The Kepler space observatory has been a source of great wonder since it first launched in 2009. It has turned its eyes out into the great vastness of space and seen new planetary systems and potentially life-supporting planets. The telescope's original 3.5-year mission was extended into 2016, but that may now come to a halt as serious technical issues take a toll.
It was once described as a "glorified crane," but was so much more than that.
Tireless cargo handler, astronaut platform, and critical inspection tool, the Canadarm was an essential component of NASA's space shuttle fleet from 1981 to 2011.
This past week, it became a permanent exhibit at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
"This exhibit commemorates an important part of our history in space," Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore said at a ceremony to unveil the exhibit. "The Canadarm is a symbol of our country's ingenuity and expertise in space robotics. It has positioned Canada as a leader in space." … Read more
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NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered new habitable planets, but don't pack up your house just yet. Plus, we take a first look at Fujitsu's FingerLink touch-based projection scanner, and Project Unity lets you play up to 18 classic video consoles in one box. … Read more
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has been in hot pursuit of extraterrestrial life for four years now. And, on Thursday, it's letting people know just what it's found lurking in the Milky Way.
NASA is holding a Kepler briefing at 11 a.m. PT on Thursday. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and on UStream. The agency will also host a moderated Web chat with Kepler Deputy Project Scientist Nick Gautier of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. During the briefing, people can submit questions to the Kepler scientists via Twitter with the hashtag #AskNASA.
If you love eye-popping images of space, here's welcome news: the Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources has backed building what's to be the world's largest, most powerful optical telescope above the clouds atop the volcano Mauna Kea.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will have a primary mirror of 492 segments measuring some 100 feet across, giving it the power to image objects 13 billion light years away, near the beginning of the universe.
It may also photograph planets outside our solar system with unprecedented detail. … Read more
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This week on Crave, The Count counts 1 billion views on Sesame Street's YouTube Channel. Plus, the DRM chair self-destructs after eight sittings, we run screaming from a concrete-tossing robot dog, and sex up your iPhone with Sexy Smarty Pants underwear from Japan. All that and more goodies on this week's show. … Read more
Humans have long looked up into space and assigned objects like lions, bears, and hunters to shapes made by the stars. Now the Hubble Space Telescope has looked up into space and discovered an object that looks an awful lot like a classic game creature from Space Invaders.
The image was taken in infrared light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 and combined with near-infrared observations from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.
"The gravitational field surrounding this massive cluster of galaxies, Abell 68, acts as a natural lens in space to brighten and magnify the light coming from very distant background galaxies," the Space Telescope Science Institute says. "Like a funhouse mirror, lensing creates a fantasy landscape of arc-like images and mirror images of background galaxies."… Read more
Aside from giant laser beams, can eyes in the sky help save us from asteroid hits?
Canada thinks so, and it has launched a space telescope to track hazardous objects including asteroids, space junk, and satellites.
The Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) was launched from an Indian rocket this week as the first dedicated space-based sentinel of its kind.
Managed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), NEOSSat is about the size of a suitcase and orbits some 500 miles above Earth, circling every 100 minutes. … Read more
How well do you know the geography of the moon? This weekend brings a great chance for you to brush up on your lunar knowledge.
Starry Night Education points out that when the moon rises each night this weekend, we Earthlings can view a great angle of these jumbo lunar craters: Plato, Archimedes, Copernicus, Ptolemaeus, and Clavius. … Read more
Roughly 25 trillion miles (or 4.3 light years) from home, astronomers have found that the Alpha Centauri star system hosts a planet with a mass similar to that of Earth. Galactic geeks may recall references to this star system in "Star Trek," "Avatar," "Transformers," and countless other fictional entertainment.
The planet, officially named Alpha Centauri Bb, orbits Alpha Centauri B and took more than four years of observing to fully classify. … Read more