Astronomers are probing the high-energy cosmic frontier with a series of key missions: Fermi, Swift, Chandra, NuSTAR, and Hubble. This video was inspired by a NASA event at the National Air and Space Museum, called “Our Violent Universe.”
Planet hunters have detected nearly 5000 confirmed and candidate planets beyond our solar system. Most sun-like stars, it seems, are ringed with giant planets that crowd their parent stars and leave no room for planets like ours. The old theories about planetary formation are giving way to a new one defined by fierce gravitational battles and titanic collisions. How did Earth manage to survive?
The Juno spacecraft will for the first time peer below Jupiter’s dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system.
Juno’s primary goal is to reveal the story of Jupiter’s formation and evolution. Using long-proven technologies on a spinning spacecraft placed in an elliptical polar orbit, Juno will observe Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and evolution.
Dr. Leigh Orf, a scientist from the University of Wisconsin, tells us how he designed the most detailed supercomputer models of a tornadic thunderstorm ever produced.
NASA launched the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx in dramatic fashion, sending in on an historic mission to the asteroid Bennu, to collect and return a sample.
The Pale Red Dot campaign was launched to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and astronomers detected a planet. The planet, Proxima b, falls within the habitable zone of its host star. It is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.
The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized the science of astronomy and redefined space for the general public. What lies in its future, and how will it’s dovetail with that of the new James Webb Space Telescope?
Measurements of unprecedented detail returned by Japan’s Hitomi satellite have allowed scientists to track the motion of X-ray-emitting gas at the heart of the Perseus cluster of galaxies for the first time. Located about 240 million light-years away and named for its host constellation, the Perseus galaxy cluster contains a vast amount of extremely hot gas.
At temperatures averaging 90 million degrees Fahrenheit (50 million degrees Celsius), the gas glows brightly in X-rays. Prior to Hitomi’s launch, astronomers lacked the capability to measure the detailed dynamics of this gas, particularly its relationship to bubbles of gas expelled by an active supermassive black hole in the cluster’s core galaxy, NGC 1275.
Scientists are closely monitoring a giant iceberg in the making, as a crack in Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier widens.
Two scientists have laid out the basic technical specifications of a black hole powered starship. The concept embodies a surprisingly hopeful vision of the future promoted by Stephen Hawking. How feasible is it technically? How far could it take humanity one day in the distant future?