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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 19 Aug 2019, 20:59 UTC An icy ocean world in our solar system that could tell us more about the potential for life on other worlds is coming into focus with confirmation of the Europa Clipper mission's next phase. The decision allows the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science payload.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Aug 2019, 19:44 UTC NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) completed an initial set of tool operations, bringing the idea of using water ice or methane from other worlds as fuel for spacecraft one step closer to reality. The ability to store and transfer cryogens (super-cold hydrogen, oxygen and methane) will help spacecraft journey father into our solar system and beyond.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Aug 2019, 11:30 UTC Although it looks more like an entity seen through a microscope than a telescope, this rounded object, named NGC 2022, is certainly not algae or tiny, blobby jellyfish. Instead, it is a vast orb of gas in space, cast off by an aging star. The star is visible in the orb's center, shining through the gases it formerly held onto for most of its stellar life.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 15 Aug 2019, 14:00 UTC If our eyes could see high-energy radiation called gamma rays, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! That’s how NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen our neighbor in space for the past decade.
NCCR PlanetS 14 Aug 2019, 17:03 UTC New interior models of Jupiter based on data gathered by NASA’s Juno mission suggested that the giant gas planet might not have a small compact core but rather a diluted, “fuzzy” one. Now, an international team with researchers of the University of Zürich and the NCCR PlanetS has found an explanation for this surprising Juno result. A giant impact occurring shortly after Jupiter’s formation may have disrupted and diluted its original compact core.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 13 Aug 2019, 20:22 UTC On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 command module Columbia splashed down in the Pacific, fulfilling President Kennedy's goal to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth. Among the mission's many firsts was the acquisition and return of the first samples from another celestial body. Findings based on the 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of lunar rock and soil rewrotethe textbooks on both the Moon and solar system, and the samples are still being studied today by researchers using new and more sensitive instruments.
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SPACE.com 19 Aug 2019, 20:26 UTC It's time to talk about Apophis again, I guess. Please calm down first. The asteroid is about 1,100 feet (340 meters) wide, was discovered in 2004 and will make a reasonably close flyby of Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029. Apophis will not hit Earth during that flyby; more on that later. Nevertheless, it's large and close and has a snappy name, and the internet loves its asteroids.
Centauri Dreams 19 Aug 2019, 16:56 UTC You would think that heading toward the Sun, rather than away from it, would not necessarily fall under Centauri Dreams’ purview, but missions like the Parker Solar Probe have reminded us that extreme environments are ideal testing grounds for future missions. Build a heat shield that can take you to within 10 solar radii of our star and you’re also exploring possibilities in ‘sundiver’ missions that all but brush the Sun in a tight gravity assist.
Starts With a Bang! 19 Aug 2019, 14:01 UTC We’re one step closer to solving the mystery of how they get so big so fast.
New Scientist 19 Aug 2019, 12:26 UTC Weird blasts from space called fast radio bursts are some of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe, and now astronomers have spotted eight new and particularly unusual ones, including one that may be the closest we’ve ever seen.
SPACE.com 19 Aug 2019, 10:56 UTC Titan has hydrocarbon rivers and seas, a subsurface water ocean — and perhaps life.
Centauri Dreams 16 Aug 2019, 18:57 UTC The faint glow of a directly imaged planet will one day have much to tell us, once we’ve acquired equipment like the next generation of extremely large telescopes (ELTs), with their apertures measuring in the tens of meters. Discovering the makeup of planetary atmospheres is an obvious deep dive for biosignatures, but there is another. Biofluorescence, a kind of reflective glow from life under stress, could be detectable in some conditions at astronomical distances.