Our Signpost to Earth, Voyager 1

Voyager 1 has travelled the furthest any -made object has travelled in a straight line (well almost a straight line). We will probably and hopefully overtake it one day with future space technology but today it can bask in glory. It has taken 35 years but this spacecraft is on the brink of leaving the [...]


Jupiter Like Planet Lurking Just Outside our Solar System is Extremely Unlikely

To say that the whole astronomic community was set on fire by the claim that a Jupiter-like planet might be lurking just outside our solar system would be a bit of a stretch, but spirits were indeed high, after this claim was made by John Matese and Daniel Whitmire of the University of Lousiana-Lafayette. Tyche, [...]


Mars Express Gives New Images & Video of Martian Moon Phobos

The European Space Agency has released close-up portraits of Mars’s moon Phobos, taken as the ESA Mars Express spacecraft flew within 60 miles of it. The images show a load of mysterious grooves etched into Phobos’ surface and resolve features as small as 17 yards across. The images show in detail the currently planned landing [...]


Carnival of Space 181

Lots of links from astronomy and space blogs including a little science.


A Good Year for Japan’s Space Program

Japan has not put a lot of money into their space program but it has nevertheless come up with some good results. JAXA (Japan’s space agency) has had a few firsts including the return of a probe to pick up some dust from an asteroid after a seven-year round-trip. This mission called Hayabusa, which means [...]


An Earthlike Planet Is Coming Soon …

One day in the future perhaps not 10 years from now we will be able to look up into the night sky at particular stars and know that they have Earth like planets orbiting them. SETI is going to scan the stars with exoplanets for intelligent life in 2011 and you never know do you? [...]


Identifying Exoplanets by Their Dust Tails

Are we losing the Sahara to space? No, is the simple answer to that. The Earth has a trail of dust behind it but the dust is interstellar dust which is already present in the solar system. This interplanetary dust comes from the fragments of comets and asteroids that have collided. As the Earth travels [...]


An Asteroid to Look Out For…

Asteroids and comets are flying around our solar system in all sorts of orbits and it’s only a matter of time until they hit the earth although there is rather a large amount of space that they can fly in compared to mass of the planets that they could hit. The ones that are close [...]


A Good Chance of Life on Mars

This is a good lecture on why there’s a 1 in 4 chance of life (in Penelope’ Bostons opinion anyway) under the surface on Mars.


Where Should We Look for Alien Artefacts?

There is a problem with our approach at the moment when looking for alien civilisations. SETI looks for signals that are sent by the electromagnetic spectrum and their are a lot of frequencies to search. If you pair this with the size of the universe you can see how SETI is really looking for a [...]


How to Talk to Aliens

Lots of signals have gone into space such as TV, radar and radio. The signals have been betraying our presence for 60 years and have passed over about 6000 star systems and are reaching new systems every day. This would seem to be enough, even though we haven’t received anything back yet, but what if [...]


Viking’s Search For Life on Mars Leaves Echos

The first mission to Mars that was to make a successful landing consisted of Viking 1 and Viking 2. It was an exciting mission with the orbiter picking landing spots for the lander to make a landing. Both spacecraft launched in 1975. They both made a successful landing and have lasted for about six years [...]


Kepler Mission Releases New Planets the Size of Earth and Above

Kepler is a mission to study 156,000 stars using the Kepler telescope up there in space. 706 target data has been released in a report but 400 have not. The exoplanets found have sizes from as small as Earth to as large as Jupiter. They have also found five multi planet systems which sound quite [...]


Habitable or Goldilocks zone

We live on an Earth that from day to day seems permanent and stable. We go to work, school and perhaps the pub every day and it seems like things will never change dramatically. Unfortunately as we are all beginning to realise things in the universe are forever changing which when looked at from the [...]


Closer Views on a Growing Solar System

I wrote an article on the formation of the solar system and other planetary systems throughout the galaxy a few weeks ago. New information is coming to light all the time and this is a field that has a lot of discoveries left to find. The new discoveries were published in the astrophysical Journal. Astronomers [...]


How Did Those First Organic Molecules Get to Earth?

How did life start? You would be talking to a Nobel prize winner if I could tell you that. Unfortunately nobody knows. There are a few theories around and a few advances have been made in this field but I will talk about the one that is most widely accepted in scientific circles. The starting [...]


Good Evidence for Life on Saturn’s Moon Titan

The Cassini spacecraft has noticed on Titan, Saturn’s moon, that hydrogen molecules flow down through the atmosphere and disappear when they reach the surface (Icarus Journal). Also the hydrocarbons on the surface of Titan have been mapped and show that there is a lack of acetylne (Journal of geophysical research). The lack of acetylne could [...]


Jupiter Has Another Impact

Just the other month Jupiter was hit by something, possibly an asteroid, and this month seems to be just the same. An amateur astronomer yesterday noticed a large flash when looking at Jupiter which lasted about two seconds. We are quite lucky to have Jupiter in the solar system, not just for looking at, but [...]


The New Horizons Spacecraft Halfway to Pluto

The new Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006 for a trip to Pluto and beyond. Unfortunately for this mission there is a little controversy about Pluto as you probably know. Pluto, to put a long story short, has been deemed a dwarf planet by the IAU and this doesn’t really suit the image that NASA [...]


All about Meteorites

Meteors streak through the air giving us a display that can be not only beautiful but awe-inspiring as well. This isn’t all they give us as they carry to us a wealth of information from the solar system. So what is flying through the atmosphere giving us a such a show? As you might imagine [...]

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