AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch TMA-14M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
25 Sep 14 20:24:00 GMT
26 Sep 14 2:24:00 ALMT
25 Sep 14 16:24:00 Eastern

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NASA's Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of Ultra-Compact, Burned-Out Galaxies

An odyssey of exploration began on 25 April 1990, when Steve Hawley gingerly pulled Discovery’s robot arm away from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in [...]

'End of Days' for Europe's Ambitious GOCE and Planck Missions to Explore Earth and the Cosmos

 

The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will bid a fond farewell to the GOCE and Planck missions this week. Both missions have contributed enormously to our understanding of Earth and the Universe. Photo Credit: ESOC

Two ambitious science missions—one circling Earth closer than any other research satellite, the other orbiting [...]

Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 10 Years of Astronomical Discovery

The infrared vision of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that the Sombrero galaxy—named after its appearance in visible light to a wide-brimmed hat—is in fact two galaxies in one. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ten years ago tonight, NASA’s fourth “Great Observatory”—the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)—was boosted into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force [...]

Comet ISON Fizzes Like a Soda Pop

Photo Credit: NASA / SST

Coming soon to a region of space near you: comet ISON, which is expected to put on a spectacular show toward the end of the year. Currently, ISON is about 258 million miles from the Sun, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Its tail already stretches out more than three-quarters of [...]

It's an Alien Blue World—But Nothing Like Earth

Artist’s conception of exoplanet HD 189733b—a “deep blue dot” reminiscent of Earth from a distance. Image Credit: NASA / ESA / M. Kornmesser

The planets and moons in our Solar System come in a wide variety of colors, and the natural beauty can be breathtaking. Now, the true color of a much more distant [...]

Hubble Space Telescope Reveals Evidence of Farthest Known Planet From Its Star

A gap in the protoplanetary disk of dust and gas whirling around TV Hydrae uncovered evidence of an unseen, growing planet, according to astronomers studying Hubble data. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Debes (STScI), H. Jang-Condell (University of Wyoming), A. Weinberger (Carnegie Institution of Washington), A. Roberge (Goddard Space Flight Center), G. Schneider (University [...]

Hubble and Herschel Make Surprising Deep-Space Finds

The Ring Nebula, with its dying progenitor star clearly visible. Photo Credit: NASA

New data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory have provided new insights into the shape and structure of the far-off Ring Nebula—whose fate has important ramifications for the future of our own Sun—and may have begun the [...]

Astronomy at the High Frontier

Hubble Space Telescope, as seen from the Shuttle Atlantis during the fourth servicing mission in May 2009. Photo Credit: NASA

The atmosphere is a problem for astronomers for two big reasons: it’s turbulent, so it smears out the light from cosmic objects, and it blocks out huge swathes of the electromagnetic spectrum. To see [...]

SOFIA Observations Reveal a Surprise in Massive Star Formation

Figures 1a and 1b show the G35 protostar at wavelengths of 31 and 37 microns taken by the FORCAST instrument on the SOFIA observatory’s infrared telescope in 2011. (Zhang et al. 2013, Astrophysical Journal)

WASHINGTON — Researchers using the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured the most detailed mid-infrared images yet of [...]

Planck Mission Brings Universe into Sharp Focus

This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission. The ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, was imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing [...]