Friday, September 19, 2014

Mass And Age

Astronomers have found a world ten times more massive than Jupiter that orbits its parent star in only 23 hours.  It's a young star, but it behaves like an older star.

Astronomers think the powerful gravity of the huge world raises tides on the star, complicating its functioning and "aging" it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dwarf Galaxy, Huge Black Hole

Astronomers have found a dwarf galaxy with a supermassive black hole-- not the way these things usually work.

They think the dwarf galaxy was once larger than our Milky Way, but a collision with another galaxy blew away much of its mass.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NASA Chooses

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the spacecraft that will take astronauts back into space under American control.

The first flight is scheduled for 2017.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Big Day For NASA

Later today, NASA will announce which private company or companies will be given the green light to build spacecraft that will carry NASA astronauts into space.

Boeing, with its long association with NASA, seems to have the inside track, but SpaceX is presumably a strong contender.  NASA would like to select two companies, to foster competition.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Next Year For Branson

Sir Richard Branson had wanted to be on Virgin Galactic's first commercial flight to the edge of space yet this year, but that event has been pushed into early next year.

VG is years behind its original schedule, but it finally seems on the verge of commercial operations.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Venus Zones

A team of astronomers at San Francisco State is proposing the development of Venus zones to attempt to define where planets might get caught in a runaway greenhouse effect as Venus has suffered.

The point is to try to separate, by distance from their stars, Venus-like worlds, which would be biologically dead, from Earth-like worlds which might support life.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Curiosity Arrives

NASA has announced that Curiosity has arrived at the base of its main goal, Mount Sharp.  The rover is to climb the mountain, studying sediment layers as it goes.

Curiosity's mission has also been granted a two-year extension, so there should be plenty of time to explore.