Death Star Moon of Mars

New simulations have revealed the massive impact that may have created our solar system’s own ‘Death Star’.

A bizarre 5.6-mile-wide crater marring the surface of Mars’ largest moon, Phobos, has long baffled scientists, with many noting its physical resemblance to the fictional-planet destroyer in the Star Wars films.

Now, researchers have found numerous scenarios that could have created the feature without entirely destroying Phobos, including an an asteroid or comet roughly 250 meters across slamming into the moon at nearly 4 miles per second.

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 New simulations reveal the massive impact that may have created our solar system¿s own ¿Death Star.¿ Eesearchers have found numerous scenarios that could have created the feature without entirely destroying Phobos (pictured)
New simulations reveal the massive impact that may have created our solar system’s own ‘Death Star.’ Eesearchers have found numerous scenarios that could have created the feature without entirely destroying Phobos (pictured)

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Disco Ball for Space Travel

Disco balls could be the unlikely key to interstellar travel, researchers have found.

Most projects, including billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Starshot project with Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg, have focused on light ‘sails’ to travel the vast distances.

However, now researchers say a sphere could be far more effective.

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The interstellar disco ball, would have a probe hidden in the centre, according to the Harvard research. When a laser beam hit the thin, mirror-like surface, the light would bounce off and push the probe along.

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Black Hole Gateway to Nine Dimensions

It might sound like science fiction, but the three dimensions of space we are used to might not be the only ones out there.

One theory of particle physics suggests there are in fact nine dimensions, and black holes might be the key to reaching them.

This means that black holes could be portals to other universes.

Now scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are closing in on the hunt for evidence.

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One theory of particle physics suggests there are in fact nine dimensions, and black holes might be the key to reaching them. This means that black holes could be portals to other universesOne theory of particle physics suggests there are in fact nine dimensions, and black holes might be the key to reaching them. This means that black holes could be portals to other universes

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Best Space Map Yet

Esa has unveiled a stunning 3D map of a billion stars in our galaxy that is 1,000 times more complete than anything that previously existed.

The data for the map was collected by a space-based probe called Gaia, which has been circling the sun nearly a million miles beyond Earth’s orbit since its launch in December 2013.

On its journey, the satellite has been discreetly snapping pictures of the Milky Way.

Now the European Space Agency has released the first batch of data collected by Gaia, which includes information on the brightness and position of over a billion stars.

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The European Space Agency has released the first batch of data collected by Gaia, which includes information on the brightness and position of over a billion stars. An all-sky view of stars in our galaxy and neighbouring galaxies is pictured, based on the first year of observations from ESA’s Gaia satellite, from July 2014 to September 2015

The European Space Agency has released the first batch of data collected by Gaia, which includes information on the brightness and position of over a billion stars. An all-sky view of stars in our galaxy and neighbouring galaxies is pictured, based on the first year of observations from ESA’s Gaia satellite, from July 2014 to September 2015

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Asteroid Mining

An asteroid mining operation of the future

An asteroid mining operation of the future (Credit: NASA)

There’s gold in them thar asteroids – also iron, nickel, copper and, most valuable of all, water. According to the proponents of asteroid mining, these space rocks are a virtual El Dorado in the sky with more obtainable minerals in the largest three in our solar system than on the entire Earth. The question is, where exactly is all this mineral wealth and how do you get it without going broke in the process?

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Mars Capsule Being Tested

Nasa has conducted the second to last splashdown test for its Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to eventually send humans to Mars.

Scientists at NASA’s Langley facility on Thursday used a pendulum and explosives to fling a test capsule into a pool of water at about 25 mph.

The 11-foot craft disappeared behind a bowl-shaped splash before bouncing buoyantly against safety netting.

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A mockup of NASA's Orion spacecraft, a deep space vessel that is slated to eventually travel to Mars, hits the water in a simulated ocean splashdown test at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. An unmanned test flight is scheduled for 2018 with the first crewed flight is slated for 2023.

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Wiped Out Without Warning

Releasing more energy in one second than the sun will in its entire ten-billion-year-lifetime, gamma ray bursts are some of the universe’s most powerful phenomena.

The energy is released in a focused jet of electromagnetic waves, meaning they can travel billions of light years and still look bright to us on Earth.

While all the bursts we see come from distant galaxies, there is a slight chance the same thing could happen much closer to home – and if it does, life on Earth will be wiped out without warning.

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A gamma ray burst is the equivalent of taking all the stars within a hundred million light years and focusing it into one kind of energetic 'laser beam'
A gamma ray burst is the equivalent of taking all the stars within a hundred million light years and focusing it into one kind of energetic ‘laser beam’

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Private Moon Mission Cleared

Moon Express is hoping it can contribute to the advancement of technology, science, research and development
Moon Express is hoping it can contribute to the advancement of technology, science, research and development (Credit: Moon Express)

For the first time ever, a private company has been given permission to land on the moon. The authorization from the US Government means next year’s planned lunar mission by Moon Express will not only be the first by a private company, but the first time a private company will leave Earth’s orbit. read more

Space Station Renderings from the ’70s

The archetypal space colony image? Don Davis' depiction of a Stanford torus space station
The archetypal space colony image? Don Davis’ depiction of a Stanford torus space station (Credit: NASA Ames Research Center)

Those of a certain age and a certain bent can’t fail to look at this beautiful depiction of the interior of a space station without a sense of nostalgia. Because, though Don Davis (in this case) depicts a presumably far-future vision of human space colonies, the art itself is very much of its time: the 1970s.

It’s easy to mistake as being conceptual art for speculative fiction, but in fact this image, and the others here, come about as a result of successive summer studies from the collective brains of NASA, Princeton and Stanford. Here’s some of what they came up with. read more

Proton Powered Spacecraft

Nasa engineers have revealed new details of a radical new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space.

The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds.

Researchers say this could bring spacecraft to the heliopause in just 10 years – a feat that took the Voyager craft 35 years.

They hope to test their idea by 2020.

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 Nasa engineers have begun testing the concept for a new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space. The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds
Nasa engineers have begun testing the concept for a new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space. The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds

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