Daisies who pursue the Space Science Explorer badge will observe the sun, moon and sky, while Brownies tackling the Space Science Adventurer badge will delve into the planets, moon phases and constellations. Juniors, aka Space Science Investigators, will explore the celestial motion, the dimensions of constellations, and the size and scale of the solar system.
The US community faces a daunting task. Each generation of facilities is getting more expensive and harder to build. Operational costs are mounting. Meanwhile, the research budgets of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA have remained more or less flat since the 1990s (see ‘Astronomical costs’). Hard decisions have been made to close old but still-productive telescopes, which has proved insufficient to pay for new ones. And these pressures will only get worse as more big projects come online.
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).
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.
Famed astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered the first four moons of Jupiter way back in the early 1600s. More than 400 years later, astronomers are still finding moons orbiting the solar system’s largest planet.
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, uncountable trillions of neutrinos have passed through your body. These ghostly particles rain down on us from the sun, but also from sources outside our solar system. Just a tiny fraction of neutrinos will run into anything on Earth, but scientists just detected one from outside our galaxy for the first time ever.
The disk of our home galaxy - the Milky Way - is bigger than we previously thought. A new study shows it would take 200,000 years for a spaceship traveling at the speed of light to go across the entire galaxy.
The National Science and Technology Council released a report Wednesday calling for improved asteroid detection, tracking and deflection. NASA is participating, along with federal emergency, military, White House and other officials. For now, scientists know of no asteroids or comets heading our way. But one could sneak up on us, and that's why the government wants a better plan.
The solar system just got a bit stranger. As astronomers continue their ongoing quest to find the elusive Planet Nine, a team found a space rock that lends credence to the idea that a huge super-Earth planet really exists in the outer reaches of our solar system.