space

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NASA Wants You to Help Astronauts Poop

Space diapers just won't cut it

(Newser) - Pooping in space "isn't glamorous, but it is necessary for survival," an astronaut explains—yet it's presenting quite a challenge for NASA. See, while the International Space Station has a pretty fancy toilet , an astronaut must wear a diaper during launch and landing activities or while... More »

Stephen Hawking: Aliens Could Be a Danger to the Earth

Spacefaring aliens "will be vastly more powerful" than our own civilization

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking believes that mankind might want to just mind its own business, cosmically speaking. Even as he turns his attention to the search for alien life, Hawking says we should think twice before making any efforts to communicate with alien civilizations, ScienceAlert reports. Any civilization advanced enough to contact... More »

Plenty Went Wrong With ESA's Mars Lander

Schiaparelli probably fell a half-mile or more

(Newser) - The Schiaparelli spacecraft that tried to land on Mars Wednesday is probably dead or badly injured, the European Space Agency confirmed Thursday. It's placing the blame on a problem with the lander's parachute, reports CNN . "The ejection itself appears to have occurred earlier than expected," which... More »

Moon Will Make a Star Vanish on Tuesday Night

Don't fear: It's just an 'occultation'

(Newser) - Sky watchers will get a bit of a show Tuesday night: People across the Eastern US and much of the Southwest will be able to see the moon move in front of Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, a phenomenon known as a lunar occultation, reports... More »

Universe Has Way, Way More Galaxies Than We Thought

And that means a better chance of intelligent life somewhere out there

(Newser) - And you thought the universe made you feel small and insignificant before. Popular Science reports astronomers working with data from Hubble now say there are at least 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. That's at least 10 times as many as the 100 billion to 200 billion estimated back... More »

China Seems to Have Lost Control of Its Falling Space Lab

Tiangong-1 should burn up in the atmosphere sometime in 2017

(Newser) - In 2017, watch for falling space labs. China announced last week that its first space lab, Tiangong-1, would be falling back to Earth—somewhere—sometime in the second half of next year, Xinhuanet reports. According to Popular Mechanics , the lack of specifics in the previous sentence seems to confirm the... More »

SETI Investigates 'Interesting' Signal From Deep Space

But don't get too excited about ET just yet

(Newser) - Are aliens living 95 light-years away reaching out to say hello? OK, probably not, but astronomers are nevertheless intrigued by an unusual signal reported out of Russia, reports the Observer . It seems to be coming from the general vicinity of an ancient star in the constellation Hercules known as HD164595,... More »

3B Years Ago, Venus Might've Been Livable

Climate models suggest it was a lot like early Earth

(Newser) - Venus is perhaps best known as "that torrid acid bath next door," as Gizmodo puts it, with toxic thunderclouds and atmospheric pressure capable of crushing bones, per Science Alert —but it might have looked very different 700 million years ago. After plugging topographic data and the hydrogen... More »

With Radio Telescope's First Image, 1.3K Galaxies Revealed

MeerKAT radio telescope will only get more impressive

(Newser) - Scientists promised it would be the world's most powerful radio telescope, capable of exploring dark energy, black holes, and traces of the universe's creation 14 billion years ago. South Africa's MeerKAT has already exceeded expectations. Though operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity with 16 of... More »

Wacky Planet Has 3 Sunrises, 3 Sunsets Each Day

Or else it spends 140 Earth-years in daylight

(Newser) - Don't let aliens from HD 131399Ab hear you complaining about global warming. The newly discovered planet 340 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus is the first found to be orbiting three suns and is scorching at 1,000 degrees—though that's mostly because of its gas formation.... More »

Humanity Is About to Get Its Closest Ever Look at Jupiter

Juno probe scheduled to enter Jupiter's orbit July 4

(Newser) - Three Lego figures are about to get closer to Jupiter than humanity has ever been. The Legos—representations of Galileo and the Roman gods Jupiter and Juno made out of "spacecraft-grade" aluminum—are aboard NASA's Juno probe, which is scheduled to enter Jupiter's orbit July 4, the... More »

Paul Allen's Massive Space Project Is 76% Done

Microsoft co-founder is building the world's biggest plane

(Newser) - Paul Allen, billionaire earthling and co-founder of Microsoft, has long been obsessed with space, and his pet project Stratolaunch Systems is beginning to bear fruit. The Washington Post reports that Stratolaunch, shaping up to be the world's largest airplane, is now 76% assembled—no small accomplishment given the sheer... More »

A 'Biscuit-Sized' Rock May Clear Up a Space Mystery

In a Swedish quarry, scientists find an 'extinct' meteorite

(Newser) - The Earth has just given up a very alien secret: Scientists are reporting in Nature Communications that a rock found in a limestone quarry in Sweden is the first of its kind to have been discovered on our planet, a "biscuit-sized" remnant of a space rock they believe collided... More »

Mercury to Make Rare Trip Across the Sun

It happens about 13 times per century

(Newser) - What one astronomer calls a "rare astronomical phenomenon" will play out on Monday. For more than seven hours beginning at 7:12am ET, Mercury will appear as a tiny black dot passing directly in front of the sun, reports National Geographic . Viewers across much of the globe, including North... More »

Study: Saturn's Rings, Moons Are Younger Than Dinosaurs

And that's surprisingly young

(Newser) - Scientists may have overestimated how old Saturn's rings and moons are—by more than 4 billion years. In fact, the planet's rings and many of its 62 moons likely didn't form until dinosaurs were around to see it happen, Discovery reports. Researchers from the SETI Institute measured... More »

Grandpa to Break Scott Kelly's Space Record

Jeff Williams will have spent 534 days in space by September

(Newser) - It's a good thing Scott Kelly nabbed two records during his year in space because one will soon be broken. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams—who is rocketing into space on Friday with Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka—will become America's most experienced space traveler during a... More »

Mysterious Repeating Signals Are Arriving From Deep Space

'Fast radio bursts' are now even more baffling to astronomers

(Newser) - Researchers just announced the discovery of radio signals from beyond our galaxy that are behaving in strange ways. Fast radio bursts—or FRBs—are very rare, very quick blasts of radio waves originating billions of light years away, Popular Science explains. It's unclear where exactly in the universe they'... More »

NASA Scientist: I Can Get Humans to Mars in a Month

'No known reason why we cannot do this'

(Newser) - A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space... More »

Asteroid Could Come Within 11K Miles of Earth Next Month

But NASA says there's no reason to panic

(Newser) - An asteroid could pass very close—cosmically speaking—to the Earth next month. Asteroid 2013 TX68 is scheduled to pass us by on March 5, coming as close as 11,000 miles (or a little more than the distance between Seattle and South Africa), CBS News reports. However it could... More »

No, Those Aren't Snails on Pluto

They're dirty icebergs, say NASA scientists

(Newser) - Bad news for future residents of Pluto with a fondness for escargot: The planet is not, in fact, covered with giant snails—despite images beamed back to Earth from the New Horizons probe that bear a weird resemblance to the creatures. The images, published by NASA, show oddly-shaped objects in... More »

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