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Updated: 5 hours 56 min ago

Falcon Heavy launch delayed again, now targeted for Thursday evening

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 04:00
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch was delayed again yesterday, this time due to high winds. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said back on April 5 that because this is the first launch of Falcon Heavy’s Block 5, the latest and most powerful version of its boosters, they are being “extra cautious.” Mission managers are now targeting this evening, again at 6:35 p.m. EDT, with an approximately two-hour launch window. You can watch the livestream here or on SpaceX’s website.
Categories: Astronomy

Now the methane's gone: A martian mystery deepens

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars spacecraft failed to find any traces of methane on the Red Planet during its hunt from April to August of 2018. This goes directly against recent positive reports of methane by ESA’s own Mars Express spacecraft and NASA’s Curiosity rover, which both saw methane in 2013. ExoMars has a sensitive detector that can pick up just one-tenth the amount of methane that Mars Express witnessed. That leaves two options: either one set of observations is
Categories: Astronomy

Event Horizon Telescope releases first ever black hole image

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00
After decades of theorizing about the possibility of catching a black hole image, astronomers have finally pulled it off. The results offer new insights into the mysterious objects.
Categories: Astronomy

Why the Event Horizon Telescope took so long to image a black hole

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00
Twenty years after the idea was first proposed, scientists have finally unveiled the first image of a black hole. Here's the story of why it took two decades to snap this shot.
Categories: Astronomy

The nature of M87: EHT's look at a supermassive black hole

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00
As part of the Event Horizon Telescope project, researchers captured the very first image of a black hole, and it's the beast lurking in the core of galaxy M87.
Categories: Astronomy

How the Event Horizon Telescope imaged an invisible black hole

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00

Hint: it's much harder than it sounds.

Categories: Astronomy

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy prepares for first commercial liftoff tonight

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:00
After delays, SpaceX is planning to achieve its first commercial liftoff Wednesday.
Categories: Astronomy

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy prepares for first commercial liftoff Wednesday

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 04:00

The launch will mark a key milestone for the private spaceflight company's commercial endeavors.

Categories: Astronomy

The Sky This Week from April 5 to 14

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
The waxing crescent Moon will draw attention in the evening sky during the week’s first half, while asteroid Pallas makes a tempting target when it reaches peak visibility at midweek.
Categories: Astronomy

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy completes engine test fire, readies for first commercial launch

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket completed a static fire engine test shortly after 11am eastern today, in preparation for its first commercial launch next week. This will mark the second-ever flight of Falcon Heavy, delivering a communications satellite into space. Falcon flight The test firing this morning went well, and mission managers are now targeting a launch on April 9. This is a slight delay from the earlier April 7 launch date, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk warns the date might slip again.
Categories: Astronomy

The decades-long struggle to draw a realistic black hole

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
We’re probably going to get our very first actual picture of a black hole next week. Researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have scheduled a press conference for the morning of April 10, and they’re expected to unveil an image of a supermassive black hole. It will be the first time humanity has actually seen one of the massive objects with our own eyes, and scientists are understandably excited about what the image will tell them. Cosmic elephants But, images of black hol
Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers discover a chunk of a planet's core around a long-dead star

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
By finding the vaporized remains of a dead planet's metallic core, astronomers are getting a glimpse into the future of our solar system.
Categories: Astronomy

Now in lunar orbit, Israel's Beresheet mission preps for Moon landing

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
The scrappy Israeli Beresheet mission successfully entered lunar orbit on April 4, joining a select club of nations and agencies that have ever circled the Moon. This morning, SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), who built and operate the spacecraft, released its first close-up pictures of the Moon’s mysterious far side. And next week, on April 11, Beresheet will make its most daring maneuver as it attempts to land on the lunar surface. Slow but steady Beresheet lifted off from E
Categories: Astronomy

The story of Snowball Earth

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:00
Ancient rocks suggest that ice entirely covered our planet on at least two occasions. This theory may help explain the rise of complex life that followed.
Categories: Astronomy

Hayabusa2 is going to create a crater in an asteroid tonight

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 04:00
The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission has been in orbit around the asteroid Ryugu since June 2018, but tonight is its most spectacular event. In a few hours, the spacecraft will drop off its carry-on impactor, scurry to a safe hiding spot, and then blow a crater into the side of its asteroid home. The spacecraft has spent its time so far studying the asteroid’s rocky and weathered surface, and researchers now hope to get a glimpse of the inside of Ryugu. Boom goes the dynamite Hayabusa2 will rele
Categories: Astronomy

Parker Solar Probe will zoom by the sun again today

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 04:00
The sweltering probe is well on its way to unlocking secrets of the sun.
Categories: Astronomy

Here’s what scientists think their first picture of a black hole might look like

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 04:00
Simulations of black holes based on the laws of physics can show us what they might look like.
Categories: Astronomy

TESS spots its first exocomet around one of the sky's brightest stars

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 04:00
Nestled in the disk of the young star Beta Pictoris, the newfound exocomet finally confirms a prediction made some 20 years ago.
Categories: Astronomy

The Event Horizon Telescope may soon release first-ever black hole image

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 04:00

A photo of the Milky Way's central black hole, Sagittarius A*, would be the first of its kind.

Categories: Astronomy

Where did Earth's water come from?

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 04:00
Most astronomers believe asteroids carried water to early Earth. But new research suggests it may have come from even closer to home.
Categories: Astronomy

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