Outer space

Soon Every Spacecraft can Navigate the Solar System Autonomously Using Pulsars

If you want to know where you are in space, you’d better bring along a map. But it’s a little more complicated than riding shotgun on a family road trip. Spacecraft navigation beyond Earth orbit is usually carried out by mission control. A series of radio communication arrays across the planet, known as the Deep …

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Can cosmology untangle the universe’s most elusive mysteries?

So this is your second paradigm — inflation plus cold dark matter plus dark energy? Yes. And it’s this amazing, glass-half-full, half-empty situation. The lambda-cold dark matter paradigm has these three pillars that are well established with evidence, and that allow us to describe the evolution of the universe from a tiny fraction of a …

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Meteorite containing Oldest Material in Solar System Discovered

A rare meteorite that contains some of the oldest material in the solar system was discovered in Antarctica earlier this month, scientists say. Weighing 17 pounds, the space rock described as about “the size of a gourd” was discovered on January 5th by an international team at the tail end of an 11-day expedition. “When …

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Kapow! Inflatable space station module blows up in video explosion

Sierra Space aimed to blow a space module apart on video, and delivered on that promise in spades. The company completed its third module test on the journey to certify its module design for eventual spaceflight and to help develop a private space complex to replace the International Space Station (ISS). The accelerated systematic creep …

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Rare green comet makes its closest trip past Earth in 50,000 years

Stargazers were treated to a stunning spectacle as an ultra-rare green comet – last seen by the Neanderthals – made its closest fly by of Earth in 50,000 years. The giant space rock, codenamed C/2022 E3, zipped past the planet at a distance of 26.4 million miles, having only recently been discovered by astronomers as …

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Will Steffen fought passionately for our planet. To honor him we must follow his lead Penny Sackett

This week science lost one of its greatest Earth system experts, Australia lost a skilled, passionate communicator of climate science and the world lost a humble soul of the highest humanity, kindness and integrity. Nor did scores of others, I lost a colleague and friend when Will Steffen left us on Sunday after a battle …

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Astronomers Detect a Second Planet Orbiting Two Stars

Planets orbiting binary stars are in a tough situation. They have to contend with the gravitational pull of two separate stars. Planetary formation around a single star like our Sun is relatively straightforward compared to what circumbinary planets go through. Until recently, astronomers weren’t sure they existed. Astronomers rarely find binary stars with planets orbiting …

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