Mars Rover

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens. Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover, conduct science…

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Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer

The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, has completed its first study of dust in the “habitable zone” around a star, opening a new door to finding planets like Earth. Dust is a natural byproduct of the planet-formation process, but too much of it can block our view of planets. The findings will help…

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Dawn Spacecraft Shoots Animation of Ceres

Ceres-200

As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft closes in on Ceres, new images show the dwarf planet at 27 pixels across, about three times better than the calibration images taken in early December. These are the first in a series of images that will be taken for navigation purposes during the approach to Ceres. Over the next several…

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Beagle 2 Lander Found After 11 Years

Beagle 2 Lander

The UK-led Beagle-2 Mars lander, which hitched a ride on ESA’s Mars Express mission and was lost on Mars since 2003, has been found in images taken by a NASA orbiter at the Red Planet. Beagle-2 was released from its mother craft on 19 December 2003 and was due to land six days later. But…

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asteroid-lutetia-200

An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size. The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock…

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Saturn

Scientists have paired NASA’s Cassini spacecraft with the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio-telescope system to pinpoint the position of Saturn and its family of moons to within about 2 miles (4 kilometers). The measurement is some 50 times more precise than those provided by ground-based optical telescopes. The feat improves astronomers’…

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Stellar Debris Disk

A NASA-sponsored website designed to crowdsource analysis of data from the agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission has reached an impressive milestone. In less than a year, citizen scientists using DiskDetective.org have logged 1 million classifications of potential debris disks and disks surrounding young stellar objects (YSO). This data will help provide a crucial…

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Exoplanet2-150

How many stars like our sun host planets like our Earth? NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system, and to date has offered scientists an assortment of more than 4,000 candidate planets for further study — the 1,000th of which was recently verified. Using Kepler data, scientists reached…

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AAVSO Logo Blue2

AAVSO Alert Notice 506 Observations of the eclipsing binary b Persei January 5, 2015 Dr. Robert Zavala (USNO-Flagstaff) and collaborators request observations of the bright variable star b Persei for the next two weeks, in hopes of catching a predicted eclipse on 2015 January 15 UT. This is a follow-up to the February 2013 campaign…

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Black-Hole-150

Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment. The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, called…

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