Clay Dillow
at 10:19 AM Sep 30 2011
Space // 

At 9:16 p.m. local time--that was at 9:16 a.m. eastern time here in the U.S.--China successfully lofted its first inhabitable space station module into orbit on the back of a Long March 2F launch vehicle, marking a milestone for both the People's space program and for the Party's geopolitical ambitions. China--the third nation (behind the U.S.A. and Russia) to independently launch manned missions into space aboard homegrown technology--now joins the old Cold War powers as the third nation to put a space station into orbit.

Clay Dillow
at 04:57 AM Sep 29 2011
Space // 

One of the fun things about astronomy is that we can only know so much through empirical observation, yet we can "know" so much more through enlightened, mathematical guesswork. Such is the nature of the most interesting new science paper I've come across on the Internet today. In it, Wesley Traub of CalTech crunches some Kepler data and makes a tantalising mathematical prediction: one-third of sun-like stars have at least one earth-like terrestrial planet orbiting in their habitable zones.

Clay Dillow
at 03:10 AM Sep 29 2011
Space // 

NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) has finally returned home after two decades in orbit, and it couldn't have crash-landed in a better place: a 800-km-wide swath of the South Pacific. The falling 5.4-tonne satellite - which had been expected to re-enter the atmosphere for a couple of weeks, causing some degree of worry - plunged into a part of the world that is virtually uninhabited, mere minutes after reports said it might come crashing down in North America, NASA officials said yesterday.

Nick Gilbert
at 01:20 AM Sep 29 2011
Space // 

In another plus for Australia's bid for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, Australia now plays home to another big supercomputer, one specially geared for crunching the amounts of data produced by such projects.

Clay Dillow
at 05:55 AM Sep 28 2011
Space // 

That gigantic solar flare that lashed out toward Earth on Saturday is "the geomagnetic storm that just won't go away," the NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colo., said via its Facebook page today. And that appears to be true. Active Region 1302, pictured above, continues to pummel earth with solar energy and could disrupt satellite communications as it continues turning toward us in the days to come.

Dan Nosowitz
at 03:18 AM Sep 27 2011
Space // 

On September 15th, StarTalk, Neil deGrasse Tyson's space-and-science-focused radio show, taped its first ever live show at the Bell House, in Brooklyn, New York. I was there to watch, and tweet about it, and drink tall cans of Tecate while tweeting about it. It was great! And now you can listen to the first part, for free.

Danika Wilkinson
at 12:35 PM Sep 26 2011
Space // 

A defunct six tonne NASA satellite has crashed into Earth over the weekend, leaving a mystery as to where the space debris ended up. Last week we reported the satellite was headed for Earth after 20 years in orbit.

 
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