SF State astronomer Stephen Kane searches for signs of life in one of the extrasolar systems closest to Earth.
Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It’s also the driving force behind San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane’s research into exoplanets — planets that exist outside Earth’s solar system.
As one of the world’s leading [...]
The Expedition 50 crew is continuing its investigation into vision changes and eye damage some astronauts have experienced after long-term missions in space. Living in the microgravity environment causes a headward fluid shift that may be causing pressure behind astronauts’ eyes resulting in visual and physical changes.
Two cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, and European astronaut Thomas Pesquet explored a possible solution to the upward fluid pressure. Borisenko donned the L [...]
Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Also known as vdB 142, the cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. This colorful close-up view includes image data from a narrow band filter that transmits the light from ionized hydrogen atoms in the region.
The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that out [...]
Following a successful pair of spacewalks, the Expedition 50 crew has switched gears and is moving full-speed ahead with advanced space research. The orbital residents checked out science gear and studied the impacts of living in space.
European astronaut Thomas Pesquet repressed the Japanese Kibo lab module airlock after a small satellite deployer shot a set of tiny satellites, or CubeSats, into Earth orbit on Monday. The variety of CubeSats will test new spacecraft deorbiting and propulsion [...]
If you could circle the Earth aboard the International Space Station, what might you see? Some amazing vistas, one of which was captured in this breathtaking picture in mid-2015. First, visible at the top, are parts of the space station itself including solar panels. Just below the station is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, glowing with the combined light of billions of stars, but dimmed in patches by filaments of dark dust.
The band of red light just below the Milky Way is airglow -- Eart [...]