Tag: Space and Astronomy

How to Cool a Planet With Extraterrestrial Dust

Extraterrestrial events — the collision of faraway black holes, a comet slamming into Jupiter — evoke wonder on Earth but rarely a sense of local urgency. By and large, what happens in outer space stays in outer space. A study published Wednesday in Science Advances offered a compelling exception to that rule. A team of […]

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The Maybe Comet From Another Star

The universe comes calling. Astronomers around the world are sitting on the edges of their seats right now, waiting to see if yet another comet from another sun has invaded the solar system. The first such interstellar invader ever detected, a cigar-shaped rock called Oumuamua, caused a sensation when it was seen streaking away from […]

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Did India’s Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander Survive? The Odds Are Long

India’s first moon lander, which fell silent as it headed toward the lunar surface on Friday, has been located from orbit, the country’s space agency says. That has created hope that it might be revived. If it did indeed land in working condition, that would be an impressive feat. In the history of spaceflight, robotic […]

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India Says It Has Located Chandrayaan-2 Lander on Moon’s Surface

NEW DELHI — A day after India lost contact with a robotic spacecraft that was launched toward the moon’s South Pole, the chairman of the country’s space agency said on Sunday that the lander had been detected on the moon’s surface. K. Sivan, the director of the Indian Space Research Organization, told national news outlets […]

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Chandrayaan-2: How to Follow India’s Moon Landing

After a journey from Earth to lunar orbit that took nearly six weeks, India will try to land on the moon’s surface. With Chandrayaan-2, the country hopes to become the fourth in the world to complete a lunar landing, after the Soviet, American and Chinese space programs. Here’s what you need to know about the […]

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India Looks Hopefully to the Moon Ahead of Chandrayaan-2 Landing

BANGALORE, India — India is within reach of the moon. Weeks after the Chandrayaan-2 mission blasted off, its robotic Vikram lander will attempt a touchdown early on Saturday. If the mission is successful, India will become only the fourth nation to land on the moon, after the United States, Russia and China. Around the world, […]

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What I Didn’t Do This Summer

So I missed the eclipse. It turned out that in early July something equally cosmic would be happening — likewise accompanied by crying, laughing, drinking and a last-minute, nail-biting weather watch — albeit something more local and hopefully far more lasting. I performed a wedding. In all, I’ve witnessed eight total solar eclipses, from 35 […]

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Trump Authorizes a Space Command. Next, He Wants a Space Force.

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday authorized the creation of the United States Space Command, citing the need for a centralized unit to protect American interests in what he called “the next war-fighting domain.” He described the command as a precursor to the Space Force, a sixth branch of the military that he has promised […]

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How a Bitter Divorce Battle on Earth Led to Claims of a Crime in Space

Summer Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer living in Kansas, has been in the midst of a bitter separation and parenting dispute for much of the past year. So she was surprised when she noticed that her estranged spouse still seemed to know things about her spending. Had she bought a car? How could […]

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A Supernova Was Hiding in Antarctica’s Snow

Earth is continuously plowing through extraterrestrial dust. Tens of thousands of tons of the stuff, mostly from asteroids and comets, settles all over the planet every year. We are the shoulder to a universe of dandruff. But even the faintest detritus has a story to tell. Recently, scientists analyzed dust collected from Antarctic snow and […]

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LightSail-2 Mission Shows Solar Sailing’s Potential for Spaceflight

Sail on, pushed by the wind of sunlight. Over the past week, engineers have demonstrated how they can steer LightSail-2, a small privately financed spacecraft with a billowing silver sail. The technology could be used to propel future space probes through the solar system. Most space missions today are propelled by engines that provide bursts […]

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When a Mega-Tsunami Drowned Mars, This Spot May Have Been Ground Zero

The area where the northern ocean was thought to exist also contains what are called thumbprint terrains, found on the landward side of those suspected ancient shorelines. These terrains may have been etched by the chaotic and violent flow of water in the aftermath of the mega-tsunamis. But which craters were tied to the impacts […]

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NASA’s TESS Satellite Spots ‘Missing Link’ Exoplanets

NASA’s new planet-hunting spacecraft, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is now halfway through its first tour of the nearby universe. It has been looking for worlds that might be fit for you, me or some other form of life, and as usual, nature has been generous in its rewards. Since its launch in April 2018, […]

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‘Would Dad Approve?’ Neil Armstrong’s Heirs Divide Over a Lucrative Legacy

Last fall, Neil Armstrong’s two sons began a round of media appearances to promote a venture that would make them millions of dollars: a series of auctions of about 3,000 mementos from their father’s moon mission and NASA career. “One Giant Sale” was CNBC’s headline, playing on the astronaut’s famous line, as Mark and Rick […]

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Five Women Who Made the Moon Landing Possible

You’re reading In Her Words, where women rule the headlines. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox. Let me know what you think at dearmaya@nytimes.com. “My wish would be, all the photos in the future, there will always be women.” — JoAnn Morgan, the only woman in NASA’s firing room for the […]

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Neil Armstrong’s Death, and a Stormy, Secret $6 Million Settlement

When Neil Armstrong died in a Cincinnati hospital two weeks after undergoing heart surgery in 2012, his family released a touching tribute addressing the astronaut’s millions of admirers around the globe. “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty,” they wrote, telling fans of the first man to walk on the moon that “the next […]

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