Hubble Space Telescope Announcements 14 Feb 2018, 15:00 UTC Such a cosmic beauty is sure to get some admirers this Valentine's Day. While distant, and seemingly mysterious, this beautiful spiral galaxy is providing astronomers with lots of clues about its character and internal composition — just with the colours it emits.
EarthSky Blog 14 Feb 2018, 14:26 UTC The strange interstellar visitor to our solar system – dubbed `Oumuamua by astronomers – is tumbling as it moves through space. A new study suggests its chaotic tumble is likely to continue at least another billion years, and it suggests ‘Oumuamua’s tumble is the result of a violent collision with another asteroid in the past. This collision might have knocked `Oumuamua out of its original solar system and sent it toward our solar system.
Space Fellowship 14 Feb 2018, 07:41 UTC What’s that inside the Heart Nebula? First, the large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. It’s shape perhaps fitting of the Valentine’s Day, this heart glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by a small group of stars near the nebula’s center.
Astrobiology Magazine 14 Feb 2018, 05:00 UTC The Gravity Assist Podcast is hosted by NASA’s Director of Planetary Science, Jim Green, who each week talks to some of the greatest planetary scientists on the planet, giving a guided tour through the Solar System and beyond in the process. This week, he’s joined by New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, to chat about what the July 2015 fly-by of Pluto revealed about this mysterious and diverse world, which has a heart-shaped glacier that’s the size of Texas and Oklahoma, blue skies, spinning moons, mountainsas high as the Rockies, and red snow!
Science 2.0 14 Feb 2018, 00:43 UTC The Rosette Nebula is located in the Milky Way Galaxy roughly 5,000 light-years from us and is known for its rose-like shape and distinctive hole at the center. The nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases with several massive stars found in a cluster at its heart.
DSFP's Spaceflight History Blog 13 Feb 2018, 18:25 UTC On 29 July 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law legislation creating the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Eisenhower saw NASA as a way of separating the serious military business of nuclear missile and spy satellite development from "stunts" aimed at responding to Soviet prestige victories in space. In the old General's view, such stunts included launching a man into Earth orbit.In a presentation to the American Astronautical Society at Stanford University the following month, Dandridge Cole and Donald Muir, engineers with The Martin Company in Denver, Colorado, detailed how NASA might launch humans around Earth's moon. First, however, they warned that the "Russians may have such a long lead. . .that they will have made landings on the [M]oon before. . .our first circumlunar flight." They predicted that the Soviet Union would be capable of a piloted circumlunar flight in 1963, four years before the United States. In a dig at President Eisenhower, Cole and Muir added that "on the technical side, at least, there seems to be no reason why this goal could not be accomplished [by the U.S.] by 1963."
Centauri Dreams 13 Feb 2018, 16:04 UTC New Horizons continues to push our limits, revealing new sights as it makes its way through the Kuiper Belt enroute to a January 1, 2019 encounter with the KBO 2014 MU69. No object this far from the Sun has ever been visited by a spacecraft. Adding further interest is the unusual nature of the target, for MU69 is thought to be a contact binary, two independent bodies that have touched (comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is likely a contact binary as well). The beauty of this kind of exploration, of course, is that we so often get surprised when we reach our destination. Below is an image of NGC 3532, also known as the Wishing Well Cluster, an open cluster in the constellation Carina that has its own place in our observational history, becoming the first target ever observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. That was in May of 1990; this is New Horizons’ view in December.