NASA Breaking News 15 Sep 2018, 14:15 UTC NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) successfully launched from California at 9:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, embarking on its mission to measure the ice of Earth’s frozen reaches with unprecedented accuracy. ICESat-2 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on United Launch Alliance’s final Delta II rocket. Ground stations in Svalbard, Norway, acquired signals from the spacecraft about 75 minutes after launch. It’s performing as expected and orbiting the globe, from pole to pole, at 17,069 mph from an average altitude of 290 miles.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 13 Sep 2018, 19:41 UTC The explosions of stars, known as supernovae, can be so bright they outshine their host galaxies. They take months or years to fade away, and sometimes, the gaseous remains of the explosion slam into hydrogen-rich gas and temporarily get bright again – but could they remain luminous without any outside interference?
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 13 Sep 2018, 17:52 UTC During NASA's Cassini mission's final distant encounter with Saturn's giant moon Titan, the spacecraft captured the enigmatic moon's north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid methane and ethane.
Hubble Space Telescope News 13 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to shed light on the evolution of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. The BUFFALO survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings. The first observations show the galaxy cluster Abell 370 and a host of magnified, gravitationally lensed galaxies around it.
Square Kilometer Array 13 Sep 2018, 11:00 UTC The Apertif high-speed, wide-field radio camera – also known as a Phased Array Feed (PAF) – is an innovative new type of receiver developed by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). The upgrade means that 12 of the 14 Westerbork dishes can now map a part of the sky that is 37 times larger than before using a technique called beamforming.
McDonald Observatory 12 Sep 2018, 13:00 UTC New research by Stella Offner, assistant professor of astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, finds that magnetic waves are an important factor driving the process of star formation within the enormous clouds that birth stars. Her research sheds light on the processes that are responsible for setting the properties of stars, which in turn affects the formation of planets orbiting them, and, ultimately, life on those planets. The research is published in the current issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.
ESO Top News 12 Sep 2018, 11:00 UTC FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has observed the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in all its glory. The image was captured as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, which makes use of the rare occasions when observing conditions are not suitable for gathering scientific data.
NASA's Ames Research Center News and Features 11 Sep 2018, 14:00 UTC Gearing up for its first flight test, NASA’s Adaptable Deployable Entry Placement Technology, or ADEPT, is no ordinary umbrella. ADEPT is a foldable device that opens to make a round, rigid heat shield, called an aeroshell. This game-changing technology could squeeze a heat shield into a rocket with a diameter larger than the rocket itself. The design may someday deliver much larger payloads to planetary surfaces than is currently possible.