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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 »

Update: Astronauts Finish ISS Repair Work

NASA December 24, 2013 (Updated Story) Following two spacewalks to replace a degraded pump module on the truss, or backbone, of the International Space Station, flight controllers in the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston successfully restarted the new pump Tuesday night. The pump module controls the flow of ammonia through cooling loops and radiators outside ... 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 »

Orbital Launch to the ISS Postponed – Critical Spacewalks Planned

NASA December 17, 2013 NASA managers are postponing the upcoming Orbital Sciences commercial cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station to proceed with a series of spacewalks to replace a faulty pump module on the space station. NASA Television will air a news briefing at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 18 to preview the spacewalks. Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus ... 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 »

Space Station Crew Working on Cooling System Malfunction

NASA December 12, 2013 The International Space Station’s Expedition 38 crew worked Thursday with the team on the ground to deal with a malfunction that occurred Wednesday on one of the station’s two external cooling loops that uses ammonia to prevent station systems from overheating. On Wednesday, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops ... 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 »

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