The Ring Nebula's distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist.
The Ring Nebula is about 2,000 light-years from Earth and measures roughly 1 light-year across. Located in the constellation Lyra, the nebula is a popular target for amateur astronomers.
A massive and rare merging of two galaxies has been spotted in images taken by the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.
The findings help explain a mystery in astronomy: whether elliptical galaxies built up slowly over time through the acquisitions of smaller galaxies, or formed more rapidly through powerful collisions between two large galaxies.
As NASA ventures farther into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending astronauts to Mars, the agency will need to make improvements in life support systems, including how to feed the crew during those long deep space missions.
NASA's Advanced Food Technology program is interested in developing methods that will provide food to meet safety, acceptability, variety, and nutritional stability requirements for long exploration missions.
The Expedition 36 trio aboard the International Space Station started its work week taking apart a treadmill and working on science hardware. Another trio is in Kazakhstan counting down to a May 28 launch aboard a Soyuz rocket to join their orbiting crewmates.
Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano will enter their Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft for a 4:31 p.m. EDT launch, and dock just four orbits – or about six hours – later.
On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) -- or larger -- radar telescope at their disposal.