AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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Kepler Finds 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet in First Discovery of New Mission

Artist’s conception of super-Earth HIP 116454b. Image Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

The Kepler space telescope has found its first new exoplanet, a “super-Earth,” of its secondary mission phase. The discovery adds to a current tally of 996 confirmed exoplanets and 4,183 planetary candidates already found by the revolutionary planet-hunting telescope.

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Stars Above and Earth Below: NASA's Proposed New Airship Competition Good for Science

Artist’s conception of a new high-altitude NASA airship which could make science observations of both the Earth below and stars above. Image Credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

Airships are a unique form of transportation—giant, balloon-like, lighter-than-air vehicles which can stay aloft for extended periods of time. Their design makes them […]

Hot 'Super-Earths' Provide Clues to Water in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Artist’s conception of super-Earth 55 Cancri e, one of the few exoplanets so far which astronomers are able to study the atmosphere of. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Some of the most interesting exoplanets discovered so far are the “super-Earths,” rocky worlds which are significantly larger and more massive than Earth but still smaller than the […]

Construction Site Ahead: Hubble Observes Planet-Forming Circumstellar Dust Disks in Great Detail

A set of high-resolution images of the vast circumstellar debris disks around 11 nearby young stars, which were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, have helped astronomers to study their complex and dynamic structure for the first time in great detail. This visible-light survey, called HST/GO 12228, was done with Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), […]

'Planet Hunters' Citizen Scientists Discover Distant Exoplanet With Time-Keeping Issues

After analyzing many millions of light curves that were obtained by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, a team of volunteers from the ‘Planet Hunters’ citizen science project, have discovered a distant exoplanet,named PH3c, which exhibits a highly irregular orbital period around its host star. Image Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Punctuality is considered one of the basic cultural […]

Intergalactic Space Is Brighter Than Thought, NASA Rocket Experiment Shows

Time-lapse image of a Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. This was the fourth flight of CIBER. Image Credit: T. Arai/University of Tokyo

The universe is vast and, apart from the stars and galaxies, a seemingly very dark and empty place, with utter blackness […]

Rough Cosmic Waters: Chandra X-ray Observatory Reveals 'Turbulent' Effect of Black Holes

From NASA: “Chandra observations of the Perseus and Virgo galaxy clusters suggest turbulence may be preventing hot gas there from cooling, addressing a long-standing question of galaxy clusters do not form large numbers of stars.” Image Credit: NASA/CXC/Stanford/I. Zhuravleva et al

This week, NASA announced that the Chandra X-ray Observatory, now in its 15th […]

Astronomers Create Most Detailed Weather Map Yet of an Exoplanet

Graphic depicting how WASP-43b orbits its star, always keeping the same hemisphere facing the star, much like how the Moon always keeps the same hemisphere facing the Earth. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

Being able to find exoplanets orbiting distant stars is a major accomplishment in itself, and fine-tuning the data […]

Astronomers Witness Asteroid Smash-Up Around Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of an asteroid collision around the Sun-like star NGC 2547-ID8. Such impacts around young stars lead to planetary formation later on. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Solar systems, including ours, are thought to begin as massive clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars; over billions of years, planets form from repeated impacts of […]

Where's the Kaboom? Astronomers Detect No X-Ray Emission From Recent Supernova Explosion

The supernova SN 2014J, as imaged by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This image contains Chandra data, where low-, medium-, and high-energy X-rays are red, green, and blue respectively. The boxes in the bottom of the image show close-up views of the region around the supernova in data taken prior to the explosion (left), as […]