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Kepler Space Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet In The ‘Habitable Zone’ of Another Star

This artist's concept depicts Kepler-186f , the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone.
Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone” — the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. While planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth and understanding their makeup is challenging. Kepler-186f is more reminiscent of Earth. “The discovery of Kepler-186f is…

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SpaceX To Use Historic Apollo Launch Pad

The Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 space capsule at the Launch Complex 39A, which will now be leased out to SpaceX.

Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site. NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for…

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Astronomy Sky Calendar – May 2014

saturn

Sky Watch for May 2014 Mercury– is well positioned for viewing in late May this year, being as high as possible in the western sky after sunset, setting shortly after twilight at dusk ends.  Look for this elusive but bright planet right on the western horizon…

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Total Eclipse of the Moon April 15th 2014

Fulli_Eclipse

The first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses takes place on the night of April 14–15, with excellent viewing prospects all across the U.S. and Canada. What to Look For…

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Series Of Lunar Eclipses Visible Across North America

Series Of Lunar Eclipses Visible Across North America

by: Dr. Tony Phillips via NASA For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin. The action starts on April 15th when the…

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The Anatomy Of The James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors

The Anatomy Of The James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors

by: Rob Gutro via Goddard Space Flight Center When you think of a mirror, there really isn’t that much needed to describe it, but when you look at a mirror…

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NASA-Ames Takes A New Look At 1976 Viking Mission Findings – “Has Mars Preserved Evidence of Ancient Life?”

NASA-Ames Takes A New Look At 1976 Viking Mission Findings – “Has Mars Preserved Evidence of Ancient Life?”

Almost 40 years ago, two NASA probes on the surface of Mars scooped the soil in search of signs of microbes. The results that came back from the twin Viking…

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Mercury 7 Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter Dies at 88

Mercury Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter smiles, in his pressure suit, prior to participating in a simulated mission run at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Credit: NASA.

One of the original “Mercury 7” astronauts, Scott Carpenter, has died. He was the sixth person to fly in space; the fourth American to fly in space and the second…

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Russia Plans Manned Lunar Base

Russia Plans Manned Lunar Base

The federal space agency Roscosmos has launched a feasibility study of a project to build a manned base on the Moon, Academician Lev Zelyony, director of the Russian Academy of…

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Comet Pan-Starrs – Visible In Northern Hemisphere In March

Comet PanSTARRS glows with a fanlike tail in this picture from Argentine astrophotographer Ignacio Diaz Bobillo.

Comet Pan-STARRS C/2011 L4, discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala in June 2011, is expected to become visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere in March.…

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NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Tiny Planet System

A Tiny Planet

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star like our sun, approximately 210 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.

The artist's concept depicts the new planet dubbed Kepler-37b. The planet is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37b orbits its host star every 13 days at less than one-third the distance Mercury is to the sun. The estimated surface temperature of this smoldering planet, at more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Kelvin), would melt the zinc in a penny.

Astronomers don't think the tiny planet has an atmosphere or could support life as we know it, but the moon-size world is almost certainly rocky in composition.

Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun. The planets are located…

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity  Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample

NASA’s Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect…

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