ESA’s Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Is Skimming Earth for a Gravity Assist – And It’s One of the Riskiest Planetary Flybys Ever

ESA’s Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Is Skimming Earth for a Gravity Assist – And It’s One of the Riskiest Planetary Flybys Ever

Artist’s impression of Solar Orbiter making a flyby at Earth. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab The chance that ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft will encounter space debris during its upcoming Earth flyby is very, very low. However, the risk is not zero and is greater than any other flyby ESA has performed. That there is this risk at … Read more

Hubble Spots a Pulsing Stellar Jet in Running Man Nebula That Stretches Over 11 Trillion Miles Through Space

Hubble Spots a Pulsing Stellar Jet in Running Man Nebula That Stretches Over 11 Trillion Miles Through Space

Hubble captured a bright jet from a newly forming star in this image of the Running Man Nebula (NGC 1977). Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Bally (University of Colorado at Boulder); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America) A jet from a newly formed star flares into the shining depths of reflection nebula NGC 1977 … Read more

Loss of ancient grazers triggered a global rise in fires

Loss of ancient grazers triggered a global rise in fires

Woolly mammoth. Credit: Tracy O (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons From 50,000 years to 6,000 years ago, many of the world’s largest animals, including such iconic grassland grazers as the woolly mammoth, giant bison, and ancient horses, went extinct. The loss of these grazing species triggered a dramatic increase in fire activity in the world’s grasslands, … Read more

Arctic Ocean started warming ‘decades earlier than previously thought’

Arctic Ocean started warming 'decades earlier than previously thought'

The temperature of the Arctic Ocean actually started rising at the beginning of the century (Credits: Getty Images) The Arctic Ocean started getting warmer decades earlier than previously thought, reveals a new study. Researchers found that its temperature actually started rising at the beginning of the 20th century – several years earlier than records suggest … Read more

Venus may be volcanically active

Venus may be volcanically active

A new study adds to a growing pile of evidence that Venus may be volcanically active — a finding that, if true, would help explain how volcanoes impact planetary evolution and habitability across the cosmos. The research, which focuses on strange signals coming from a Venusian volcano called Idunn Mons, is fueling excitement about future … Read more

Russian node module docks with International Space Station – Spaceflight Now

Russian node module docks with International Space Station – Spaceflight Now

Russia’s Prichal node module moments before docking at the International Space Station. Credit: Roscosmos Russia’s Prichal docking module linked up with the International Space Station Friday, adding the final planned piece of the Russian segment of the outpost to provide a new connection for future crew and cargo ships. The spherical, ball-shaped docking node launched … Read more

Great Barrier Reef: how a spectacular coral spawning event is helping to breed heat-tolerant corals | Great Barrier Reef

It’s nearing 10pm, and Dr Kate Quigley is still waiting. Using red lights to minimise disruption to the animals’ behaviour, she is inspecting corals. Quigley, who studies reef restoration at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, is looking for “little red dots all over the surface”. A pimply appearance is a hallmark sign that a … Read more

Sun unleashes solar storm that could affect power grid and satellites – and create swirling northern lights

Sun unleashes solar storm that could affect power grid and satellites – and create swirling northern lights

Small geomagnetic storms could hit the Earth after the Sun spat out plasma, experts have said. The minor storms could affect some equipment on Earth as well as making aurora visible in some northerly places, experts say. The coronal mass ejection unleashed by the Sun is expected to sideswipe Earth’s magnetic field, experts warned. But … Read more