How a Squad of Small Satellites Will Help NASA Study Storms

Hurricanes are some of the most powerful and destructive weather events on Earth. To help study these powerful storms, NASA is launching TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats), a collection of 6 small satellites designed to measure storm strength by detecting the thermal radiation naturally emitted by the oxygen […]

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Globular Cluster in the Scorpion: Rediscovered, Renamed, Reclassified

This image shows the globular cluster NGC 6380, which lies around 35,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpio (The Scorpion). The very bright star at the top of the image is HD 159073, which is only around 4000 light-years from Earth, making it a much nearer neighbor to Earth than NGC 6380. This image […]

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Asteroids In Depth: Our Solar System’s Asteroid Belt

Asteroids, sometimes called minor planets, are rocky remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. The current known asteroid count is more than one million! Most of this ancient space rubble can be found orbiting our Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt. Asteroids range in size from Vesta – […]

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​NASA Finally Identifies Possible Cause of Hubble Computer Problem

NASA has identified the possible cause of the payload computer problem that suspended Hubble Space Telescope science operations on June 13. The telescope itself and science instruments remain healthy and in a safe configuration. The payload computer resides in the Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SI C&DH) unit. It controls, coordinates, and monitors Hubble’s science instruments. When […]

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At Last! NASA Successfully Switches to Backup Computer on Hubble Space Telescope

NASA has successfully switched to backup hardware on the Hubble Space Telescope, including powering on the backup payload computer, on July 15. The switch was performed to compensate for a problem with the original payload computer that occurred on June 13 when the computer halted, suspending science data collection. The switch included bringing online the backup Power […]

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Cosmic Lens Flare: Hubble Captures Strong Gravitational Lensing

The center of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is framed by the tell-tale arcs that result from strong gravitational lensing, a striking astronomical phenomenon which can warp, magnify, or even duplicate the appearance of distant galaxies. Gravitational lensing occurs when light from a distant galaxy is subtly distorted by the gravitational pull of an intervening […]

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The star Betelgeuse became visibly darker in 2019

The star Betelgeuse became visibly darker in 2019 and 2020, puzzling astronomers; new images show that the star was partially concealed by a cloud of dust, solving the mystery of the ‘Great Dimming’ of Betelgeuse. When Betelgeuse, a bright orange star in the constellation of Orion, lost more than two-thirds of its brightness in late […]

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SuperBIT: A Low-Cost Telescope To Rival Hubble – Carried by a Balloon the Size of a Football Stadium

Durham, Toronto and Princeton Universities have teamed up with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to build a new kind of astronomical telescope. SuperBIT flies above 99.5% of the Earth’s atmosphere, carried by a helium balloon the size of a football stadium. The telescope will make its operational debut next April and when deployed should obtain high-resolution […]

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