In space research, the Finnish Meteorological Institute specialises in large-scale computer simulations modelling the behaviour of particles and electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of Earth and other bodies in the solar system. Simulation models are used, for example, to study processes involved in the origin of auroras.
The American space program stands at the cusp of a "water rush" to the moon by several companies developing robotic prospectors for launch in the near future, according to a NASA scientist considering how to acquire and use water ice believed to be at the poles of the moon.
Near surface water has shaped the landscape of Mars. Areas of the planet's northern and southern hemispheres have alternately thawed and frozen in recent geologic history and comprise striking similarities to the landscape of Svalbard. This suggests that water has played a more extensive role than previously envisioned, and that environments capable of sustaining life could exist.
The 2012 Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night/morning of Nov. 16-17. If forecasters are correct, the shower should produce a mild but pretty sprinkling of meteors over North America, followed by a more intense outburst over Asia. The new moon will set the stage for what could be one of the best Leonid showers in years.
By combining the power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and one of nature's zoom lenses, astronomers have found what is probably the most distant galaxy yet seen in the Universe. The object offers a peek back into a time when the Universe was only 3 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years.
Astronomers have found evidence for a dying Sun-like star coming briefly back to life after casting its gassy shells out into space, mimicking the possible fate our own Solar System faces in a few billion years.
The aftershock of a stellar explosion rippling through space is captured in this new view of supernova remnant W44, which combines far-infrared and X-ray data from ESA's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories.
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope have identified a body that is very probably a planet wandering through space without a parent star. This is the most exciting free-floating planet candidate so far and the closest such object to the Solar System at a distance of about 100 light-years.
For the past five billion years, the expansion of the Universe has been speeding up, powered by the mysterious repulsive force known as 'dark energy'. But thanks to a new technique for measuring the three-dimensional structure of the distant Universe, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) have made the first measurement of the cosmic expansion rate just three billion years after the Big Bang.
Like in the Shenzhou-9 mission, the crew might include two men astronauts and a woman, who are scheduled to enter the Tiangong-1 space lab module, Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, said on the sidelines of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.