Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone discovered

Using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), researchers have discovered an Earth-sized planet that lies in its star’s habitable zone. The planet (TOI 700 d) is about 1.2 times the size of Earth and receives from its star 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth and so considered to be in the … Continue reading Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone discovered

ISRO: Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander came tantalisingly close to creating history

While it is indeed unfortunate that Vikram lander failed to safely touchdown, it is important to remember that ISRO was attempting powered landing for the first time. To put it in perspective, there have been 38 attempts so far by other countries to land a rover on the Moon and have succeeded only a little … Continue reading ISRO: Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander came tantalisingly close to creating history

Watery exoplanets, but is there life?

The quest to find life outside the solar system got a big boost with the discovery of seven Earth-size extra-solar planets, or exoplanets, orbiting a dwarf star about 40 light years away. Unlike earlier discoveries of exoplanets, all seven planets could possibly have liquid water — a key to life as we know it on … Continue reading Watery exoplanets, but is there life?

Seven Earth-size planets with possible liquid water spotted

Scientists have spotted seven Earth-size planets with masses similar to Earth orbiting around a dwarf star (TRAPPIST-1) the size of Jupiter just 39 light-years from the Sun. The planets’ temperature is low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surface. In May last year, scientists found three planets passing in front … Continue reading Seven Earth-size planets with possible liquid water spotted

ISRO sets the bar high by launching 104 satellites in one mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation boosted its reputation further when it successfully launched a record 104 satellites in one mission from Sriharikota on Wednesday by relying on its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket. An earth observation Cartosat-2 series satellite and two other nano satellites were the only Indian satellites launched: the remaining were from … Continue reading ISRO sets the bar high by launching 104 satellites in one mission

In defiance, several rogue U.S. federal agency Twitter accounts crop up

Resistance by scientists and show of support for science by the public is reaching a new peak ever since the Trump administration first stopped the U.S. National Park from using Twitter and then restricted several other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, from communicating with the media and the public. In defiance, many “Alt” … Continue reading In defiance, several rogue U.S. federal agency Twitter accounts crop up

How ISRO plans to launch a record 104 satellites in one go in February 2017

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record when it launches 104 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February. Explaining how all the satellites will be placed in orbit, Dr. K. Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, says: “The satellites will be … Continue reading How ISRO plans to launch a record 104 satellites in one go in February 2017

At last, Juno enters Jupiter’s orbit

In yet another remarkable achievement, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Juno spacecraft has successfully entered the orbit around Jupiter without being knocked down by the planet’s intense magnetic field and radiation. That the spacecraft, which had travelled 2.8 billion km since its launch on August 5, 2011, passed through a spot that was originally … Continue reading At last, Juno enters Jupiter’s orbit

Surprising discovery of oxygen in 67P comet’s atmosphere

The Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has thrown a very big surprise — its atmosphere contains molecular oxygen. Based on our current thinking, the presence of molecular oxygen in a comet had been ruled out. But chemical analysis of its atmosphere using ROSINA mass spectrometer on board the Rosetta spacecraft has shown that molecular oxygen is not only … Continue reading Surprising discovery of oxygen in 67P comet’s atmosphere

ASTROSAT, India’s unique space observatory

The launch of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) ASTROSAT telescope today (September 28) will be a shot in the arm for astronomers, particularly those in India. This is the first time India is launching a space observatory. But that is not the only reason why the ASTROSAT telescope is so special. Unlike most other telescopes, … Continue reading ASTROSAT, India’s unique space observatory