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Possible Bright Supernova Lights Up Spiral Galaxy M61

I sat straight up in my seat when I learned of the discovery of a possible new supernova in the bright Virgogalaxy M61. Since bright usually means close, this newly exploding star may soon become visible in smaller telescopes. It was discovered at magnitude +13.6 on October 29th by Koichi Itagaki of Japan, a prolific […]

NASA Releases Photos of Aftermath of Launchpad Explosion

NASA released images of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia following the catastrophic failure of Orbital Science’s Antares rocket shortly after liftoff on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Visible is damage to the transporter erector launcher and lightning suppression rods, as well as debris around the pad. But given the spectacular secondary […]

Mercury Pierces the Zodiacal Light at Dawn this Weekend

Psst! Ever spy the planet Mercury? The most bashful of all the naked eye planets makes its best dawn appearance of 2014 this weekend for northern hemisphere observers. And not only will Mercury be worth getting up for, but you’ll also stand a chance at nabbing that most elusive of astronomical phenomena — the zodiacal […]

Antares Commercial Rocket Destroyed in Devastating Fireball – Video

NASA WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, VA – Barely a day ago I witnessed the sudden and utter destruction of an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket being consumed in a totally unexpected devastating fireball moments after blastoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia at 6:22 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 28.(...)Read the rest […]

This Dark Nebula Looks Like it is Writhing in Agony

We’ve got at least one scary night ahead with Halloween falling on Friday. Adam Block, manager at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter at the University of Arizona sent us this image of the nebula LBN 438, explaining that this dark cloud of dust glows eerily both from scattered starlight and extended red emission due to the […]

Double Disc Found Feeding Each Other In Binary Star System

Deep within the Taurus Dark Cloud complex, one of the closest star-forming regions to Earth has just revealed one of its secrets – an umbilical cord of gas flowing from the expansive outer disc toward the interior of a binary star system known as GG Tau-A. According to the ESO press release, this never-before-seen feature […]

Here’s What it Looks Like When a Refrigerator Hits the Moon

Ever wonder what your refrigerator’s impacting at the speed of a tank artillery shell would do to the Moon? The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (LRO) primary camera has provided an image of just such an event when it located the impact site of another NASA spacecraft, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). The fridge-sized […]

Cassini Probe Spots Methane Ice Crystals In Titan’s Atmosphere

During its 2006 flyby of Titan, the Cassini Space Probe captured some of the most detailed images of Saturn’s largest moon. Amongst them was one showing the lofty cloud formations over Titan’s north pole (shown above). Interestingly enough, these cloud formations bear a strong resemblance to those that are seen in Earth’s own polar stratosphere. […]

Catastrophic Failure Dooms Antares Launch to Space Station – Gallery

NASA WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, VA – Moments after a seemingly glorious liftoff, an Orbital Sciences Corp. commercial Antares rocket suffered a catastrophic failure and exploded into a spectacular aerial fireball over the launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia that doomed the mission bound for the International Space Station […]

BREAKING: Antares Rocket Explodes at Liftoff

Seconds after liftoff, Orbital Science’s Antares rocket exploded as it rose from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. In video, the explosion appeared to come at the base of the rocket. The entire stack then fell back to the ground, with a second larger explosion. According to NASA TV, there were no injuries […]

'Ghost Light' of Long-Dead Stars Haunt NASA's Hubble Telescope

NASA is adding a cosmic twist to Halloween with an unexpected find by the Hubble Space Telescope: eerie 'ghost light' from the remains of a multi-galaxy massacre. See the photo here.

Neil Armstrong's Moon Landing 'Insurance Cover' to be Sold for Scholarships

Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong added his autograph to an envelope for one purpose: that it be sold to provide for his family in the event he did not make it back from the moon. Now, that iconic autograph is up for auction.

Earth's Water Existed 135 Million Years Earlier than Thought

Scientists have found evidence of water in our inner solar system 135 million years earlier than previously thought.

Target Planets, Constellations and Leonid Meteors - Nov. 2014 Skywatching Video

Find out where to find Mars, Jupiter and Mercury this month. Pisces and Aries constellations along with the Triangulum galaxy are great targets as well. Lastly, Earth travels through Comet Tempel-Tuttle's dust trail.

NASA Surveys Damage from Antares Rocket Explosion (Photos)

NASA and the private spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. have started surveying the damage left behind after a rocket explosion on Tuesday evening (Oct. 28).

Russia Launches ISS Re-Supply Mission, Docks 6 Hours Later | Video

The ISS Progress 57 cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 29th, 2014. It docked to the International Space Station's Pirs Docking Compartment a few hours later.

Have an Epic Space Halloween Costume? Enter Our Contest! is looking for photos of you dressed as rockets, alien planets, black holes or anything else related to space science or exploration. Send pics to managing editor Tariq Malik and the team at

Ebola Outbreak May Hold Lessons for Handling Samples from Mars

Measures taken in the current Ebola outbreak may hold some clues for how to handle Martian samples brought back to Earth from the Red Planet, which could host extraterrestrial microbes.

Spectator Videos Show Antares Rocket Explosion from Land and Air

When a private Antares rocket built by Orbital Sciences exploded during launch on Oct. 28, spectators around the launch site, and even in the air, caught the sight on video. See their amazing, and sometimes scary, views here.

Doomed Antares Rocket Powered by Refurbished Soviet Engines

Antares' first stage uses two AJ26 engines, which are refurbished variants of the NK-33 built by the Soviet Union for its ill-fated N-1 moon rocket during the height of the space race.

NASA Spacecraft's Grave on the Moon Found (Photo)

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed a new lunar crater that researchers say is the grave of the space agency's LADEE probe, which ended its mission with an intentional crash onto the moon's surface on April 18, 2014.

Antares Rocket Explosion: Space Station Astronauts React

Astronauts on the International Space Station watched as a private rocket carrying supplies for the orbiting outpost exploded just after launch.

Around A Star System | Space Wallpaper

This space wallpaper shows the sky around the young multiple star system GG Tauri, which appears very close to the centre of this picture.

Asteroid-Mining Tech Among Casualties of Antares Rocket Explosion

Planetary Resources' Arkyd 3 technology demonstator was aboard the Cygnus cargo craft destroyed by Tuesday's rocket explosion.

RIP, Drain Brain: Science Experiments Lost in Antares Rocket Explosion

When a private rocket exploded just after launch Tuesday (Oct. 28), science experiments developed by students, professional researchers and private companies went up in smoke.

Antares Rocket Explosion: Full Coverage and Investigation

What caused Orbital Sciences’ private Antares rocket to explode on Oct. 28, 2014? Here’s our complete coverage of NASA’s investigation and findings.

How Planets Get Multiple Suns Like 'Star Wars'' Tatooine

A planet may be forming in a star system with more than one sun, making it sort of like an early Tatooine, the fictional home world of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars," new research shows.

NASA's Asteroid-Capture Mission Won't Help Astronauts Reach Mars: Scientist

NASA should scrap its bold asteroid-capture mission idea and instead launch a comprehensive search for near-Earth asteroids to visit in their native orbits, MIT professor Richard Binzel says.

US Air Force Launches Military GPS Satellite on 50th Atlas 5 Rocket

The U.S. Air Force launched a 19-story rocket from the coast of Florida today to carry a next-generation GPS satellite into space.

Photos: Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Military GPS 2F8 Satellite

An Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday to loft a military GPS satellite into space.

How Sending Humans to an Asteroid Would Work (Infographic)

NASA's plan is to bring a distant asteroid nearer to Earth, but a competing idea would send humans to one or more asteroids in their native orbits.

Turbulent Hot Gas Stunts Star Growth In Galaxy Clusters | Video

A study in X-rays of the Perseus, Virgo clusters and others has revealed that supermassive black holes' jets are "pumping energy out into the gas,” keeping it from forming stars.

Orbital Sciences' Antares Rocket Explosion in Pictures

On Oct. 28, 2014, an Orbital Sciences-built Antares rocket exploded during liftoff during a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station for NASA. See photos from the stunning rocket launch failure here.

Robotic Russian Supply Ship Docks to International Space Station

An unmanned Russian cargo spaceship successfully docked to the International Space Station this morning (Oct. 29), only a day after a private rocket in the United States exploded after attempting to launch on another resupply run to the orbiting outpost.

Antares Rocket Explosion: Students Lose Science Experiment | Video

When an unmanned Antares rocket exploded shortly after liftoff Tuesday, a science experiment by students from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada went up in flames; an unplanned but valuable lesson.

Antares Rocket Explosion Captured By Journalist | Video

A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

REPLAYS: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Russia launched an unmanned Progress cargo ship to the space station early Wednesday at 3:09 a.m. EDT (0709 GMT). Watch the Progress dock at the space station here.

NASA Warns Public to Stay Away from Antares Rocket Debris

The rocket exploded in a massive fireball just seconds after blasting off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Tuesday evening, scattering debris over a wide area. This debris should not be touched, NASA officials said.

Cosmic Pinwheel Surrounds Distant Galaxy in Stunning NASA Photo

The photo, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared light, shows a burst of starbirth in the galaxy NGC 1291, which lies 33 million light-years from Earth and is about 12 billion years old.

Russia Launches Unmanned Supply Ship Toward Space Station

A Russian-built unmanned Progress cargo ship launched toward the International Space Station on Wednesday (Oct. 29) carrying fresh supplies. The launch comes a day after a private U.S. rocket exploded while attempting a similar mission.

Private Rocket Explosion Sparks Investigation by NASA, Orbital Sciences

The private spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. is launching an investigation into the explosion of its Antares rocket just after liftoff tonight (Oct. 28).

Guiding Star | Space Wallpaper

A solitary laser beam cuts through the night sky in this space wallpaper.

NASA Warns Not To Touch Antares Rocket Debris, Contact Authorities | Video

Orbital Sciences' Frank Culbertson and NASA's Bill Wrobel explained that any debris that is found in surrounding area should be considered dangerous, not be touched and authorities should be immediately contacted at 757-824-1295.

Antares Rocket Explosion - First Hand Account From NASA Wallops | Video

The editor of Robert Pearlman speaks to @TariqJMalik about what he saw from the ground at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. He was at the NASA press observation site, a few miles from the launch pad on Oct. 28th, 2014.

Private Orbital Sciences Rocket Explodes During Launch, NASA Cargo Lost

An unmanned Antares rocket built by the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded in a massive fireball just after launch on Tuesday (Oct. 28), a shocking failure after an otherwise smooth launch countdown.

Explosion! Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft Destroyed In Launch Mishap | Video

An Orbital Sciences' Antares ORB3 rocket exploded during a launch attempt at NASA's Wallop Flight Facility on Oct. 28th, 2014. The spacecraft was carrying 5,000 lbs supplies, food and science experiments. Full story:

Tasty! Astronaut's Favorite Crab Cakes Headed for Space (Video)

A private spacecraft expected to launch to the International Space Station today (Oct. 28) is going to deliver some tasty treats to the astronauts living aboard the orbiting outpost.

Stephen Hawking and 'Theory of Everything' Actor Tout NASA in New Videos

Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and the actor that plays him in a new movie set for release next week are both promoting real-life space science in a series of new videos.

First Hasselblad Camera Flown in Space Up for Auction

A space-flown camera that has connections to two Mercury astronauts is heading for the auction block. The Hasselblad 500C camera includes components that were used aboard the fifth and sixth U.S. manned spaceflights by Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper.

NASA Chief Calls ISS, Talks Crab Cakes and Gets Advised | Video

NASA administrator Charles Bolden called the Space Station from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. He asked NASA astronauts Reid Weismen and Butch Wilmore what they would like to see NASA accomplish in the future and a crab cake delivery.

Private Rocket to Make 2nd Launch Try Tonight: Watch Live

The nighttime launch of a private spaceship bound for the International Space Station was canceled yesterday (Oct. 27) all because of a wayward sailboat. But the rocket will make another liftoff attempt tonight from the eastern coast of Virginia.

See the Antares Rocket's 1st Night Launch from East Coast (Visibility Maps)

On Monday, Oct. 27, a private Antares rocket built by the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences will launch the Orb-3 cargo mission for NASA to the International Space Station. Here's how to see it in the sky from the U.S. East Coast.

How NASA's 1st Orion Spaceship Test Flight Will Work (Video)

NASA's newest crewed spaceship will launch in December on a first-ever test flight that will take it thousands of miles away from Earth and through temperatures twice that of molten lava. A new NASA video takes viewers through the flight.

Surprise! Methane Ice Cloud Floats High Above Saturn's Moon Titan

In a celestial surprise, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has identified clouds of methane ice high in the stratosphere of Saturn's huge

Mock Satellite Destroyed to Study Space Junk Collisions

A full-scale lookalike of a modern satellite was purposefully destroyed in a ground test chamber. The results of the blast are meant to help scientists better grasp the effects of space collisions.

The Great World Wide Star Count (Op-Ed)

How many stars can you see at night? Right now people all over the world are being asked to go out and count them!

Exocomet Family | Space Wallpaper

This space wallpaper is an artist’s impression of exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris.

Private Rocket Launch to Deliver Space Station Supplies Delayed by Boat

It seemed like the perfect setup: a clear night sky, a towering rocket poised for its first night launch, and spectators up and down the U.S. East Coast hoping to see something special - a private rocket streaking into space. But a boat thwarted it all.

Antares ORB3 Rocket Readied For Launch To Space Station | Raw Video

The rocket that will carry the Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch from NASA's Wallop Flight Facility on October 27th, 2014. This video highlights its trek from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the launchpad.

Stephen Hawking Promotes International Space Station | Video

Professor of Astrophysics Stephen Hawking appears to draw a link between the importance of the ISS and the colonization of the Moon and Mars in this video from ‘Arrow Media.’.

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

ISS Crew Has Enough Supplies Until March 2015

Washington DC (RIA Novosti) Oct 30, 2014
In case no spacecraft makes it to the ISS (International Space Station) in the near future, the supplies will be enough until March 2015, Mike Suffredini, NASA's International Space Station Program Manager, said at the press briefing, dedicated to the Antares rocket explosion at the launchpad, which occurred in Virginia Tuesday. "We keep the logistics on board the ISS to protect us from 4

Supersonic Laser-Propelled Rockets

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
Scientists and science fiction writers alike have dreamt of aircrafts that are propelled by beams of light rather than conventional fuels. Now, a new method for improving the thrust generated by such laser-propulsion systems may bring them one step closer to practical use. The method, developed by physicists Yuri Rezunkov of the Institute of Optoelectronic Instrument Engineering, Russia an

Arianespace signs contract with ELV for ten Vega launchers

Paris (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
Stephane Israel, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and Pierluigi Pirrelli, Chief Executive of ELV (European Launch Vehicle), signed a contract today, October 29, 2014, in Rome, confirming Arianespace's order of ten Vega launch vehicles from the Italian manufacturer. This contract follows the long-term procurement agreement concerning these ten launchers, signed in Rome on November 20, 2013

Antares Rocket Crash in Virginia Investigation to Take up to Year

Washington DC (RIA Novosti) Oct 30, 2014
The investigation into the reasons of the Cygnus spaceship explosion during the launch at the US Wallops Flight Facility can take about a year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spokesperson Jay Bolden told RIA Novosti. "Investigation will take up to 6 month to a year," Bolden said Tuesday night. NASA spokesperson also noted that there is "good thing about internat

New insights into the physics of space weather

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 29, 2014
Each second, the sun hurls millions of tons of hot, charged plasma gas into space. This volatile "solar wind" buffets the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth, and can whip up geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. Precise predictions of such outbursts could prompt measures to cope with them, just as forecasts here on

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

Paris (ESA) Oct 29, 2014
In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over euro 3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 and 2021. The Multiannual Financial Framework is a seven-year plan for the EU's budget that includes the provision of about euro 4.3 billion for the Copernicus environment monitorin

ECOSTRESS Will Monitor Plant Health

Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 29, 2014
A new space-based instrument to study how effectively plants use water is being developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The instrument, called the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), will monitor one of the most basic processes in living plants: the loss of water through the tiny pores in leaves. When people lose wat

IceBridge Flies Around the Pole

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
Operation IceBridge continued its Antarctic research campaigns with flights designed to study changing glacier ice and set a baseline for future satellite missions. On the morning of Oct. 23, researchers boarded NASA's DC-8 for a 12-hour-long research flight that would take them directly over the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. After leaving Punta Are

Here's Looking at You: Spooky Shadow Gives Jupiter a Giant Eye

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
This trick that the planet is looking back at you is actually a Hubble treat: An eerie, close-up view of Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system. Hubble was monitoring changes in Jupiter's immense Great Red Spot (GRS) storm on April 21, 2014, when the shadow of the Jovian moon, Ganymede, swept across the center of the storm. This gave the giant planet the uncanny appearance o

NASA's LRO Spacecraft Captures Images of LADEE's Impact Crater

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
NASA'S Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has spied a new crater on the lunar surface; one made from the impact of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. "The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team recently developed a new computer tool to search Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) before and after image pairs for new craters, the LADEE impact even

A One Way Trip to Mars

Bethesda MD (SPX) Oct 30, 2014
Although NASA would prefer round trips for astronauts, in a recent interview Buzz Aldrin, he suggested that the fist crews to land on Mars should stay there until a colony of about 100 people is settled. From an investment standpoint this makes a good deal of sense, since round trips would only delay the development of a settlement and increase the cost. Some agree with Aldrin and some have othe

Russia Ratifies Cuba Space Deal

Moscow (RIA Novosti) Oct 30, 2014
Russia's Federation Council has ratified the intergovernmental agreement with Cuba on cooperation in exploring and using space for peaceful purposes on Wednesday. The agreement was signed on February 21, 2013 in Havana, Cuba and is aimed at creating organizational and legal foundation for the formation and development of cooperation projects between Russia and Cuba in the field of satellit

Decades-old Soviet engines powered US rocket that exploded

Washington (AFP) Oct 29, 2014
The Orbital Sciences rocket that exploded after launch was powered by a pair of rocket engines that were made during the Soviet era and refurbished, experts said Wednesday. The Ukrainian-designed AJ-26 engines date back to the 1960s and 1970s, and Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California has a stockpile that it refurbishes for Orbital Sciences. Orbital described the AJ-26 engine on

Rocket failure casts spotlight on risks of space flight

Washington (AFP) Oct 29, 2014
The explosion of a privately owned rocket on its way toward the International Space Station cast a spotlight on the risks involved with NASA's reliance on the fledgling commercial space industry, experts said Wednesday. The accident was the first major setback since private companies stepped in to replace US access to space after the 30-year space shuttle program ended in 2011. As invest

Russian space station resupply rocket launches, docks at ISS

Washington (UPI) Oct 29, 2014
A day after a space station resupply rocket exploded in midair only seconds after launching from Wallops Island, in Virginia, the Russian space agency made things look embarrassingly easy - successfully linking up a ship full of precious cargo with the International Space Station. Launched early Wednesday morning, the Progress M-25M spacecraft (also known as 57P) docked and delivered s