California's fast-moving Creek Fire spawns 'fire cloud' visible from space

UPDATE: @NOAA’s #GOES17🛰️ has been monitoring California’s #CreekFire, which grew explosively today after igniting in the Sierra National Forest on Friday. In this loop, you can see the fire’s extraordinary #Pyrocumulonimbus cloud, which reached an estimated 45,000+ ft high. pic.twitter.com/pcWwnrA2zsSeptember 6, 2020 Fires continue to ravage California, with five new blazes igniting since Friday (Sept.…

4 Indian astronauts are training in Russia for future spaceflights

Four Indian astronauts continue to train at Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow as prospective space travelers for India’s crewed Gaganyaan project. The Gaganyaan program aims to launch an astronaut before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, in 2022, according to previous statements from the nation’s space agency, the  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).…

How to debate a flat-Earther

Paul M. Sutter is an astrophysicist at SUNY Stony Brook and the Flatiron Institute, host of Ask a Spaceman and Space Radio, and author of How to Die in Space.  A number of ancient cultures believed that the Earth was flat because, simply, they didn’t know any better. But today, there remain people who still believe…

Gerstenmaier warns against ending space station program prematurely

WASHINGTON — The former head of NASA’s human spaceflight program, now working as a consultant to SpaceX, said he welcomes greater commercial activity in low Earth orbit but cautioned against ending the International Space Station prematurely. Bill Gerstenmaier discussed the importance of the ISS, from a technical and policy standpoint, during a virtual town hall…

Chinese rocket booster appears to crash near school during Gaofen 11 satellite launch

Some impressive footage from today’s Long March 4B first stage return.ℹ:https://t.co/9oRPoR0ZdF pic.twitter.com/SEl7t1u5xJSeptember 7, 2020 A Chinese Long March 4B rocket successfully launched a new Earth-watching satellite Monday (Sep. 7) but the booster’s spent first stage narrowly missed a school when it fell back to Earth, witness videos show. The Long March 4B rocket lifted off…

Celestron PowerSeeker 80AZS telescope: Full review

The Celestron PowerSeeker 80AZS is a “grab and go” telescope that’s built for celestial and terrestrial views. Given its total weight of 10 lbs. (4.54 kilograms), it’s also exceedingly lightweight, making it suitable for beginners and families. With an aperture of 3.15 inches and a focal length of 15.75 inches, the PowerSeeker 80AZS offers views…

New quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say. And if someone is there to hear it? If you think that means it obviously did make a sound, you might need to revise that opinion. We have found a new…

CBS will celebrate 'Star Trek' Day 2020 with an epic Trek panel marathon. Here's what to know.

It’s been an incredible 54 years since “Star Trek” first debuted. On Tuesday (Sept. 8), actors from across the multi-decade franchise will celebrate an online “Star Trek” day with panels and discussions, while discussing the series’ emphasis on diversity. More than three hours of free virtual panels will play at the Star Trek Day website…

Leading scientists team up to create an at-home Astronomy course

Astronomer Jackie Faherty has teamed up with some of the world’s leading scientists to create a new Astronomy course that people can take from the safety of their own homes.  As the coronavirus pandemic persists in communities around the world, many are turning to virtual solutions for education. In keeping up with the demand for…

Chinese reusable experimental spacecraft releases object before returning to Earth

HELSINKI — A Chinese reusable experimental spacecraft released an unknown object before deorbiting Sunday, ending a secretive two-day mission in low Earth orbit. The spacecraft launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert Thursday atop a Long March 2F rocket. Airspace closure notices issued a day earlier provided the only clue to…

'Sims 4' brings the Force of 'Star Wars' with 'Journey to Batuu' expansion

The popular video game franchise “The Sims” lets players simulate dating, growing up, house-buying and adult chores. But now you can take that simulation to a whole new galaxy far, far away — the exciting realm of “Star Wars.” A new expansion pack to “The Sims 4,” called “Star Wars: Journey to Batuu,” will let…

'Star Trek: Discovery' season 3 will introduce Trek's first transgender and nonbinary characters

 The third season of “Star Trek: Discovery,” set to premiere on Oct. 15, will introduce its first transgender and a nonbinary characters, according to CBS All Access.  In an announcement on StarTrek.com, showrunners said the trans character, Gray, will be played by trans actor Ian Alexander (“The OA,” “The Last of Us Part II”). A…

The 'Goat Star' is back: How to see Capella in the night sky this month

It’s funny how you remember certain events in your life. Recently, my mind wandered back to mid-August of 1975, when I and several friends went camping near the little community of Thurmond, New York in the southern Adirondack Mountains. We had headed there to get far away from the light-polluted environment of the New York…

The moon is rusty, and it’s likely Earth's fault

The moon is turning ever so slightly red, and it’s likely Earth’s fault. Our planet’s atmosphere may be causing the moon to rust, new research finds.   Rust, also known as an iron oxide, is a reddish compound that forms when iron is exposed to water and oxygen. Rust is the result of a common…

NASA megarocket blasts past cost estimates, forces Congress notification

NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and associated ground infrastructure have soared past original cost estimates to a degree that requires the agency to notify Congress about the ballooning budget. The recently appointed leader of NASA’s human spaceflight efforts, Kathy Lueders, announced the new cost estimates in a blog post published on Aug. 27.…

NASA Readies Perseverance Mars Rover’s Earthly Twin

Did you know NASA’s next Mars rover has a nearly identical sibling on Earth for testing? Even better, it’s about to roll for the first time through a replica Martian landscape. As NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance hurtles through space toward the Red Planet, the six-wheeler’s twin is ready to roll here on Earth. A full-scale…

China just launched a 'reusable experimental spacecraft' into orbit

China launched an experimental reusable spacecraft into orbit on Friday (Sept. 4), with few details about what the spacecraft will do. A report from Chinese state media’s Xinhua said the launch was successful and that a Long March 2F rocket sent the spacecraft into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert,…

Sea Level Mission Will Also Act as a Precision Thermometer in Space

To get the best measurements of Earth’s atmosphere, you sometimes have to leave it. This November, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will do just that. When a satellite by the name of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launches this November, its primary focus will be to monitor sea level rise with extreme precision. But an instrument aboard…

Trump signs Space Policy Directive-5 on space cybersecurity

The United States now has a cybersecurity policy for its space systems. President Donald Trump today (Sept. 4) signed Space Policy Directive-5 (SPD-5), establishing a set of principles designed to protect the nation’s valuable space assets from a burgeoning variety of cyber threats. “From communications to weather monitoring, Americans rely on capabilities provided by space…

The same black hole can collide with its kin multiple times, lopsided merger suggests

For black holes, a collision doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, new research suggests. On April 12, 2019, scientists detected a new black-hole merger using a trio of gravitational-wave detectors. Astrophysicists have spotted such events before, but something about the signals was different this time: the two black holes that collided were incredibly unevenly…