Space and planets

A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals. The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, astrology, science, mythology, and religion. Five planets in the Solar System are visible to the naked eye. These were regarded by many early cultures as divine, or as emissaries of deities.
Latest news, discovery and discussion about planets.
  • WKMG

    How SpaceX plans to move Starship from Cocoa site to Kennedy Space Center

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - Long before SpaceX can fly Starship to the moon or Mars, a prototype of the spacecraft must be moved from its construction site in Cocoa to the Kennedy Space Center for testing. SpaceX representatives declined to answer News 6's questions about how the private company will transport the spacecraft more than 20 miles between the two facilities or when the relocation will occur. However, records obtained exclusively by News 6 reveal that in September the 180-foot-tall spacecraft could be towed along the State Road 528 Beachline Expressway before being placed on a barge in the Indian River for shipment to Launch Complex 39. Cargo transport company Roll-Lift USA recently

  • PR Newswire

    NASA Administrator, Members of Congress to Discuss Ohio's Role in Artemis Program

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Media are invited to accompany NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, U.S. Senator Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio Wednesday, Aug. 21, as they visit the agency's Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, to view progress on the agency's Artemis program. During a media roundtable at 10:10 a.m., Bridenstine will discuss the center's role in landing humans on the Moon by 2024 and establishing sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.

  • CNET

    NASA eyes trippy tie-dye clouds in wild nighttime view

    Clouds can take on astounding shapes. A NASA satellite view showing clouds off the coast of Morocco shows just how exotic they can get.  NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Suomi NPP satellite captured the view on July 19. The swirling cloud patterns are known as von Kármán vortices, named for the physicist that first described the process that creates them. The small islands below disturb the wind flow, generating the scenic patterns.  We've seen these eye-catching vortices before, but usually in daylight. "I don't recall having seen an image of von Kármán vortices at nighttime previously, so I would consider it rare," said Macquarie University environmental health


    Chandrayaan 2: Will enter lunar orbit at 9:30 am on Tuesday

    New Delhi, Aug 19: The Chandrayaan-2 will finally to enter the moon's orbit on Tuesday, Aug 20, at around 9:30 am. This is a milestone for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Nearly, 48 days after it's launch, the spacecraft is expected to do soft-land on the moon's south pole on September 7. Bottom line: Chandrayaan-2 is still orbiting the Earth. Reportedly, Chandrayaan-2 on entering Moon's sphere of influence, the onboard propulsion system of the craft will be fired to slow down the spacecraft to help it captured by Moon's gravity, as said by the ISRO chairman K Sivan. Thereafter, five manoeuvres will be conducted on August 20, 21, 28, 30 and September 1 to lower the altitude of

  • Ripples on Earth show how ‘Pac-Man’ black hole devoured neutron star
    Yahoo News UK

    Ripples on Earth show how ‘Pac-Man’ black hole devoured neutron star

    An enormous black hole devoured an ultra-dense star, snuffing it out, and creating a ripple in space-time which reached our planet.

  • Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star 'like Pac-man'

    Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star 'like Pac-man'

    For the first time, scientists have detected a black hole devouring a neutron star, according to a report released Monday.

  • Hubble Space Telescope captures 'blobby jellyfish' in deep space
    Daily Mail

    Hubble Space Telescope captures 'blobby jellyfish' in deep space

    The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a 'blobby jellyfish' star in deep space.  NASA's observatory satellite found the luminous star last week during a survey of the Orion constellation.  Officially known as NGC 2022, the luminous orb is actually a vast collection of gas in space, cast off by an ageing star. In fact, scientists describe it as a 'red giant' that's bigger than the sun.   WHAT IS IN THE ORION CONSTELLATION?  Orion is one of the most easily recognisable constellations in the world and visible in Britain from November to February. One of the brightest and best known constellations in the night sky, it lies on the celestial equator.  Orion's belt is made up of three stars - Alnitak,

  • Spaceflight Now

    ULA's second launch of the month scheduled for Thursday

    “Sufficient moisture and light steering flow should trigger isolated showers and storms over the Atlantic waters early Thursday morning,” forecasters wrote. “While light winds will keep most of this activity offshore, a shower approaching the coast and/or flight path cannot be ruled out.” The primary weather concerns during Thursday's launch window are with the possibility of violating the cumulus cloud and flight through precipitation rules, according to the forecast issued Monday. During Thursday's launch window, forecasters predict isolated rain showers offshore, partly cloudy skies, south-southeast winds of 8 knots, and a temperature of 83 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Final pre-launch milestones

  • New tech puts NASA one step closer to fueling spacecraft in space

    New tech puts NASA one step closer to fueling spacecraft in space

    Refuelling in Space NASA just successfully demonstrated the first of three tools designed to refuel spacecraft in space, right outside of the International Space Station. The space agency's Robotic Refuelling Mission 3 was able to unstow a special adapter that can hold super-cold methane, oxygen or hydrogen, and insert it into a special coupler on a different fuel tank. Future iterations of the system could one day allow us to gas up spacecraft with resources from distant worlds, such as liquid methane as fuel. And that's a big deal, since future space explorations to far away destinations such as the Moon and Mars will rely on our ability to refuel after leaving Earth's gravity. Keeping Cold

  • Science | AAAS

    This rocky 'super-Earth' may be a hard place for life to get a foothold

    When scientists go looking for life on distant exoplanets, they generally focus on rocky worlds the size of Earth. But most of these so-called super-Earths orbit, not yellow dwarfs like our sun, but red dwarfs—which are less than 60% the sun's size. Now, astronomers report that such exoplanets might not be the best places for harboring life for one key reason: They seem to lack habitable atmospheres. Red dwarfs are by far the most common stars in the Milky Way, but their planets may have a hard time holding onto an atmosphere, in part because these somewhat erratic stars subject them to powerful blasts of radiation. Assessing whether such planets have atmospheres is difficult because they are

  • Unexplained shapes in the sky could be from a universe before our own, say scientists
    The Independent

    Unexplained shapes in the sky could be from a universe before our own, say scientists

    Unexplained shapes in the sky could be evidence of a universe that existed before ours, scientists have said.Astronomers claim that very unusual points, spotted in the early universe, appear to be sources of vast amounts of information. It is still not clear why those strange parts of the sky would behave in such an outstanding way.But researchers have now claimed that those spots of energy could be the consequence of "conformal cyclic cosmology", a theory that suggests that our universe existed in another form before ours. They could have formed from black holes, the researchers suggest in a new paper.As such, those unexplained swirling areas in the sky could be the leftovers of another universe.“What we claim we’re seeing is the final remnant after a black hole has evaporated away in the previous aeon," Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford Universe and one of the authors of the study, told New Scientist, which first reported the news.If the universe is going through extreme contractions and expansions, then it is almost certain that just about everything from the previous universe is destroyed when it does, and nothing is carried through into the new one.But the latest study, published on website Arxiv, suggests that black holes that were around in the previous universe would throw out what is referred to as Hawking radiation, after Stephen Hawking. That radiation could last from one version of the universe into the next, they claim.Those places where the electromagnetic radiation was especially high – referred to as Hawking points – could therefore be left over from the previous universe.Those anomalous points would therefore be explained by what is known as CCC theory. Rather than being mysteriously glowing points, they would be the final "evaporation" of the supermassive black holes that were in the version of the universe that came before ours.Many scientists have objected to the idea of the cyclical universe, and Hawking radiation still remains to be confirmed.But the researchers say that they hope their analysis will at least help to give us a "a significant initial indication of the nature of these anomalous regions and provides an important new input into cosmology, irrespective of the validity of CCC".And they conclude by suggesting that their findings will pose a significant problem for the conventional understanding of the universe, however they are formed. "It is hard to see, however, that they find a natural explanation in the currently conventional inflationary picture," they write.

  • NASA selects proposals for smallsats built to study deep space

    NASA selects proposals for smallsats built to study deep space

    NASA is expanding plans to use small satellites (aka smallsats) to explore the Solar System. The agency has picked two proposals for smallsat technology that would improve observations in deep space, where they could help improve models that predict space weather. One, Science-Enabling Technologies for Heliophysics (SETH), would demo both optical communications as well as a detector that can spot fast-moving chargeless atoms emanating from the Sun. Solar Cruiser, meanwhile, would include both a giant 18,000 square foot solar sail as well as a coronagraph that could study both the Sun's magnetic field as well as the velocity of coronal mass ejections.

  • Fox News

    Elon Musk concerned we have 'no defense' against potential killer asteroid

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that a large asteroid will eventually hit Earth and his concern is that "we currently have no defense" for it. Responding to a tweet from podcaster Joe Rogan, Musk said Sunday he would not worry about the asteroid Apophis, which is expected to fly past Earth in 2029. However, a "big rock" will eventually hit Earth and as of right now, there's nothing we can do about it. "Great name! Wouldn't worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense," Musk tweeted. Scientifically known as 99942 Apophis, the massive space rock will fly within 19,000 miles above Earth's surface on April 13, 2029. NASA, which has been planning

  • NASA issues call for proposals for Gateway logistics

    NASA issues call for proposals for Gateway logistics

    WASHINGTON — NASA formally issued a call for proposals to provide cargo transportation services for its lunar Gateway Aug. 16, offering up to $7 billion in contracts to support operations of the human-tended facility. The Gateway Logistics Services request for proposals (RFP) is similar to a draft version of the RFP issued by the agency in June. Proposals are due to NASA Oct. 1, with the agency expected to award one or more contracts before the end of the calendar year. Under the program, companies would deliver at least 3,400 kilograms of pressurized cargo and 1,000 kilograms of unpressurized cargo to the Gateway on each mission. The vehicle would also be required to dispose of at least as much