Space Fellowship 9 Feb 2018, 09:22 UTC This digitally processed and composited picture creatively compares two famous eclipses in one; the total lunar eclipse (left) of January 31, and the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. The Moon appears near mid-totality in both the back-to-back total eclipses. In the lunar eclipse, its surface remains faintly illuminated in Earth’s dark reddened shadow. But in the solar eclipse the Moon is in silhouette against the Sun’s bright disk, where the otherwise dark lunar surface is just visible due to earthshine.
Geekwire 9 Feb 2018, 02:58 UTC Two and a half years after becoming the first probe to study Pluto up close, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is gaining more fame for possessing the solar system’s farthest-out camera in operation. New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager looked at two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of icy objects that New Horizons has been traveling through in the wake of its Pluto encounter. The two false-color images, showing the objects known as 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85, are what gave LORRI its record as the farthest-out camera.
The Planetary Society Blog 8 Feb 2018, 22:10 UTC There has been a lot of discussion regarding the ability of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket to carry big things into space. But the Falcon Heavy is not just for big things, it can also throw light things into space very fast. And that has significant implications for the exploration of heretofore hard-to-reach places in our outer solar system—particularly the ocean moons of the giant planets.
io9 Space 8 Feb 2018, 20:40 UTC You may remember that, as a publicity stunt, SpaceX propelled a red Tesla, driven by a dummy in a spacesuit named Starman with the words “DON’T PANIC” written on the control panel, into space using its Falcon Heavy rocket. That car is now a permanent advertisement on the NASA HORIZONS directory of solar system bodies.
Centauri Dreams 8 Feb 2018, 18:00 UTC It was in 1775 that Pierre-Simon Laplace developed his theories of tidal dynamics, formulating in the following year a set of equations to explain the phenomenon at a greater level of detail than ever before. Looking at the Moon on a frosty winter night, it’s pleasing to realize that there is a mountainous region at the end of Montes Jura in Mare Imbrium that is called Promontorium Laplace. Surely the French astronomer and mathematician would have been pleased.
All About Space 8 Feb 2018, 15:46 UTC How the Solar System formed, and evolved into what we see today, is a topic that is ever changing after the release of new information. The latest research in this case is a study conducted by the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder, United States, which focused on the Moon’s equatorial bulge. The new results suggest that the Moon solidified after its formation over four billion years ago, before gradually moving away from Earth that, at the time, had all its surface water frozen.
Astronomy Now 8 Feb 2018, 15:08 UTC The Hubble Space Telescope shows a “sparkling jewel box full of stars,” NASA says, in the central bulge of the Milky Way, with more plentiful bright blue stars in the foreground. Older red stars co-exist with younger sun-like stars in the central bulge, revealing a seemingly chaotic environment. Detailed studies show stars richer in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are orbiting the galaxy’s core at higher speeds than older stars deficient in heavy elements.
Starts With a Bang! 8 Feb 2018, 15:01 UTC Dark matter is one of the most powerful, yet one of the most controversial, ideas to come about in modern physics. We see indisputable evidence that the normal matter present in the Universe, made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, cannot explain the full suite of gravitational effects on their own. Adding an additional source of mass with particular properties, i.e., dark matter, brings almost all of gravitation’s predictions in line with what we see. Yet one of dark matter’s predictions is that small, dwarf, satellite galaxies should form in a large halo around large galaxies. Yet around the Milky Way, Andromeda, and now Centaurus A, they don’t live in a halo, but rather, a disk. The researchers doing the latest study claim this is a major challenge to the standard picture of cold dark matter (CDM) cosmology. But is it, really? Finding out requires an in-depth look.