NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 20 Oct 2017, 14:30 UTC On Oct. 19, 2017, the Moon photobombed NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, when it crossed the spacecraft’s view of the Sun, treating us to these shadowy images. The lunar transit lasted about 45 minutes, between 3:41 and 4:25 p.m. EDT, with the Moon covering about 26 percent of the Sun at the peak of its journey. The Moon’s shadow obstructs SDO’s otherwise constant view of the Sun, and the shadow’s edge is sharp and distinct, since the Moon has no atmosphere which would distort sunlight.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 20 Oct 2017, 13:55 UTC This image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows what happens when two galaxies become one. The twisted cosmic knot seen here is NGC 2623 — or Arp 243 — and is located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab).
ESA Top News 20 Oct 2017, 05:59 UTC If there are habitable conditions on Mars, they may be underground. Scientists from around the world are now testing how to live on other planets by venturing a kilometre beneath the surface in a UK mine. ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer has joined the expedition as it looks for life in extreme environments.
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope 19 Oct 2017, 22:55 UTC A team of astronomers from Canada, the United States, Germany and Chile using WiRCam at CFHT and the Herschel space telescope has found that dust models may need some reworking. They studied three isolated dust cores in molecular clouds and found that the properties of the cores could not completely account for their observations using state of the art dust modeling.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Oct 2017, 18:15 UTC Mars has an invisible magnetic “tail” that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft is in orbit around Mars gathering data on how the Red Planet lost much of its atmosphere and water, transforming from a world that could have supported life billions of years ago into a cold and inhospitable place today. The process that creates the twisted tail could also allow some of Mars’ already thin atmosphere to escape to space, according to the research team.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 19 Oct 2017, 18:10 UTC NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before at the dwarf planet, which it has been orbiting since March 2015. The spacecraft will continue at Ceres for the remainder of its science investigation and will remain in a stable orbit indefinitely after its hydrazine fuel runs out.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 19 Oct 2017, 17:27 UTC When NASA scientists want to follow the path of the Curiosity rover on Mars, they can don a mixed-reality headset and virtually explore the Martian landscape. Starting today, everyone can get a taste of what that feels like. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, collaborated with Google to produce Access Mars, a free immersive experience. It's available for use on all desktop and mobile devices and virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets. That includes mobile-based virtual reality devices on Apple and Android.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Oct 2017, 16:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Oct 2017, 15:00 UTC In a nod to the global amateur astronomy community, as well as to any space enthusiast who enjoys the beauty of the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope mission is releasing its version of the popular Messier catalog, featuring some of Hubble’s best images of these celestial objects that were once noted for looking like comets but turned out not to be.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 18 Oct 2017, 19:10 UTC A spacecraft destined to explore a unique asteroid will also test new communication hardware that uses lasers instead of radio waves. The Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) package aboard NASA's Psyche mission utilizes photons -- the fundamental particle of visible light -- to transmit more data in a given amount of time. The DSOC goal is to increase spacecraft communications performance and efficiency by 10 to 100 times over conventional means, all without increasing the mission burden in mass, volume, power and/or spectrum. Tapping the advantages offered by laser communications is expected to revolutionize future space endeavors - a major objective of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).