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Massive Planet Gone Rogue Discovered


A massive rogue planet has been discovered in the Beta Pictoris moving group. The planet, called PSO J318.5338-22.8603 (Sorry, I didn't name it), is over eight times as massive as Jupiter. Because it's one of the few directly-imaged exoplanets we know of, and is accessible for study by spectroscopy, this massive planet will be extremely important when piecing together the details of planetary formation and evolution.Most planets outside our solar system are not directly observable.

Gravitational Waves Discovered: A New Window on the Universe


"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it."With those words, Dave Reitze, executive director of the U.S.-based Laser Interferometry Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), has opened a new window into the universe, and ushered in a new era in space science.Predicted over 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time.

Was A Man Struck And Killed By A Meteorite In India?


Last Saturday, Feb. 6th, a meteorite reportedly struck a bus driver on the campus of the Bharathidasan Engineering College in southern India.

Why Do Planets Have Rings?


Planet come in a wide variety of sizes, compositions, and colors – and they can sometimes have rings.

Sources of Gravitational Waves: The Most Violent Events in the Universe


Soon, very soon, Thursday, February 11, at 10:30 Eastern time, we are likely to learn at any one of several press conferences – at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in Hannover, Germany, near Pisa in Italy and elswhere – that gravitational waves have been measured directly, for the first time.

Great Attractor Revealed? Galaxies Found Lurking Behind the Milky Way


Hundreds of galaxies hidden from sight by our own Milky Way galaxy have been studied for the first time.

Gravitational Wave Detectors: How They Work


It's official: this Thursday, February 11, at 10:30 EST, there will be parallel press conferences at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in Hannover, Germany, and near Pisa in Italy.

Largest Rocky World Found


We thought we understood how big rocky planets can get. But most of our understanding of planetary formation and solar system development has come from direct observation of our own Solar System.

Messier 2 (M2) – The NGC 7089 Globular Cluster


In the 18th century, while searching the night sky for comets, French astronomer Charles Messier kept noting the presence of fixed, diffuse objects in the night sky.

NASA Unveils Orion Pressure Vessel at KSC Launching on EM-1 Moon Mission in 2018


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - NASA officials proudly unveiled the pressure vessel for the agency’s new Orion capsule destined to launch on the EM-1 mission to the Moon in 2018, after the vehicle arrived at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida last week aboard NASA’s unique Super Guppy aircraft.This ‘new and improved’ Orion was unloaded from the Super Guppy and moved to a test stand called the ‘birdcage’ in the high bay inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at KSC where it was showcased to the media including Universe Today.Orion’s arrival at KSC truly signifies a major turning point in achieving NASA’s agency-wide goal of sending humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s to carry out the ‘Journey to Mars’ initiative.The Orion pressure vessel serves as the structural backbone for the spacecraft.But before it can launch engineers and technicians from NASA and prime contractor Lockheed Martin will spend the next two years meticulously installing all the systems amounting to over 100,000 components and gear required for flight.This particular ‘Lunar Orion’ crew module is intended for blastoff to the Moon in 2018 on NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) atop the agency’s mammoth new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, simultaneously under development.

Vesta Rules the February Dusk Skies


Missing out on the morning planetary action?February sees all five naked eye planets in the dawn sky, though that's about to change in March.

Carnival of Space #443


This week's Carnival of Space is hosted by Gadi Eidelheit at his The Venus Transit blog.Click here to read Carnival of Space #443.

New Horizons Latest Find: Floating Ice Hills On Pluto!


Ever since the New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto in July 2015, people here at Earth have been treated to an endless supply of discoveries about the dwarf planet.

All Primary Mirrors Fully Installed on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope


NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, MD - All 18 of the primary mirrors have been fully installed onto the flight structure of what will become the biggest and most powerful space telescope ever built by humankind - NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).Completion of the huge and complex primary mirror marks a historic milestone and a banner start to 2016 for JWST, commencing the final assembly phase of the colossal observatory that will revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos and our place it in.After JWST launches in slightly less than three years time, the gargantuan observatory will significantly exceed the light gathering power of the currently most powerful space telescope ever sent to space - NASA’s Hubble!

Gravitational Waves and How They Distort Space


It's official: on February 11, 10:30 EST, there will be a big press conference about gravitational waves by the people running the gravitational wave detector LIGO.

Astronomy Cast Ep. 402: Gravity Eyes: See The Invisible With The Force

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast! We record Astronomy Cast as a live Google+ Hangout on Air every Monday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern.

Peculiar ‘Cauliflower Rocks’ May Hold Clues To Ancient Mars Life


Evidence of water and a warmer, wetter climate abound on Mars, but did life ever put its stamp on the Red Planet?

6th Man on Moon Edgar Mitchell, Dies at 85 on Eve of 45th Lunar Landing Anniversary


NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the Moon, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 4, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his Apollo 14 mission lunar landing.Mitchell passed away in West Palm Beach, Fla., just 1 day prior to the 45th anniversary of the Feb.

Space Station Back At Dusk / See Orion’s Curlicue and Five Dawn Planets


I hadn't been paying attention, so I was pleasantly surprised two nights ago to see the International Space Station (ISS) made a bright pass in the southwestern sky.

NASA Says “No Chance” Small Asteroid Will Hit Earth On March 5th


On October 6th, 2013, the Catalina Sky Survey discovered a small asteroid which was later designated as 2013 TX68.


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