First space tourists will face big risks, as private companies gear up for paid suborbital flights

When it comes to commercial space tourism, suborbital flight are the first frontier. But what are the risks? Are there health requirements? What should you know before taking such a way-out trip?

Sara M. Langston, Assistant Professor of Spaceflight Operations, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University • conversation
June 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: space astronomy nasa spacex space-tourism boeing elon-musk blue-origin lockheed-martin orion

How Europe's CHEOPS satellite will improve the hunt for exoplanets

The primary objective of CHEOPS is to better understand the planets that we’ve already found. And its mission is now in full swing.

Jason Steffen, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • conversation
May 27, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  exoplanets  kepler-mission  planet  exoplanet-discovery  tess

Half the matter in the universe was missing – we found it hiding in the cosmos

Cosmologists had only been able to find half the matter that should exist in the universe. With the discovery of a new astronomical phenomenon and new telescopes, researchers just found the rest.

Jean-Pierre Macquart, Associate Professor of Astrophysics, Curtin University • conversation
May 27, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: space astronomy cosmology dark-matter universe telescope galaxies matter neutrons fast-radio-bursts protons baryon

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.

Franklyn Quinlan, Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology • conversation
May 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics astronomy dark-matter gravity laser gps cell-phones microwave black-holes metrology radar power-grid atomic-clocks frequency

Space junk: Astronomers worry as private companies push ahead with satellite launches

SpaceX recently launched 60 satellites into orbit around Earth as part of its Starlink programme.

Martin McCoustra, ScotCHEM Chair in Chemical Physics, Heriot-Watt University • conversation
May 13, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: astronomy space-exploration spacex space-debris ground-based-telescopes space-commercialisation

Touching the asteroid Ryugu revealed secrets of its surface and changing orbit

It is a pretty spectacular achievement to not only rendezvous with an asteroid as it is whizzing around the Sun but also collect a sample. Here's what the researchers learned.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  nasa  asteroid  hayabusa

How could an explosive Big Bang be the birth of our universe?

The term 'Big Bang' might make you think of a massive explosion. Put the thought out of your head. Rather than an explosion, it was the start of everything in the universe.

Michael Lam, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Rochester Institute of Technology • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: physics astronomy cosmology universe big-bang cosmic-microwave-background curious-kids curious-kids-us universe-expansion accelerating-universe

Four amazing astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece

From the Moon's size to the first calculator, the ancients made some jawdropping discoveries without modern technology.

Ian Whittaker, Lecturer in Physics, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
April 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: astronomy moon earth ancient-greece sun

How the Hubble Space Telescope opened our eyes to the first galaxies of the universe

Thirty years ago the Hubble Space Telescope began snapping photos of distant stars, providing a time machine that has taken astronomers back to when the universe was less than a billion years old.

Rodger I. Thompson, Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona • conversation
April 24, 2020 ~9 min

Tags:  astronomy  nasa  hubble-space-telescope  james-webb-telescope  infrared  universe-expansion  star-formation  galaxies

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