Orbiting a Black Hole at 1 Percent the Speed of Light

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
28th March 2017 phys.org | Space

Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far

A Microbe Hunter Plies Her Trade In Space
27th March 2017 | npr.org | Space

A few months ago, at her office in Houston, Kate Rubins was feeling weird.

She was dizzy, she says — “staggering around like a 2-year-old who had just learned to walk.” She was constantly looking at her desk to make sure the objects on top weren’t floating away.

Thousands of people could live in space colonies orbiting the Earth in 20 years, expert claims
27th March 2017 | independent.co.uk | Space

Thousands of people could be living in floating space colonies orbiting the Earth in 20 years’ time, according to the head of a project by the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).

And, while life in space might sound unappealing to some, Jerry Stone believe it could actually be healthier than planet Earth, enabling people to live longer and, eventually, grow taller.

Study suggests we reclassify the moon as a planet – reopening a centuries-old debate
27th March 2017 theconversation.com | Space

Every now and then a scientific paper makes a real splash. We had one recently, to judge from recent headlines. “Moon rises to claim its place as a planet” said The Sunday Times on February 19, while the Mail Online asked “Is this lunarcy?”.


Alt: Scientists make the case to restore Pluto’s planet status

How Urine Could Help Astronauts Grow Food in Space
27th March 2017 | livescience.com | Space

If you want to be one of the first human beings to visit Mars, you better have a strong stomach. Scientists in Germany are testing ways in which urine and sweat could help astronauts grow food on the Red Planet.

Stephen Hawking will travel to space on board Richard Branson’s ship, professor says
27th March 2017 | independent.co.uk | Space

Stephen Hawking is going to go to space. The cosmologist and physicist will leave the Earth on board Richard Branson’s spaceship, he has said.

Professor Hawking told Good Morning Britain that he’d never dreamed he’d be able to head into space. But “Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately”, he said.

LHC: Five new particles hold clues to sub-atomic glue
27th March 2017 | bbc.com | Space

The Large Hadron Collider has discovered new sub-atomic particles that could help to explain how the centres of atoms are held together.

The particles are all different forms of the so-called Omega-c baryon, whose existence was confirmed in 1994.

Scientists confirm: Time crystals definitely exist
27th March 2017 | csmonitor.com | Space

The distant past. A long time ago. Right now. Right here. With the way we speak about time and space highlighting their deep parallels, is it any wonder science keeps uncovering new similarities between the two?

Physicists Find That as Clocks Get More Precise, Time Gets More Fuzzy
27th March 2017 | sciencealert.com | Space, Weird

Time is weird – in spite of what we think, the Universe doesn’t have a master clock to run by, making it possible for us to experience time differently depending on how we’re moving or how much gravity is pulling on us.


Alt: Physicists Have Uncovered a Weird Problem While Measuring Time

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