feb 122013
 
Predicting the Future Path of Close Passing Asteroid 2012 DA1

  The record-setting close approach of an asteroid on Feb. 15 is an exciting opportunity for scientists, and a research team will use National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and NASA telescopes to gain a key clue that will help them predict the future path of this nearby cosmic neighbor. This NASA diagram depicting the passage [continue reading]

dec 232012
 
Stellar Patrons of Milky Way Bar Identified

  University of Virginia scientists associated with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, or SDSS-III, have announced the discovery of hundreds of stars rapidly moving together in long, looping orbits around the center of our Milky Way galaxy. An artist’s impression of what the Milky Way might look like viewed from above. The small blue [continue reading]

sep 292012
 
A New Tool for Exoplanet Discoveries

  Despite being infamously demoted from its status as a major planet, Pluto (and its largest companion Charon) recently posed as a surrogate extrasolar planetary system to help astronomers produce exceptionally high-resolution images with the Gemini North 8-meter telescope. Using a method called reconstructive speckle imaging, the researchers took the sharpest ground-based snapshots ever obtained [continue reading]

sep 202012
 
Curiosity Targets Unusual Rock on Its Journey

  NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover’s arm to examine. The drive by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity during the mission’s 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. [continue reading]

sep 122012
 
Alien Life Might be Able to Survive  Under Extreme Conditions

  Astronomers have discovered a veritable rogues’ gallery of odd exoplanets — from scorching hot worlds with molten surfaces to frigid ice balls. And while the hunt continues for the elusive “blue dot” — a planet with roughly the same characteristics as Earth — new research reveals that life might actually be able to survive on [continue reading]