Pluto may not be a fully fledged planet, but at least it’s not the dwarfiest of dwarf planets. Its sibling, Eris, is not as large as astronomers thought, according to a new study. A rare stellar blockage event last year helped astronomers obtain some new measurements of the distant icy world, and they say it is quite dense and it may develop a feeble atmosphere as it moves closer to the sun.
To work on the ISS is to be at the cutting edge of space exploration, to experience the rigours of space on a daily basis, and to test the changed conditions and their impact on the methods of science. So, naturally, they need the best we earth-dwellers can offer. And so it was that we decided to send them them two iPads and a stuffed Angry Bird doll. Godspeed.
If you saw it firsthand then you had no choice but to notice it, but for the rest of us who weren't so lucky, here's the deal: yesterday a coronal mass ejection, a.k.a. a CME, a.k.a. a solar storm or a huge burst of solar wind emanating from our sun slammed into our atmosphere at about 2 p.m. EDT.
Today in pretty space pics: a whirling image of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and the stars above it circling the southern celestial pole. It's less a space pic than an Earth pic depicting really cool space searching technology. And it's absolutely breathtaking.
Our growing space junk problem could become an orbiting spare satellite parts sale if DARPA has its way. The DoD's research arm has launched a new program, appropriately titled Phoenix, to create new satellites from the decommissioned and dead satellites currently sitting idle in geosynchronous orbit some 35,000 kilometres above the Earth.
When it comes to planetary formation, water is often one of the trickiest questions scientists find themselves trying to answer. Where is space did it come from, and how on earth did it end up on... well, Earth? It seems we might have the glimmering of a solution, after scientists observed a nascent solar system surrounded by a cloud of water vapour – enough to populate several thousand Earths.