science

September 20, 2019

A top NASA manager cast doubt Wednesday on the space agency's ability to land astronauts on the moon by 2024. Kenneth Bowersox, acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told a Congressional subcommittee that NASA is doing its best to meet the White House-imposed deadline. But he noted: "I wouldn't bet my oldest child's upcoming birthday present or anything like that."

September 19, 2019

UCLA astronomers announced on September 11, 2019, that, last May, they caught the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy having an unusually large meal of interstellar gas and dust. They caught the feast on May 13 (although of course it happened some 25,000 years ago earlier, since the center of the galaxy is about 25,000 light-years away).

September 17, 2019

The length of time that a liver can be kept outside the body has been extended to a day and a half by a new “supercooling” method, which for the first time has let human organs be safely stored at sub-zero temperatures. The technique, which lowers the organ’s temperature below zero without forming damaging ice crystals, could boost the number of liver transplants carried out and could also be used on other organs, says Reinier de Vries of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

September 16, 2019

Concrete made in space could one day help humans build habitats on the moon and Mars , new research shows. As part of a recent investigation aboard the International Space Station, astronauts made cement in microgravity for the first time, showing that it can harden and develop in space.

September 16, 2019

It's not easy to make big balls of hot gas. For starters, you need energy, and a lot of it. The kind of energy that can spread hot gas to a distance of over 25,000 light-years doesn't come easily to a typical galaxy. However, the peculiar orientation of the Fermi Bubbles -- extending evenly above and below our galactic center -- is a strong clue that they might be tied our central supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A*.

September 16, 2019

NASA and the European Space Agency unveiled the new Saturn portrait today (Sept. 12). The image was taken on June 20 by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 as Saturn was about 845 million miles (1.36 billion kilometers) away. It's the second in a series of annual photos for the Outer Planets Legacy project by scientists studying the gas giant planets of our solar system.

September 15, 2019

At first, it was just another bright, fuzzy speck in the sky. But it may turn out to be something much more exciting: the second known object to hurtle through our solar system after leaving another system. Astronomers will need a lot more observations before they can be confident giving the comet that title, but early data about the object seems promising.

September 12, 2019

About 110 light years away is a planet twice Earth’s size with water vapour in its atmosphere, and it may be the best place to look for alien life that we have yet seen. The detection of water there marks the first time astronomers have characterised the atmosphere of a planet of this size.

September 03, 2019

A half-century after the first Moonwalks, talk of travel beyond low-Earth orbit has become so fanciful that it’s almost as if we were back on a quest for the Holy Grail. It shouldn’t be. Let’s don’t over-romanticize space travel. If we’re ever truly going to move off-world, a trip from Earth to the Moon needs to become as mundane as a commercial flight from New York to Paris.

August 29, 2019

Thirty years ago, NASA's Voyager 2 mission flew by Neptune, capturing the first close-up images of the blue gas giant. Before this, the eighth planet in our solar system was only known as a fuzzy dot in the distance. And the end of Voyager 2's planetary tour on August 25, 1989, concluded with a dazzling display of Neptune and it's moon, Triton. The images and scientific data returned by Voyager 2 would change our understanding of the solar system.

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