Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 BH30

An asteroid the size of a pickup truck passed within about 32,000 miles of Earth last night, only hours after it was discovered.

The asteroid, 2017 BH30, is too small to be a threat to Earth, but it is another reminder of the need for planetary defense.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Expanding Universe

A new study suggests the universe is expanding faster than thought.

The speed may be tied to dark energy, dark matter, or a new understanding of physics.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hot Jupiters

A new study suggests so-called hot Jupiters actually get bigger as they age.

That would help explain how so many huge worlds got to be so close to their parent star.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Apollo 1

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

Out of that tragedy came an extremely capable spacecraft that did not lose a man during one of the most demanding exploration programs to date.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Axiom Space is a new company that plans to attach a completely self-sufficient module to ISS in 2020 that will be capable of supporting seven astronauts.

Axiom plans to help lead the industrialization of space.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars thirteen Earth-years ago today.

Its mission was supposed to last 90 days, but in fact Opportunity is still roving-- a remarkable tribute to the technology and the people who designed, built, and continue to operate it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


A new study suggests simple Earth microorganisms could live in the current atmosphere of Mars.

That suggests that if life ever arose on Mars it might still be there.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2014 MU69

The New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to an encounter with Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in 2019.

It encountered Pluto in 2015, and has now sent all that data back to Earth.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Return To The Moon?

There's some indication that the Trump administration may refocus NASA's human spaceflight program away from Mars and to returning to the Moon.

That return could possibly come within three to seven years.

Friday, January 20, 2017


General Electric has announced quarterly revenues of over $33 billion.

The proposed NASA budget currently before Congress calls for about $19 billion for the coming fiscal year.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mud Cracks On Mars

Curiosity has found what are likely mud cracks on its way up Mount Sharp.

It's more evidence that Mars had extended wet periods in the past.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Venus Wave

Scientists have found a huge, long-lasting wave high in the atmosphere of Venus that seems to be associated with a mountain range.

Similar formations appear on Earth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Eugene Cernan

Eugene Cernan, the last Apollo astronaut to stand on the Moon, passed away yesterday at 82.

He was also one of only three Apollo astronauts to fly to the Moon twice.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Return To Flight

SpaceX successfully launched a bevy of satellites over the weekend.

It was the company's first launch since a Falcon 9 exploded last year.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


NASA is delaying letting contracts for its Asteroid Redirect Mission.

NASA cites budget issues, but the delay also gives the incoming Trump administration time to review the project.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Moon Express

Moon Express has secured the necessary funding to attempt to land on the Moon and win the Google Lunar X-Prize.

Deadline for the prize is December 31, 2017.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Life On Venus?

Speculation among some scientists is that microbial life might exist high in the atmosphere of Venus.

Dark. so far unexplained streaks that absorb ultraviolet light appear precisely in the section of the Venusian atmosphere that is most Earth-like.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The current mission of the U. S. Air Force's X-37B spaceplane has passed the 600 day mark.

What is happening on that mission is still unknown to the general public.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 AG13

Early this morning, asteroid 20177 AG13 flew past Earth at about half the distance to the Moon.

It was discovered only two days ago.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Twenty-five years ago today, the discovery of the first two exoplanets was announced.

Today, that number stands at about 3,500.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

JWAT On Track

NASA is telling astronomers to start working on their observation proposals for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Observations are scheduled to begin in April 2019.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Supermassive Black Holes

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory have detected up to a billion supermassive black holes in the early universe.

That was many more than expected.  Studying them will tell us much about the essentials of the universe.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Planetary Defense

The Obama White House has released a planetary defense strategy.

Whether the Trump White House will adopt it remains to be seen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Thirteen years ago yesterday, the Spirit rover landed on Mars.  It was supposed to last 90 days. but it fact it covered more than four miles over six years.

Its twin, Opportunity, is still moving along.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Return To Flight

SpaceX is planning its next launch next week.

It will be the company's first launch since a Falcon 9 exploded during launch last year.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Shredding Asteroids

Asteroids that stray too close to the Sun in their orbits may be slowly torn apart, a new study suggests.

Astronomers aren't sure of the mechanism.  The bodies studied don't get close enough to the Sun to be ripped apart by gravity.