EXO WORLDS
Billions and Billions of Planets
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jan 04, 2013 – Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But you’re also seeing planets-billions and billions of them. At least. That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm. The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32-p … more

SPACE TRAVEL
Congress Approves Bill Supporting Human Space Exploration
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 04, 2013 – The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a Senate amendment to H.R. 6586, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) that extends a risk-sharing and liability regime to support American commercial space transportation operators against catastrophic losses suffered by the uninvolved public. As amended by the Senate, the bill … more

MARSDAILY
Researchers Identify Water Rich Meteorite Linked To Mars Crust
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 04, 2013 – NASA-funded researchers analyzing a small meteorite that may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or crust have found it contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins. This new class of meteorite was found in 2011 in the Sahara Desert. Designated Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, and nicknamed “Black Beauty,” it weighs approximately 11 ounces (320 grams). …more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Surprise Pancake Structure in Andromeda Galaxy Upends Galactic Understanding
Kamuela, HI (SPX) Jan 04, 2013 – Astronomers using the Canada-France-Hawaii and W. M. Keck Observatory telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii have been amazed to find a group of dwarf galaxies moving in unison in the vicinity of the Andromeda Galaxy. The structure of these small galaxies lies in a plane, analogous to the planets of the Solar System. Unexpectedly, they orbit the much larger Andromeda galaxy en masse, pres … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
A Vast Rotating Disk Of Dwarf Galaxies Surrounding The Andromeda Galaxy
Kamuela HI (SPX) Jan 04, 2013 – A new study of our nearest giant cosmic neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, shows that more than half of its small, dwarf galaxy companions are aligned in a giant disk that appears to rotate around the bright host also known as Messier 31. The PAndAS (Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey) team used MegaCam on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to conduct the survey, complemented by spectroscopic foll …more