space
Hubble Telescope’s Broken Gyroscope Seemingly Fixed After Engineers Try Turning It Off and On Again

If you’ve ever worked in IT, you know that most problems require eye-rollingly simple solutions. One, check that the device is plugged in. Two, turn the device off and back on again. Three, wiggle some things around. It appears that such thinking will fix the Hubble Space Telescope, which entered a safe mode two weeks ago after a gyroscope failure. Read More >>

space
BepiColombo Spacecraft Snaps Its First Selfie From Space on Its Way to Mercury

The BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), which is currently on an ambitious mission to the best planet with a payload of two orbiters, has sent us its first image from space. Read More >>

space
Curiosity Rover Is Back to Limited Science Operations on Mars, NASA Says

NASA has had quite a bit on its plate recently between its Hubble Space Telescope entering safe mode, the prolonged silence from its Opportunity rover, and a technical issue with its Curiosity rover on Mars. But one bright spot appears to be the return of some science operations by Curiosity following a memory anomaly last month. While it’s not totally back up to full operations, Curiosity will be able to transmit data to its team while they work on its recovery. Read More >>

space
NASA’s New ‘Gamma’ Constellations Are Partly Made From Black Holes (And The TARDIS)

You'd think with all the astronomical discoveries we've made over the years, we'd have plenty of stars to make new constellations from. Like, thousands of them. And in a way, we do. But why use boring old stars, when you can use black holes instead? Read More >>

space
Launching Tonight: A Mission to the Best Planet (Mercury)

Mercury is the best planet, in my humble but well-researched opinion. Sure, it may be small, rocky, and lacking an atmosphere, but how it came to look the way it does absolutely baffles scientists. It might even have water and carbon hidden away from the beginning of the Solar System. Tonight, scientists from the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are launching a mission that could uncover some of the secrets of this mysterious rock. Read More >>

space
Trying Understand the Size of This New Space Discovery Will Short-Circuit Your Brain

Light’s speed limit means that looking into the distance is the same as looking into the past: the farther incoming light travels, the older it is. Out in the distance, scientists have spotted a truly enormous, ancient “proto-supercluster,” dubbed Hyperion, which could help explain how the universe forms some of its largest structures. Read More >>

space
NASA Astronaut Shares Harrowing New Details About Failed Soyuz Launch

Nick Hague is back in the United States following last week’s aborted launch of a Soyuz-FG rocket. The NASA astronaut has now described the incident to the Associated Press, explaining what happened after the Russian-built capsule flew away from the failing rocket at speeds reaching 4,000 miles per hour. Read More >>

space
NASA’s Flagship X-Ray Telescope Back Online After Weekend Safe Mode

One of NASA’s flagship telescopes, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, went into safe mode last week following gyroscope problems. That telescope is now back up and running. Read More >>

space
Hayabusa2’s Mission to Touch Down on the Asteroid Ryugu Has Been Delayed Until 2019

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has delayed the touchdown of the main section of the Hayabusa2 probe on the asteroid Ryugu from this month until January 2019, Nature reported, after mission scientists determined that the Ryugu’s surface is rougher than expected and the landing needs more planning time. Read More >>

space
There May Still Be Hope for NASA’s Sleeping Opportunity Rover

It’s been months since NASA engineers have heard from the sleeping Opportunity rover, which powered down after getting caught in a massive dust storm on Mars that obscured its surface from the Sun. But all hope isn’t yet lost, as the space agency said in an update Thursday that a coming windy season on the Red Planet could help clear dust believed to be obstructing Opportunity’s solar panels. Read More >>

doctor who
Doctor Who’s Gallifrey Would Be a Nightmarishly Awful Place to Live

The Doctor, the eponymous star of Doctor Who, doesn’t visit her homeworld very often. This isn’t just because the Time Lords are an irascible bunch; after consulting with several Who-obsessed scientists, it’s clear that Gallifrey is less like the strangely habitable planets of Star Wars and more like the worst place in the universe to live. Read More >>

space
Just Days After Hubble, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Also Enters Safe Mode

Mere days after the Hubble Space Telescope entered safe mode following a component failure, NASA said its Chandra X-ray Observatory entered safe mode on Wednesday. The space agency revealed on Friday that an investigation into the incident is currently underway, though it added data analysis indicated the safe mode transition to be “normal behaviour.” Read More >>

space
After Soyuz Failure, Space is Now Weirdly Inaccessible to Astronauts

All crewed launches have been suspended by Russia’s space agency following yesterday’s Soyuz rocket failure. That’s a problem, because much of the world relies on Russian rockets to get both cargo and people into space. Consequently, we’re now facing the very real possibility of having an uncrewed International Space Station—something that hasn’t happened in nearly two decades. Read More >>

space
New Supernova Discovery Explains Landmark Neutron Star Collision

August 17, 2017 heralded one of the most important observations in astronomy’s history: two neutron stars colliding, sending both light and gravitational waves toward the Earth. But it left one question wide open: how two of these stellar corpses could have ended up orbiting each other in the first place. Read More >>

space
Astronomers Wonder: Can Moons Have Moons?

Inquisitive kids ask some questions that parents just can’t answer. Astronomer Juna Kollmeier’s son gave her a real stumper one night back in 2014: Read More >>