New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding rocket in the 1970s, astronomers have now confirmed the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble, or LHB.
At the same time, the study also establishes upper limits on the amount of low-energy, or soft, [...]
On July 26, 2014, from 10:57 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. EDT, the moon crossed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit.
This happens approximately twice a year, causing a partial solar eclipse that can only be seen from SDO's point of view. Images of the eclipse show a crisp lunar horizon, because the moon has no atmosphere that would distort light.
ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has climbed to a new orbit following its daring aerobraking experiment, and will now resume observations of this fascinating planet for at least a few more months.
The orbit-raising followed a month of aerobraking that saw the spacecraft surf in and out of the atmosphere at altitudes typically between 131 km and 135 km for a couple of minutes on each of its closest approaches to the planet.
Before, normal operations involved an elliptical orbit every 2 [...]
The completed launch abort system for Orion's first launch in December was rotated into a vertical position on July 25, making room in the facility for the scaffolding that will allow it to be stacked on top of Orion's crew and service modules this fall.
Almost 53 feet tall on its own, when stacked on top of the crew and service module, the vehicle reaches more than 80 feet into the air, and the scaffolding is necessary to allow engineers and technicians access for the final touches to be pu [...]
Puffs of smoke waft from a circuit board as interns solder tiny circuits for the Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.
“We’re looking for evidence of black holes,” Robert Buttles said. “As of now we only have images of material spinning around a black hole, but we haven’t been able to physically measure the black hole itself.”
“You want the masses to be shielded from everything except for gravity,” Livas said. “We don’t know how to shield from gravity. And these [...]
Tethys, like many moons in the solar system, keeps one face pointed towards the planet around which it orbits. Tethys' anti-Saturn face is seen here, fully illuminated, basking in sunlight. On the right side of the moon in this image is the huge crater Odysseus.
The Odysseus crater is 280 miles (450 kilometers) across while Tethys is 660 miles (1,062 kilometers) across.
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Tethys. North on Tethys is up and rotated 33 degrees to the right. The [...]
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis.
The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Str [...]
The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week:
1. Monday, July 28, 2014, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-22:30 GMT)
JAY BARBREE, NBC space news reporter returns regarding his new book, "Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight."
Jay Barbree is NBC’s Veteran Space Correspondent. The NBC space unit won an Emmy for its coverage of the first Apollo moon landing. Barbree also broke the world news exclusive on the cause of the Challenger explosi [...]
The clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiuchi compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiuchi itself is a binary star system visible in the light-colored region on the image right. The star system, located only 400 light years away, is distinguished by its colorful surroundings, which include a red emission nebula and numerous light and dark brown dust lanes.
Near the upper right of the Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud system is the yellow star Antares, while a distant but co [...]