The dramatic conclusion to ESA's latest StarTiger project: a 'dropship' quadcopter steers itself to lower a rover gently onto a safe patch of the rocky martian surface. StarTiger's Dropter project was tasked with developing and demonstrating a European precision-landing capability for Mars and other targets.
Mysteries about controversial signals from a star considered a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life now have been solved. The research proves, for the first time, that some of the signals actually are from events inside the star itself, not from the two so-called 'Goldilocks planets', which were suspected to be just-right for life and orbiting the star at a distance where liquid water potentially could exist. No planets there, just star burps.
Determining the age of stars has long been a challenge for astronomers. In experiments researchers show that 'infant' stars can be distinguished from 'adolescent' stars by measuring the acoustic waves they emit.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 soon will begin a minimum two-year mission to locate Earth's sources of and storage places for atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas responsible for warming our world and a critical component of the planet's carbon cycle.
The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.
Astronomers using the Herschel space observatory to probe the turbulent beginnings of a Sun-like star have found evidence of mighty stellar winds that could solve a puzzling meteorite mystery in our own back yard.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been given the go-ahead to conduct an intensive search for a suitable outer solar system object that the New Horizons spacecraft could visit after the probe streaks though the Pluto system in July 2015.
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has found that comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second, even at a cold 583 million kilometres from the Sun.