Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and the Southwest Research Institute report that data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show lighter materials like plastics provide effective shielding against the radiation hazards faced by astronauts during extended space travel. The finding could help reduce health risks to humans on future missions into deep space.
Astronomers know that gravity from Saturn's various moons tug at the planet's rings and make spirals in them. But the catalyst for certain spiral patterns has been difficult to pin down. Now, two Cornell astronomers have determined the source: Saturn itself.
Nearly a decade ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory caught signs of what appeared to be a black hole snacking on gas at the middle of the nearby Sculptor galaxy. Now, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which sees higher-energy X-ray light, has taken a peek and found the black hole asleep.
As part of an international team of exoplanets hunters, astronomers at the University of Arizona are developing a technique to detect faint dust clouds around other stars, many of which might hide Earth-like planets.
Based on a treasure trove of recent discoveries, astronomers now know that planets are remarkably plentiful in our galaxy and may be common throughout the Universe. Though planets appear to form readily, the actual process of planet formation remains a mystery and astronomers are searching for the missing pieces to this cosmic puzzle.
By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe.
Astronomers at NASA and Pennsylvania State University have used NASA's Swift satellite to create the most detailed ultraviolet light surveys ever of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two closest major galaxies.
Nine years after ESO's Very Large Telescope captured the first image of an exoplanet, the planetary companion to the brown dwarf 2M1207, the same team has caught on camera what is probably the lightest of these objects so far.
In preparation for a future where parts and tools can be printed on demand in space, NASA and Made in Space Inc. have joined to launch equipment for the first 3-D microgravity printing experiment to the International Space Station.