Saturday, June 23, 2018

Curiosity Snaps Photos of Thickening Haze as Martian Dust Storm Goes Global

A self-portrait by NASA’s Curiosity rover taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover’s location in Gale Crater. A drill hole can be seen in the rock to the left of the rover at a target site called “Duluth.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has captured stunning photos of a sunlight-blocking haze as it thickens during the ongoing dust storm. The storm has grown in size and is now officially classified by NASA as a global dust event.

China's Cosmic Ray Observatory to Start in 2019

Aerial photo taken on Nov. 17, 2017 shows the construction site of the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), in southwest China's Sichuan Province. Credit: Xinhua/Jin Liwang

An observatory for detecting cosmic rays in southwest China's Sichuan Province will be semi-functional next year, scientists said Wednesday. The project, known as Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), is located in the mountains of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an average altitude of 4,110 meters.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Nearly 80 Exoplanet Candidates Identified in Record Time

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope orbits the Sun in concert with the Earth, slowly drifting away from Earth.  Image: NASA Kepler Mission/Dana Berry

Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars.

Trump Calls for Creation of ‘Space Force’

President Trump during the opening remarks of the National Space Council. There, he called for the creation of the “Space Force.” Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

During a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House on June 18, 2018, President Donald Trump announced he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military – to focus on space.

Researchers Find Last of Universe's Missing Ordinary Matter

A simulation of the cosmic web, diffuse tendrils of gas that connect galaxies across the universe. (Credit: Illustris Collaboration)

Scientists have found what may be the universe’s lost sock at the back of the dryer—answering a long-running mystery that astrophysicists have dubbed the “missing baryon problem.”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Federal Government Releases National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Plan

A new multiagency report outlines how the U.S. could become better prepared for near-Earth objects—asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth—otherwise known as NEOs. While no known NEOs currently pose significant risks of impact, the report is a key step to addressing a nationwide response to any future risks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NASA Administrator Expresses Support for Space Policy Directive-3

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks during a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. Chaired by the Vice President, the council's role is to advise the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and review the nation's long-range goals for space activities. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

With the threat of space debris destroying satellites, crewed spacecraft and even the International Space Station increasing, processes have been initiated to help alleviate and prevent this threat. NASA’s new Administrator Jim Bridenstine made several statements about the new Space Policy Directive-3, which was signed by President Trump.During the June 18, 2018, meeting of the National Space Council, Trump signed SPD-3, which directs the U.S. to lead the management of space traffic and mitigate the effects of space debris.