AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch TMA-15M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
23 Nov 14 21:01:14 GMT
24 Nov 14 3:01:14 ALMT
23 Nov 14 16:01:14 Eastern

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Surprisingly Bright Cloud Systems and Extreme Storms on Uranus Puzzle Astronomers

Infrared images of Uranus at wavelengths of 1.6 (left) and 2.2 microns (right), that were obtained on Aug. 6, with the Adaptive Optics system on the 10-meter Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The white spot is an extremely large storm that was brighter than any feature ever recorded on the planet […]

New Horizons Ready for Last Wake-Up Call Prior to Start of Historic Pluto Encounter Operations

Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto and its system of moons. New Horizons is getting ready to emerge from its electronic hibernation on December 6, in order to begin its final preparations for the start of the Pluto encounter operations in January 2015. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest […]

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), […]

TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Space Telescope Ready for Development

Artist’s conception of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Image Credit: MIT

The search for exoplanets is about to enter an exciting new phase, as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission has now been cleared for development by NASA. TESS will greatly expand the number of stars being observed for evidence of exoplanets […]

Hubble Observes the 'Ghost Light' of Orphaned Stars Inside Galaxy Cluster

The massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 takes on a ghostly look in this view by the Hubble Space Telescope, where the total starlight from the cluster has been artificially colored blue. This reveals that not all the starlight is contained within the galaxies, which appear as bright blue-white blobs in the image. A fraction […]

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 […]

Integral Component of Webb Space Telescope Undergoes, Survives 'Deep Freeze' Testing

From NASA: “The view from inside NASA Goddard’s Thermal Vacuum Chamber shows the JWST [James Webb Space Telescope] heart being lowered by crane in preparation of weeks of space environment testing.” An essential component of the James Webb Space Telescope has just completed and survived vacuum testing in extremely cold conditions. Photo Credit: NASA/Chris […]

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 […]

Clear Skies Above: Astronomers Detect Water Vapor on Cloud-Free Atmosphere of a Hot-Neptune

An artist’s concept of the cloud-free atmosphere of exoplanet HAT-P-11b, as revealed by the combined observations of NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler space telescopes. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and R. Hurt (JPL-Caltech)


Sunny and hot all year-round, with no clouds on the horizon … That’s not a weather forecast only for the Maldive […]

Bizarre Universe: Massive Black Hole In Tiny Galaxy and Exoplanet That Makes Its Star Act Older Than It Is

Artist’s concept of the massive black hole in the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a

The universe is a wild and weird place, and two recent findings from orbiting space telescopes illustrate just how bewildering it can be: a monster-sized black hole in one of the tiniest galaxies known and a huge exoplanet that is […]