'Probably Earned My Keep': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 2)

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) is readied for deployment on 7 April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this week, the crew of Atlantis delivered into orbit the heaviest scientific payload ever launched at that time by the space shuttle. Commander Steve Nagel, Pilot Ken Cameron, and Mission Specialists Linda […]

'If It Goes Poorly, You Take the Blame': 25 Years Since the Launch of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Part 1)

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through shuttle Atlantis' aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Astronaut Jerry Ross grins through Shuttle Atlantis’ aft flight deck windows, as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is readied for deployment in April 1991. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For a few hours in early April 1991, it seemed that things could not get any worse for NASA. A year earlier, the first […]

'We did it!' Gravitational Waves Confirmed for First Time After Being Predicted by Einstein

Computer simulation of gravity waves produced by the collision of two black holes. Image Credit: NASA

Computer simulation of gravity waves produced by the collision of two black holes. Image Credit: NASA

Today was a big day for physicists and space science, with the announcement of the first confirmed detection of gravitational waves, 100 years after they had been predicted by Albert Einstein as a major aspect of his general […]

Mystery Deepens: New Study Shows Comets Don't Explain Odd Dimming of Kepler's 'Weird Star'

The mystery surrounding KIC 8462852 may not involve comets after all, but it is still an enigma for astronomers. Image Credit: NASA

The mystery surrounding KIC 8462852 may not involve comets after all, but it is still an enigma for astronomers. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As has been reported previously on AmericaSpace, and elsewhere, there is something weird going on around a star which is a little over 1,400 light-years away. Astronomers are still baffled as to […]

Development of Freeform Optics Technology May Revolutionize Space Telescopes

A young astronomer observes Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) during a public outreach program at the Seminole State College Planetarium in central Florida March 16, 2013. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

A young astronomer observes Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) during a public outreach program at the Seminole State College Planetarium in central Florida March 16, 2013. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

In the world of telescopes, light gathering power is dictated by the physical size of the first mirror or lens exposed to the […]

GJ 1132b: Nearest Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered So Far May Be a 'Venus Twin'

Artist's conception of GJ 1132b, an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a nearby star. Conditions on this world, however, are more like Venus than Earth. Image Credit: Dana Berry

Artist’s conception of GJ 1132b, an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a nearby star. Conditions on this world, however, are probably more like Venus than Earth. Image Credit: Dana Berry

Astronomers have discovered another Earth-sized exoplanet that is the closest one to our own Solar System found so far, but it might not be a nice place […]

Hubble Observes Largest Group of Faintest and Earliest Galaxies Ever Seen

Hubble view of a galaxy cluster containing some of the smallest and youngest galaxies ever observed. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/HST Frontier Fields team (STScI)

Hubble view of a galaxy cluster containing some of the smallest and youngest galaxies ever observed. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/HST Frontier Fields team (STScI)

Peering ever further back in space and time, the Hubble Space Telescope has glimpsed the largest known group of the faintest and youngest primordial galaxies ever—over 250—some of which are estimated […]

Unusual Fast-Moving 'Ripples' Discovered in Planetary Debris Disk Surrounding Nearby Star

Hubble and VLT images of the "ripples" within the debris disk surrounding the young star AU Microscopii. Image Credit: ESO/NASA/ESA

Hubble and VLT images of the “ripples” within the debris disk surrounding the young star AU Microscopii. Image Credit: ESO/NASA/ESA

Planetary debris disks, or protoplanetary disks, are some of the most interesting phenomena in astronomy – these giant clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars are the birthplaces of new planets. Now, astronomers […]

Astronomers Probe Light From Very Early Universe, Discover Most Distant Galaxy to Date

An image of the galaxy EGS8p7, as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope. The top inset at the right shows a magnified view of the same image centered around EGS8p7, while the bottom insert shows the same view as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared wavelengths. EGS8p7 is the most distant galaxy […]

Testing Panspermia: Searching for 'Bubbles of Life' in the Galaxy

Does life spread through the galaxy like an infectious disease, with "bubbles" of inhabited planets? Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

Does life spread through the galaxy like an infectious disease, with “bubbles” of inhabited planets? Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

We still don’t know if there is life elsewhere in the universe, but scientists are working on techniques to better understand how it may have originated anyway, in the event that such alien biology is […]