Celestial fireworks celebrate Hubble’s 25th anniversary

  The brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resembles a glittering fireworks display in the 25th anniversary of the NASA Hubble space telescope image – commemorating a quarter century of exploring the solar system and beyond since its launch on 24 April 1990. Hubble has completely transformed our view of the universe, revealing […]

Scientists are another step closer to figuring out dark matter

  “Dark matter is an enigma we have long sought to unravel,” said John Grunsfeld, assistant administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “With the combined capabilities of these great observatories, both in extended mission, we are ever closer to understanding this cosmic phenomenon.” Using observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray […]

Eight African SKA partner countries agree on draft MoU

  At the second annual meeting of the SKA African Partner Countries ministerial meeting several key agreements were concluded, propelling the African very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) network (AVN) and SKA projects forward. The meeting was hosted by South Africa in Pretoria and attended by minsters and senior representatives from Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, […]

SDO continues to add information about the sun

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), designed to study the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth is continually adding to the body of knowledge about solar activity and the impact on Space weather and Earth. The SDO was launched  on 11 February 2010. On 10 February 2015 a dark, snaking line across the […]

SKA project takes a major step forward

The design of the €650-million first phase of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA1) is now defined, consisting of two complementary world-class instruments: one in South Africa and one in Australia – both expected to deliver exciting and transformational science. At their meeting last week at the SKA Organisation headquarters in Manchester, UK, the SKA Board […]

Fluids in Space – shaken not stirred

The next time you pour yourself a glass of water, pause before you drink it. First, swirl the clear liquid around the glass.  Gently slosh it back and forth. Tap the glass on the tabletop, and watch the patterns that form on the surface. “Now imagine the same exercise… in zero gravity.  Would the waves […]

SMAP to study what drives our living planet

  Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) is a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth’s surface to expand man’s understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving the living planet. SMAP’s combined radar and radiometer instruments will peer into the top 5 cm of soil, through […]

There is more to thunderstorms than what you may think!

  Each day, thunderstorms around the world produce about a thousand quick bursts of gamma rays, some of the highest-energy light naturally found on Earth. Gamma rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, […]

Where did our planet get its oceans?

  One popular theory holds that water was brought to Earth by the ancient impacts of comets and asteroids. However, new data from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft indicate that terrestrial water did not come from comets like 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among planetary scientists, this is one of the most important and perplexing questions about the […]