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Asteroid hides behind sparkling spiral galaxy in dazzling view

The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile captured this view of the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in May 2018. The image was taken using the ESO’s FORS2 instrument, as part of the Cosmic Gems program, which photographs the southern skies when conditions aren’t good for scientific observations. An asteroid’s trail can also be seen near the top, ...

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Closest exoplanet to Earth could be 'highly habitable'

An artist’s impression of the view from Proxima Centarui b, a newly discovered Earth-sized planet just four light-years away. It is unclear if there is intelligent life in the universe, but searches continue to find Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of their respective stars. (Credit: NASA) Just a cosmic hop, skip and jump away, an Earth-size planet orbits the ...

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Astronaut captures incredible typhoon image from space

Typhoon Soulik swirls in an Aug. 20, 2018, image from the Suomi-National Polar Orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite. Credit: VIIRS/Suomi-NPP/NASA/NOAA NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold caught a spectacular view of Typhoon Soulik swirling toward southern Japan from his post on the International Space Station. Arnold posted the image on Twitter Aug. 20, warning everyone to stay safe in the wake of the whirling storm. According to the ...

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Elon Musk says SpaceX will reuse a rocket within 24 hours in 2019

An upgraded version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket lifts off Friday, May 11, 2018 from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center carrying Bangladesh’s first communications satellite. The $250 million satellite, the nation’s first, is designed to improve television, telephone, data, Internet and emergency communications for Bangladesh. (Red Huber /Orlando Sentinel via AP)  (Orlando Sentinel) SpaceX ...

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Seasonal changes in exoplanet's atmosphere could signal alien life

This contrasting artistic image of an early Martian environment with a thicker atmosphere (left) and the cold, dry Mars of today (right) shows how atmospheric changes affect a planet’s ability to hold life.  (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) Seasonal changes in an alien planet’s atmosphere could signal the presence of extraterrestrial life, new research suggests. Researchers aim to expand our ability to ...

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SpaceX set to debut newest Falcon 9 Rocket: 'Block 5'

SpaceX’s first Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket rolls to its launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  (Elon Musk/Instagram) SpaceX is set to debut the latest, most advanced version of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket this Thursday (May 10). The company determined that its first Falcon 9 “Block 5” booster is ready to go, after analyzing data from a routine ...

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'Luxury space hotel' to launch in 2021

Artist’s illustration of Orion Span’s planned orbiting hotel, Aurora Station.  (Orion Span) Well-heeled space tourists will have a new orbital destination four years from now, if one company’s plans come to fruition. That startup, called Orion Span, aims to loft its “Aurora Station” in late 2021 and begin accommodating guests in 2022.  “We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel,” said ...

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First the Moon, then Earth: New theory reverses formation story

An artist’s illustration of Earth’s hot, molten moon as it forms from a synestia: a giant, spinning donut of vaporized rock formed from the collision of two other planet-size objects.  (Sarah Stewart/UC Davis based on NASA rendering) Earth’s moon formed inside a cloud of molten rock, and may have done so before our planet itself formed, a new theory suggests. ...

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