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New Year’s Day Asteroid Update: Reentry Over Atlantic Ocean

NASA JPL UPDATE January 03, 2014 Several sources confirm that the first discovered asteroid in 2014, designated 2014 AA, entered Earth’s atmosphere late Jan. 1 (Jan. 2 Universal time) over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The Catalina Sky Survey operating near Tucson, Ariz. discovered this very small asteroid — 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size — early on ... Read More »

New “Sticky-Foot” Robots Can Crawl Up Walls

ESA January 02, 2014 Climbing robots that mimic the stickiness of gecko lizard feet could work in space as well as on Earth, ESA has shown, raising the prospect of hull-crawling automatons tending future spacecraft. Robots crawling across spacecraft surfaces are a common sight in science fiction films from Silent Running to Wall-E. But, in reality, how might they stick ... Read More »

Hubble Sees Clouds on Two Super-Worlds

NASA December 31, 2013 Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have characterized the atmospheres of two of the most common type of planets in the Milky Way galaxy and found both may be blanketed with clouds. The planets are GJ 436b, located 36 light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo, and GJ 1214b, 40 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. ... Read More »

Prime Asteroid Hunting Spacecraft is Ready for New Mission

NASA JPL December 19, 2013 NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), a spacecraft that made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets, has returned its first set of test images in preparation for a renewed mission. NEOWISE discovered more than 34,000 asteroids and characterized 158,000 throughout the solar system during its prime mission in 2010 ... Read More »

Billion Star-Mapping Satellite, Gaia – Lifts Off

ESA December 19, 2013 ESA’s Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns. Gaia is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. By making accurate measurements of the positions and motions of 1% of the total population ... Read More »

Chinese Rover Lands on the Moon

Coconut Science Lab December 14, 2013 On Saturday, December 14, 2013, Chinese state television reported that Chang’e-3, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a lunar rover, successfully landed on the moon. With this success, China has become only the third country to have ever soft-landed on the moon, along with the United States and the former Soviet Union. China’s lunar rover, known ... Read More »

Strange Compound Discovered in Crab Nebula

ESA December 12, 2013 Using ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, a team of astronomers has found first evidence of a noble-gas based molecule in space. A compound of argon, the molecule was detected in the gaseous filaments of the Crab Nebula, one of the most famous supernova remnants in our Galaxy. While argon is a product of supernova explosions, the formation ... Read More »

Water Vapor is Erupting From Europa’s South Pole

ESA Hubble December 12, 2013 The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered water vapour erupting from the frigid surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa, in one or more localised plumes near its south pole. Europa is already thought to harbour a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust, making the moon one of the main targets in the search for habitable worlds ... Read More »

A Nova Next to Alpha Centauri

Coconut Science Lab December 11, 2013 Discovered on December 02, 2013, Nova Centauri 2013 is currently visible on a dark night, located in the constellation of Centaurus, not far from the bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri. The nova was discovered by John Seach from Australia and is the brightest nova to have occurred so far this millennium. The above ... Read More »

Clay Minerals Found on Europa Hint at Comet Impact

NASA JPL December 11, 2013 A new analysis of data from NASA’s Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with an asteroid or comet. This is the first time such minerals have been detected on Europa’s surface. The types of space rocks that ... Read More »

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