NASA Space Station Blog 5 Aug 2019, 17:33 UTC A U.S. resupply ship is packed and ready to depart the International Space Station on Tuesday. The Expedition 60 crew is also testing the viability of printing organ-like tissue and exploring the impact of microgravity on time perception today.
AmericaSpace 5 Aug 2019, 14:27 UTC Astronaut Dick Richards was five weeks from his first launch into space when the Challenger disaster snatched the opportunity from him. In January 1985, Richards had been named as veteran astronaut Jon McBride’s pilot on STS-61E, the ASTRO-1 science mission, scheduled for March 1986 to observe Halley’s Comet and a multitude of other astronomical targets. When Challenger rose from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on 28 January 1986, McBride and Richards were in their seats in the simulator at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, working launch-abort scenarios. They paused briefly to step outside and watch Challenger’s launch. Seventy-three seconds later, STS-61E vanished from the manifest like a blip from a radar screen. Thirty years ago, this month, Richards and another crew—that of STS-28—finally made it to space, on a quite different mission, and in a profoundly different shuttle era.
SPACE.com 5 Aug 2019, 08:48 UTC It's time to find all the missing black holes. That's the argument advanced by a pair of Japanese astrophysicists, who wrote a paper proposing a new search for millions of "isolated black holes" (IBHs) that likely populate our galaxy. These black holes, lost in the darkness, sip matter from the interstellar medium — the dust and other stuff floating between stars.
EarthSky Blog 5 Aug 2019, 08:46 UTC Two dead stars have been spotted whipping around each other every seven minutes. The newfound dynamic duo, officially known as ZTF J1539+5027, is the second-fastest pair of orbiting dead stars, called white dwarfs, yet discovered. The pair, located nearly 8,000 light-years away in the Boötes constellation, is also the fastest eclipsing binary system, meaning that one white dwarf repeatedly crosses in front of the other from our point of view.
Universe Today 5 Aug 2019, 08:42 UTC The question of how life on Earth first emerged is one that humans have been asking themselves since time immemorial. While scientists are relatively confident about when it happened, there has been no definitive answer as to why it did. How did amino acids, the chemical building blocks of life, come together roughly four billion years ago to create the first protein molecules?
New Scientist 4 Aug 2019, 16:00 UTC A pair of planets orbiting a nearby star called Teegarden’s star may be just right for liquid water, and perhaps even life. The planets, discovered in June 2019, could support water on their surfaces if they have very thin atmospheres or relatively thick ones.
Lowell Observatory 4 Aug 2019, 15:10 UTC We’ve come a long way since Clyde Tombaugh first spotted Pluto as a tiny speck of light in 1930. Today, we know that Pluto goes around the Sun once every 248 years. We know it’s smaller than our Moon yet has five moons of its own. We know it even has a thin atmosphere.
Universe Today 4 Aug 2019, 13:03 UTC There are few places in the Solar System which are as fascinating as Saturn’s moon Titan. It’s a world with a thicker atmosphere than Earth. Where it’s so cold that it rains ammonia, forming lakes, rivers and seas. Where water ice forms mountains.
Scientific American 3 Aug 2019, 16:00 UTC Since the first detected exoplanetary transit in 1999, use of this technique of looking for tiny dips in light as planets pass in front of their parent stars has surged. On paper it is simplicity itself, in practice it requires exquisite precision in measuring the brightness of stars, along with a deep knowledge of the intrinsic behavior of stellar photospheres (the outer layer of stars where the majority of light is emitted), orbital mechanics, and statistical techniques for eking out detections and characterizations of other worlds.