Researchers have detected a rogue planet traveling the void between stars some 20 light years away. Rogue planets or brown dwarfs (which this might be) aren’t exactly rare, cosmologically speaking, but they tend to be very difficult to see. And yet, the way we found this particular planet/brown dwarf suggests we might locate other similar stellar objects through an application of the same technique.
NASA's Parker Solar Probe will be the first spacecraft to "touch" the sun, hurtling through the sizzling solar atmosphere and coming within just 3.8 million miles (6 million kilometers) of the surface. It's designed to take solar punishment like never before, thanks to its revolutionary heat shield that's capable of withstanding 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius).
It was a crazy idea on the face of it -- sending a $2.5 billion robot to another planet with a complex rocket sled contraption to get it safely to the surface. It worked, though, and Curiosity began its exploration of the red planet six years ago. As the rover begins its seventh year on Mars, let’s look at how it got there and where it’s going.
NASA has announced the nine astronauts that will crew the test flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Crew for the Starliner test flight are NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu-Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been selected to take part in the Crew Dragon test flight.
Mars has long been seen as a potential second home for humanity, but it won’t be a comfortable place to hang your hat until we’ve addressed the lack of breathable air. According to NASA, fantasies about terraforming the red planet are premature. A new analysis of Mars and its composition shows that we’re nowhere near being able to terraform the planet with current technology.
If astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell's calculations are correct, the cosmic boundary where the laws of airspace suddenly give way to the laws of orbital space might be a lot closer than we think -- a full 12 miles closer than previous estimates suggest.
Women see fewer advertisements about entering into science and technology professions than men do. But it’s not because companies are preferentially targeting men--rather it appears to result from the economics of ad sales. Surprisingly, when an advertiser pays for digital ads, including postings for jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it is more expensive to get female views than male ones.
"It is truly staggering to behold how this space telescope's cost and schedule projections went from costing the same as a Space Shuttle mission around half a billion dollars with an original launch goal in 2007to now becoming an expenditure exceeding $9 billion with a new launch goal in March 2021," said Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith. "That is nineteen times the original cost and a delay of fourteen years. It's hard to get much worse than that."
Astronomers have calculated that Mars will be a mere 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) next Tuesday, July 31. That’s practically in our backyard by some measures. The following week on Friday, August 11, Mars will be in opposition to the sun. That means the two objects will be on the exact opposite sides of the Earth.
As NASA prepares for a key hearing later this week on the status of the James Webb Space Telescope, an agency official says that the mission’s delays will require nearly half a billion dollars that could come from cuts in other science programs.