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Interview with Dr. Elyar Sedaghati on Titanium Oxide in Wasp-19b’s Atmosphere

An artist's impression showing the exoplanet WASP-19b, in which atmosphere astronomers detected titanium oxide for the first time. In large enough quantities, titanium oxide can prevent heat from entering or escaping an atmosphere, leading to a thermal inversion — the temperature is higher in the upper atmosphere and lower further down, the opposite of the normal situation. Image credit Wasp-planets.net

A scientific research team recently announced the discovery of titanium oxide in Wasp-19b’s atmosphere. Wasp-19b is a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet that orbits a star about 815 light years from Earth. For this interview, I caught up with research team member Dr. Elyar Sedaghati, who works with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope installment in Chile. HH: Today we’re here …

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Flight Director Gene Kranz Confirmed Safe in Aftermath of Harvey

Gene Kranz chats with first responders at the Dickinson Police Station. Image credit KHOU

Houston is home to many current and retired employees of NASA, especially ones who work at the Johnson Space Center and its famous Mission Control Center. These employees and alumni were right on the front line of Hurricane Harvey, which had many of NASA’s personnel concerned about possible flood damage to facilities and hardware like the James Webb Space Telescope. …

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UK Student Finds Error In NASA Scientific Data

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An A-level British student named Miles Soloman proved the value of having human eyeballs on scientific data when he discovered that radiation sensors on the International Space Station was producing false data. When he informed NASA scientists of his discovery, they showed their appreciation by inviting him to help analyze the issue. While making the discovery, Mr. Soloman used spreadsheets …

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More delays for SpaceX return to flight?

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On September 1st, 2016, the SpaceX Amos 6 mission suffered a landing pad anomaly during second stage fuelling resulting in a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD) – that’s rocket scientist for ‘explosion’. To see what we’re talking about, check out this video from US Launch Report: This RUD not only resulted in loss of payload, it also resulted in significant damage to Space …

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ISS Astronauts Take a Spacewalk

Credit: NASA

Yesterday (Jan. 6th), NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough could be watched as they conducted the first of two spacewalks outside the International Space Station to upgrade the electric power system of the orbital outpost. These spacewalks are all part of the ISS power upgrade that has been occurring this month. The major objective of today’s spacewalk is the …

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Interview: Oscar Mathews, Mars 100 Candidate.

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Contributed by Heidi Hecht| The Mars Interviews In this interview, Heidi Hecht speaks with Oscar Matthews, one of the “Mars 100” of the Mars One project. Oscar is an aerospace engineer that is excited to look for signs of life on Mars on his mission. In this interview, he discusses what it was like finding out he’d made it to Round 3, …

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NASA’s next New Frontiers project could lead to finding life on Saturn’s moons.

Photo Courtesy: NASA

Two of Saturn’s “Ocean Worlds” moons, Enceladus and Titan,  are being eyed for a new billion dollar exploration mission. With NASA’s very successful New Frontiers project, this next phase would see them creating the Ocean World Exploration Program, “…whose primary goal is to discover extant life on another world using a mix of Discovery, New Frontiers and flagship class missions …

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