Starts With a Bang! 27 Jun 2018, 14:01 UTC Matter and energy tell spacetime how to curve; curved spacetime tells matter and energy how to move. It’s the cardinal rule of General Relativity, and it applies to everything in the Universe, including the entire Universe itself. In the late 1990s, we had collected enough data from distant galaxies in the Universe to conclude that they weren’t just moving away from us, their recession was speeding up. The fabric of space wasn’t just expanding, but the expansion was accelerating.
Scientific American 26 Jun 2018, 19:00 UTC If all goes according to plan, two spacecraft will commence close encounters of the curious kind with two separate asteroids by the end of August. Their goal: to retrieve samples that may contain organic materials dating back to the solar system’s birth. These building blocks may be key to understanding the origins of the planets and of life on Earth—and could also make future space prospectors very rich.
Centauri Dreams 26 Jun 2018, 16:38 UTC The K2 mission’s C16 and C17 observing campaigns — each containing observations of one patch of the sky for an 80-day period — have proven fruitful for astronomers at MIT. The institution’s Ian Crossfield, working with graduate student Liang Yu, has brought new software tools developed at MIT to work, producing results just weeks after the mission’s raw data for these observing runs were made available. Now we have nearly 80 new exoplanet candidates from C16, but we also have a method of fast analysis that should benefit future missions.
astrobites 26 Jun 2018, 12:56 UTC In today’s astrobite, we’re talking about a paper on the AB Doradus co-moving group of stars. The paper shows that a white dwarf named GD 50 is part of the AB Dor group; we’ll be talking about how the authors arrived at this result, and what this can tell us about the history and stellar evolution of the group.
The Planetary Society Blog 26 Jun 2018, 11:00 UTC Frequently asked questions such as: Should I be worried about asteroids hitting Earth? How do asteroids form? Where do asteroids come from? and When will the next asteroid hit Earth? are all answered in this blog post from the Planetary Society.
NASA Space Station Blog 25 Jun 2018, 18:45 UTC The Expedition 56 crew members are getting ready for the arrival next week of the 15th SpaceX Dragon mission to the International Space Station. The space residents also explored how microgravity impacts health and physics today while setting up a variety of cubesats for deployment.
Centauri Dreams 25 Jun 2018, 16:35 UTC The Charon image that follows shows the fractures and canyons of Charon’s Pluto-facing hemisphere, a belt that stretches fully 1600 kilometers across the face of the moon and most likely onto the far side. Stark evidence of geological upheaval. the terrain is four times as long as the Grand Canyon and in places twice as deep, as this JHU/APL news release points out. New Horizons deputy project manager Cathy Olkin (SwRI) sees this tectonic belt as evidence that Charon once had a subsurface ocean whose eventual freezing cracked the surface.