- Mars helicopter's first flight could happen on Monday (CNN) The Ingenuity helicopter is preparing for its historic flight on Mars Monday if everything goes according to plan. The first powered, controlled flight on another planet will take place at 3:30 a.m. ET on April 19, according to NASA . Unlike when the helicopter's fellow traveler, the Perseverance rover, landed on Mars on February 18, we won't be able to see images or know if it was successful right away. The helicopter team will be in ... [Read More]


- Classifying galaxies by hand and eye was already hard -- over 20 million of them would be impossible. So machine learning came in handy. Despite being a relatively new field, image-based machine learning can already accomplish impressive things , but how does imaging analysis could be applied to astronomy? A recent study used machine learning to describe the morphological characteristics of galaxies. The team involved used nearly 27 million galaxies from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) to train, ... [Read More]

- In recent years there has been an exhaustive study of red dwarf stars to find exoplanets in orbit around them. These stars have effective surface temperatures between 2400 and 3700 K (over 2000 degrees cooler than the Sun), and masses between 0.08 and 0.45 solar masses. In this context, a team of researchers led by Borja Toledo Padrón, a Severo Ochoa-La Caixa doctoral student at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), specializing in the search for planets around this type of stars, ... [Read More]


- A proposed mission called Io Volcano Observer (IVO) would visit Jupiter ’s moon Io, which is a true volcanic wonderland with hundreds of erupting volcanoes gushing tons of molten lava and sulfurous gases at any moment. Wind the clock back a few billion years, and this could have been the surface of any young rocky planet. But today, in our solar system, only Io hosts this kind of hyperactivity. Under the colossal pull of Jupiter’s gravity and the passing orbital tugs of sibling moons Europa ... [Read More]

- An illustration of the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope concept. NASA is paying a team of researchers to develop a plan for a telescope on the far side of the moon. The Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT), as the concept is called, would be a lot like the , which in December. A huge dish would collects radio waves from the cosmos and amplify them so that scientists could analyze the signals. The difference is that on the moon, such a telescope would be shielded from the cacophony of radio signals ... [Read More]

- Faced with the tragic loss of the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and the often prohibitive cost of satellite missions, astronomers are searching for savvy alternatives to continue answering fundamental questions in physics. Faced with the tragic loss of the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and the often prohibitive cost of satellite missions, astronomers are searching for savvy alternatives to continue answering fundamental questions in physics. At a press conference during the 2021 APS ... [Read More]

- A group led by scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, using coordinated observations of the Crab pulsar in a number of frequencies, have discovered that the "giant radio pulses" which it emits include an increase in x-ray emissions in addition to the radio and visible light emissions that had been previously observed. This finding, published in Science , implies that these pulses are hundreds of times more energetic than previously believed and could provide insights into ... [Read More]

- Two years ago, astronomers acquired the first direct image of a black hole. A coordinated observation campaign of this object is now adding to our understanding of this black hole and its tumultuous surroundings. Located at the core of elliptical galaxy M87, this supermassive black hole carries the mass of 6.5 billion Suns. In April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration released a direct image of this object , in what was an unparalleled achievement for astronomers. Our ... [Read More]


- The mystery of fast radio bursts (FRBs) from space may be a step closer to being solved. Astronomers studying a repeating signal from a nearby galaxy have detected radiation at the lowest frequency of any FRB found so far, providing new potential hints about their origin. FRBs are exactly what they sound like – bursts of radio signals that only last milliseconds. Ever since they were first detected over a decade ago, they’ve poured in from all corners of the sky, with each detection either ... [Read More]


- A pair of orbiting black holes millions of times the Sun’s mass perform a hypnotic pas de deux in a new NASA visualization. The movie traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas – called an accretion disk – that surrounds each one. Viewed from near the orbital plane, each accretion disk takes on a characteristic double-humped look. But as one passes in front of the other, the gravity of the foreground black hole transforms its partner into ... [Read More]

- U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists were recently left scratching their heads over a familiar sight in the sky. Venus images are nothing new, but a solar probe surprised the researchers by seeing through the planet's clouds. NRL's Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) took a stunning image of Earth's celestial neighbor Venus last year that left researchers searching for answers as to how what they were seeing was possible. Expecting to see just the featureless Venusian clouds, ... [Read More]


- If Planet Nine is out there, a large, mysterious planet lurking at the dark edges of the Solar System, it may not be where we thought it might be. According to astronomers searching for the hypothetical object, new information taken into account could mean that its orbit is significantly more elliptical than most recently predicted. The hypothetical Planet Nine made a big entrance in 2016, when astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown of Caltech published a paper in The Astronomical ... [Read More]

- A NASA spacecraft left a mess at an asteroid after grabbing a load of rubble last fall for return to Earth CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A NASA spacecraft left a mess at an asteroid when it grabbed a load of rubble last year for return to Earth, new pictures revealed Thursday. The Osiris-Rex spacecraft made one final flyby of asteroid Bennu on April 7 to take photos of the disturbance left by October’s sample collection. A depression is visible where Osiris-Rex penetrated the asteroid's surface. ... [Read More]

- Ripples in spacetime caused by black holes colliding in darkness could help scientists clock the expansion of the universe. We live in an expanding universe, in which objects like galaxies are carried away from each other like boats in a widening ocean . Still, clocking the exact speed of its movement has become a thorny open question for scientists, because our two best measurements of this value—known as the Hubble constant—do not match. Now, scientists have proposed that this frustrating ... [Read More]


- Oxygen in the atmosphere may not be an entirely reliable ‘biosignature,’ but there are ways to distinguish false positives from signs of life, scientists say. In the search for life on other planets, the presence of oxygen in a planet’s atmosphere is one potential sign of biological activity that might be detected by future telescopes. A new study, however, describes several scenarios in which a lifeless rocky planet around a sun-like star could evolve to have oxygen in its atmosphere. ... [Read More]

- The more we study the Universe, the more it seems likely that each galaxy is orbiting a cosmic colossus - a supermassive black hole, powering the galactic nucleus. There's a lot we don't know about these giant objects - including the glaring question of how they grow so huge - but new research could help us fill in some of the gaps. According to a new radio survey of all the galaxies in a region of the sky, every supermassive black hole in a galactic nucleus devours matter, although they go ... [Read More]