AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 23 Jul 14 23:03:00 GMT

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Big Discovery: First Earth-Sized Exoplanet in Habitable Zone of Another Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-186f in orbit around its red dwarf star. Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Today was another big day for those interested in space exploration and in the search for other Earth-like, alien worlds in particular: The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting another star in the habitable zone has been discovered, it was [...]

A Light in the Dark? Observations of Milky Way's Center Hint at Existence of Dark Matter

A view of the entire gamma-ray sky from the Fermi Space Telescope, shaded to emphasize the center of the Milky Way. The inset is a map of the galactic center with known sources removed, which reveals the gamma-ray excess (red, green, and blue) found there. This excess emission is consistent with annihilations from some [...]

First Direct Imaging of Exoplanet in Visible Light Obtained by Ground-Based Telescope

Image of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b made with the Magellan Adaptive Optics (MagAO) VisAO camera. This image was made using a CCD camera, which is essentially the same technology as a cell phone camera. The planet is nearly 100,000 times fainter than its star and orbits its star at roughly the same distance [...]

New Dwarf Planet Candidate Discovered at Solar System's Edge: Could a Hidden Planet Be Orbiting Farther Out?

The discovery images of 2012 VP113. Three images of the night sky, each taken about two hours apart, were combined into one. The first image was artificially colored red, the second green, and the third blue. 2012 VP113 moved between each image as seen by the red, green, and blue dots. The background stars [...]

Surprise Discovery: Rings Around an Asteroid!

Artist’s conception of the asteroid Chariklo with its ring system. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (

When it comes to planetary rings, what do you think of? Saturn is the first obvious thing that comes to mind, with its famous majestic ring system surrounding the gas giant planet. The other gas and ice [...]

Smoking Gun Found for Big Bang Birth of the Universe

Image of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, which appear as twisting “curls” and are known as B-nodes, as observed by the BICEP2 telescope. Image Credit: BICEP2 Collaboration

Astronomers today announced an exciting discovery: the first direct evidence for what happened during the first few seconds or so of the birth of our [...]

European Space Agency Selects PLATO Observatory for Proposed 2024 Launch

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. It will also investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet discovered, [...]

ESA's 'Mission: Impossible' Sees First Light: Gaia Opens Her Eyes to the Galaxy

One of the first images taken by the Gaia space telescope during the commissioning phase of its mission, showing the star α Aquarii, also known as Sadalmelik, in the constellation of Aquarius. Image Credit: ESA/Airbus DS

Originally perceived by astronomers as a space mission that was unlikely to ever happen, the European Space Agency’s [...]

PLATO Exoplanet Mission Proposal Awaits Final Selection by ESA, Following Recent Positive Recommendation

The European Space Agency’s PLATO mission aims to discover and characterize hundreds of Earth-sized exoplanets inside the habitable zones of approximately 1 million stars. The mission is likely to be approved for implementation by ESA during an announcement due for next week. Image Credit: PLATO Definition Study Report/ESA


The European Space Agency’s Science [...]

James Webb Space Telescope Flight Instruments and Primary Mirror Segments Ready for Assembly

The amazing mirrors that will fly aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will allow the James Webb Space Telescope to see farther away and further back in time to detect the light from the very first and most distant stars and galaxies. In this photo, an engineer’s crystal clear reflection is seen on the [...]