NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 2 Dec 2020, 16:00 UTC The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory launched on December 2, 1995. A joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA, SOHO’s original operating phase was scheduled for two years – and now, through repeated extensions, it is celebrating a quarter century in orbit. Over the years, its set of groundbreaking instruments became a source for numerous scientific findings, an inspiration for follow-on missions, and an outlet for citizen scientists. SOHO also survived near catastrophe twice and has become the longest-running Sun-surveying spacecraft. What this powerhouse mission has witnessed in its 25 years has changed the way humanity sees the Sun.
McDonald Observatory 1 Dec 2020, 15:37 UTC Three years into its quest to reveal the nature of dark energy, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is on track to complete the largest map of the cosmos ever. The team will create a three-dimensional map of 2.5 million galaxies that will help astronomers understand how and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up over time.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 30 Nov 2020, 20:49 UTC At the edge of space, the ever-growing fleet of satellites in low-Earth orbit are locked in a constant, precarious battle with friction.
MIT 25 Nov 2020, 14:00 UTC Earlier this month a team of MIT researchers sent samples of various high-tech fabrics, some with embedded sensors or electronics, to the International Space Station. The samples (unpowered for now) will be exposed to the space environment for a year in order to determine a baseline for how well these materials survive the harsh environment of low Earth orbit.
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe 23 Nov 2020, 19:00 UTC Using Planck data from the cosmic microwave background radiation, an international team of researchers has observed a hint of new physics. The team developed a new method to measure the polarization angle of the ancient light by calibrating it with dust emission from our own Milky Way. While the signal is not detected with enough precision to draw definite conclusions, it may suggest that dark matter or dark energy causes a violation of the so-called “parity symmetry.”
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 23 Nov 2020, 12:02 UTC An international team of scientists led by the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, has identified a problem with the growing interest in extractable resources on the moon: there aren’t enough of them to go around. With no international policies or agreements to decide "who gets what from where," scientists believe tensions, overcrowding, and quick exhaustion of resources to be one possible future for moon mining projects. The paper published today in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.
NASA Breaking News 21 Nov 2020, 17:55 UTC A joint U.S.-European satellite built to monitor global sea levels lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Saturday at 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST). About the size of a small pickup truck, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend a nearly 30-year continuous dataset on sea level collected by an ongoing collaboration of U.S. and European satellites while enhancing weather forecasts and providing detailed information on large-scale ocean currents to support ship navigation near coastlines.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 19 Nov 2020, 15:10 UTC Sparked by an image uploaded to Twitter, new research indicates that the light produced by black hole accretion may be bright enough to reflect off of dust, illuminating the host galaxy, and creating light and dark rays similar to the effect of crepuscular rays on Earth. The research is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 18 Nov 2020, 15:56 UTC NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope marked another significant testing milestone with the successful deployment of a critical structure that plays an important role in how the observatory will unfurl and deploy once in space.