Out There

 Cosmic Tribune

Men in Black magic, Part III, enjoys a nice landing

Men in Black magic, Part III, enjoys a nice landing

Emerging from the original “Men in Black” movie, in 1997, I thought that perhaps half the people in Times Square were aliens. And the Upper West Side was obviously full of aliens, too. Those people on Broadway, concentrating so hard that they seemed to be far, far away somewhere? Aliens. The central joke in “Men […]

 Cosmic Tribune

In first, private company sends capsule to International Space Station

In first, private company sends capsule to International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday, captured by astronauts wielding a giant robot arm. … U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit used the space station’s 58-foot robot arm to snare the gleaming white Dragon after a few hours of extra checks and maneuvers. […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Men in Black: On the big screen and in real life

Men in Black: On the big screen and in real life

When “Men in Black 3” opens everywhere over Memorial Day weekend, most moviegoers will just be hoping this sequel matches the original for popcorn-munching fun. But there are many people who say they’ve been victimized by and live in fear of real MIBs. And those stories, told for decades, are just as terrifying as they […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Moving violations in Outer Space? Only a matter of time…

Moving violations in Outer Space? Only a matter of time…

Right now, the roughly 20,000 man-made objects orbiting the Earth are less regulated than the cars on a morning commute. Satellites are usually on a fixed path, so the traffic control comes prelaunch.  … The International Telecom Union, a United Nations agency, assigns satellites slots in a geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles above Earth. Operators must […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Our Andromeda: Next door neighbor in local galaxy group

Our Andromeda: Next door neighbor in local galaxy group

A mere 2.5 million light-years away, the Andromeda Galaxy really is just next door as large galaxies go. So close, and spanning some 260,000 light-years, it took 11 different image fields from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) satellite’s telescope to produce this gorgeous portrait of the spiral galaxy in ultraviolet light. While its spiral arms […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Cassini offers glimpse of Saturn’s Dione, rings and 2 small moons

Cassini offers glimpse of Saturn’s Dione, rings and 2 small moons

When making its closest pass yet of Saturn’s moon Dione late last year, the robotic Cassini spacecraft snapped this far-ranging picture featuring Dione, Saturn’s rings, and the two small moons Epimetheus and Prometheus. The above image captures part of the heavily cratered snow-white surface of the 1,100 kilometer wide Dione, the thinness of Saturn’s rings, […]

 Cosmic Tribune

The search for alien life is on

The search for alien life is on

By Jennifer Abbasi: New missions and discoveries on Earth, within our solar system and beyond are bringing us closer than ever to finding alien life on other planets “The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms,” is how Andrei Finkelstein, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’s Applied Astronomy Institute, explained his […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Russian Soyuz spacecraft lands safely in Kazakhstan, three astronauts in tow

Russian Soyuz spacecraft lands safely in Kazakhstan, three astronauts in tow

By Dan Nosowitz The Russian Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts (Commander Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyayev, both Russian, and American Ron Garan) safely landed this morning in Kazakhstan, bringing them home after five months on the International Space Station. The landing, about 94 miles southeast of the smallish Kazakh city Zhezkazgan, wasn’t entirely flawless–mission control […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Kepler spots a planet orbiting two suns, just like Star Wars’ Tatooine

Kepler spots a planet orbiting two suns, just like Star Wars’ Tatooine

A mournful French horn blows. An angsty Luke Skywalker stomps out of his aunt and uncle’s sand hut and peers up at Tatooine’s double sunset, his hair blowing in the breeze. It’s a memorable scene from Star Wars—but now, a precedent for such a sky with two suns has been found in our universe. Using […]

 Cosmic Tribune

Supernova erupts in Whirlpool Galaxy

Supernova erupts in Whirlpool Galaxy

French observer Stéphane Lamotte Bailey created this animation of the Whirlpool galaxy’s new supernova using images he took with his 8-inch telescope on May 30 and June 2, 2011. / Stéphane Lamotte Bailey For the second time in six years, a star has exploded in the iconic Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51), and — good news! […]