MIT 9 Dec 2020, 13:27 UTC In the moments immediately following the Big Bang, the very first gravitational waves rang out. The product of quantum fluctuations in the new soup of primordial matter, these earliest ripples through the fabric of space-time were quickly amplified by inflationary processes that drove the universe to explosively expand.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 7 Dec 2020, 15:30 UTC On Dec. 6 local time (Dec. 5 in the United States), Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 dropped a capsule to the ground of the Australian Outback from about 120 miles (or 200 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. Inside that capsule is some of the most precious cargo in the solar system: dust that the spacecraft collected earlier this year from the surface of asteroid Ryugu.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 4 Dec 2020, 14:50 UTC This large expanse of space captured with the Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy SDSS J225506.80+005839.9. Unlike many other extravagant galaxies and stunning nebulae imaged by Hubble, this galaxy does not have a short, popular name, and is only known by its long name given in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which refers to its coordinates in the sky. This galaxy – visible in the center right portion of the image – and its many wondrous neighboring galaxies lie in the constellation of Pisces (the Fish).
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 3 Dec 2020, 15:00 UTC Great things take time. This is true when it comes to many processes in the universe. For example, it takes millions of years for stars—the building blocks of the universe—to form. Then, many stars last for billions of years before they die and begin to eject shells of gas that glow against the vastness of space—what we call nebulas. It can be exceedingly rare to capture some of these processes in real time.
ESA Top News 3 Dec 2020, 09:00 UTC The motion of stars in the outskirts of our galaxy hints at significant changes in the history of the Milky Way. This and other equally fascinating results come from a set of papers that demonstrate the quality of ESA’s Gaia Early third Data Release (EDR3), which is made public today.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 2 Dec 2020, 16:00 UTC The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory launched on December 2, 1995. A joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA, SOHO’s original operating phase was scheduled for two years – and now, through repeated extensions, it is celebrating a quarter century in orbit. Over the years, its set of groundbreaking instruments became a source for numerous scientific findings, an inspiration for follow-on missions, and an outlet for citizen scientists. SOHO also survived near catastrophe twice and has become the longest-running Sun-surveying spacecraft. What this powerhouse mission has witnessed in its 25 years has changed the way humanity sees the Sun.
McDonald Observatory 1 Dec 2020, 15:37 UTC Three years into its quest to reveal the nature of dark energy, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is on track to complete the largest map of the cosmos ever. The team will create a three-dimensional map of 2.5 million galaxies that will help astronomers understand how and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up over time.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 30 Nov 2020, 20:49 UTC At the edge of space, the ever-growing fleet of satellites in low-Earth orbit are locked in a constant, precarious battle with friction.
MIT 25 Nov 2020, 14:00 UTC Earlier this month a team of MIT researchers sent samples of various high-tech fabrics, some with embedded sensors or electronics, to the International Space Station. The samples (unpowered for now) will be exposed to the space environment for a year in order to determine a baseline for how well these materials survive the harsh environment of low Earth orbit.