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6 Humans Step Into One-Year Isolation Dome

It's part of NASA's preparation to send humans to Mars

(Newser) - As NASA prepares to send a crew to Mars sometime in the 2030s, they've just shut six people inside an isolation dome in Hawaii for a year—the longest such experiment in the US, reports AFP . It's part of a larger look at travel logistics in a program... More »

Hubble Spots 'Butterfly' 2K Light-Years Away

It's also known as the Twin Jet Nebula, and it's pretty

(Newser) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... a space butterfly? That's essentially what the Hubble Space Telescope has captured in a new image of the Twin Jet Nebula, a shimmering planetary nebula that strongly resembles a winged insect, reports CNET . What you're actually seeing in... More »

You Can Spend Eternity on the Moon ... for $12K

Company plans to start sending up capsules with ashes

(Newser) - We've entered the age of a new space race, only this time it's between companies hoping to send the cremated remains of your loved ones to the moon, where they'll spend eternity with Buzz Aldrin's footprints and that flag from MTV. This week, San Francisco-based Elysium... More »

One Very Special Man's Ashes Fly by Pluto Tomorrow

It's a final wish come true for discoverer Clyde Tombaugh

(Newser) - On Feb. 18, 1930, a young astronomer poring over a series of images of the sky, taken from a telescope at Arizona's Lowell Observatory, spotted movement among some 150,000 stars, reports Space.com . Tomorrow, Clyde Tombaugh—whose last wish before his death in 1997 was for his ashes... More »

Astronomers Say We Owe Our Lives to These Stars

Galaxy CR7 said to contain some of the universe's earliest stars

(Newser) - Astronomers peering through the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a faraway galaxy of stars so significant, they say we wouldn't exist without them. The galaxy, known as Cosmos Redshift 7, or CR7—a name inspired by soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo—is three times... More »

What the Edge of Space Sounds Like: X-Files

NASA captures first stratosphere recordings in 50 years

(Newser) - Ever wonder what near space sounds like? The mystery is solved thanks to a NASA balloon experiment that captured atmospheric infrasound 22 miles above Earth. Infrasound, at frequencies below 20 hertz, is undetected to the human ear, but becomes audible when sound waves are sped up. Sensors on a helium... More »

Ceres Bright Spots Now a Double Mystery

Some are cold but others aren't, Dawn spacecraft reveals

(Newser) - NASA now has a spacecraft in orbit for a long-awaited look at Ceres—and while researchers are learning a lot about the dwarf planet, they're now doubly puzzled by the planet's mysterious bright spots . As the Dawn spacecraft closes in, scientists have realized there are multiple bright spots,... More »

The Stars Could Be 'Singing'

But no one can hear it

(Newser) - The mathematician Pythagoras long ago described "music in the spacing of the spheres," and the idea has influenced astronomy for centuries, Universe Today has noted. Now, scientists have found that the music of the spheres might exist quite literally. Researchers studying the way a laser interacts with plasma... More »

Stephen Hawking: To Survive, We've Got to Be Nicer

And it wouldn't hurt to colonize space

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking has made it clear that he's worried about the future of humanity , and now he's offering a few suggestions to save it, CNET reports. First: Let's try to be nicer to each other. "The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression,... More »

Darkness Reigned for 550M Years

Stars didn't appear until 100M years later than we thought

(Newser) - After the Big Bang, it was dark for a very, very long time—even longer than experts had previously believed, the Smithsonian reports. Scientists had thought that the dark period between the Big Bang and the emergence of the first stars lasted about 440 million years, the Press Association reports... More »

FAA Trying to Regulate Moon Business

Reuters analyzes FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace

(Newser) - Can American businesses now stake their claim on the moon? That's the indication from an FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace, in which the agency reveals plans to "leverage the FAA's existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities... More »

Most Ancient Solar System Is Found

It's a miniature version of our own solar system's inner planets

(Newser) - Just how ancient is a newly discovered solar system? "By the time the Earth formed, the planets in this system were already older than our planet is today," University of Birmingham researcher Tiago Campante tells the BBC . The solar system—a star named Kepler-444 that's orbited by... More »

NASA Closes In on Dwarf Planet— and Its Mystery Spot

Ceres asteroid might even hold oceans: experts

(Newser) - After years of preparation, NASA is about to learn a lot more about an asteroid that, a scientist says, is "actually the largest body between the sun and Pluto that a spacecraft has not yet visited." In exploring the 600-mile-wide Ceres, "we're going to reveal the... More »

Lost Mars Probe Found Intact After 11 Years

Scientists: Beagle 2 mission was 'a great success' after all

(Newser) - The British-built Beagle 2 began its fall to Mars on Dec. 19, 2003. It was expected to land on the Red Planet on Christmas Day and begin its search for alien life (its name is a nod to Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle). But it was never heard from again.... More »

Your Christmas Lights Are Visible From Space

US cities grow up to 50% brighter around the holidays

(Newser) - You're helping make the world a brighter place just by switching on your Christmas lights. New data shows many US cities brighten by 20% to 50% between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and it's all visible from space, Wired reports. A research team used a NASA-NOAA satellite... More »

NASA Wasted $349M on 'Ghost Tower'

Unused project to cost $700K per year to keep up

(Newser) - Four years ago, NASA knew it wouldn't likely use a giant tower originally intended to test rockets—because the testing program was canceled. Yet the agency kept building the A-3 test stand and finally finished the $349 million project in June. And the costs keep coming, with the Mississippi... More »

US Worries Russia Put a 'Satellite Killer' in Space

Tracking object as experts raise concerns about possible military use

(Newser) - The US military is among those tracking an object Russia recently sent into space. Object 2014-28E, which has been moving toward other Russian space objects, was at first thought to be simply debris, the Financial Times reports. It could be intended to repair satellites already in space, or it could... More »

Comet Lander's Batteries Die

But it manages to send data to scientists

(Newser) - In a development that's no huge surprise , the comet lander Philae is entering what the European Space Agency calls "idle mode." When the lander missed its intended spot on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—and its harpoons didn't manage to lock into the comet successfully—it couldn't get... More »

Jupiter's Red Spot Isn't What We Thought It Was

Researchers re-create phenomenon in lab

(Newser) - Scientists have made their own version of Jupiter's Great Red Spot in a lab, and it suggests that the spot's cause is very different from what's been postulated. An existing theory holds that the spot is the result of chemicals underneath the planet's clouds. But following... More »

13-Year-Old's Plan: Be First on Mars

Alyssa Carson is already giving talks, going on Jeopardy

(Newser) - Alyssa Carson has already given a TEDx talk in Greece, and the 13-year-old is due on Jeopardy this coming week. But these are small achievements compared to her goal since she was 4 years old: to be the first human to set foot on Mars, CNET reports. "NASA takes... More »

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