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Astronomers detect stratosphere on a distant exoplanet

Astronomers detect stratosphere on a distant exoplanet

A team of American astronomers have discovered evidence for existence of a stratosphere on an exoplanet, a planet outside our solar system.

It may be noted here that a stratosphere is a layer of atmosphere on a planet in which temperature rises with increase in altitude.

The scientists detected the stratosphere on WASP-121b, a planet outside our solar system dubbed a “hot Jupiter,” which is 900 light-years away from Earth.

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Russian Soyuz Spacecraft to carry three astronauts to International Space Station

Russian Soyuz Spacecraft to carry three astronauts to International Space Station

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new crew members for the International Space Station (ISS) is all set to launch this Friday, officials have announced.

The Soyuz MS-05 will launch from a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:41 a.m. EDT Friday (GMT-4; 9:41 p.m. local time).

It will be carrying flight commander Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, flight engineers Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.

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Engine for NASA’s SLS Megarocket successfully tested

Engine for NASA’s SLS Megarocket successfully tested

NASA has successfully test-fired the RS-25 rocket engine for its future megarocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), for nearly 8.5 minutes.

Agency officials announced that the test, which was the third in a row, was conducted on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center close to Bay St. Louis in Mississippi.

The highly-powerful RS-25 engine will be used to power the upcoming SLS, which is being built for conducting deep space missions.

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NASA aims to cut flight times with supersonic technology

NASA aims to cut flight times with supersonic technology

Ground-level disturbances like cracked plaster and shattered windows have kept supersonic travel almost off-limits since 1973, when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned its use.

However, that may change soon as NASA has announced a plan for construction of a demo model of a supersonic plane that would be able to reduce the sonic boom to a negligible hum.

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10 Habitable Exoplanets Listed by Astronomers after reviewing Kepler Space Telescope data

10 Habitable Exoplanets Listed by Astronomers after reviewing Kepler Space Telescope data

It is difficult to find exoplanets with conditions similar to those on our planet Earth. Astronomers have been searching for exoplanets that can support life in their quest for signs of life on other planets, outside our solar system. The team of astronomers working with Kepler Space telescope has released a list of 219 new exoplanets. These 219 exoplanets have been discovered by astronomers over a period of four years using Kepler Space Telescope. 10 exoplanets among the latest list are in the ‘Goldilocks’ zone and their size is comparable to that of our planet Earth.

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NASA scientists detect barrier around Earth

NASA scientists detect barrier around Earth

NASA’s Van Allen probes have revealed human activities are not having physical and chemical impacts on Earth’s environment, but also on radio frequencies extending out into space.

After analyzing data captured by the probes, NASA scientists concluded that very low frequency (VLF) radio communications make interactions with particles in space, forming an artificial barrier that can block high-energy particle rays from space.

VLF communications are mainly used to communicate with submarines across massive distances in the ocean from very powerful ground stations.

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DSCOVR camera captures mysterious light flashes: NASA

DSCOVR camera captures mysterious light flashes

The powerful camera on board NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has captured hundreds of flashes of light coming from above our planet’s surface that scientists say are caused by sunlight reflecting off minute ice particles.

Launched in 2015, DSCOVR is an Earth and space weather satellite. Its camera captured the flashes of light that occurred hundreds of times over the extent of a year.

The eagle-eyed instrument captures images of Earth almost hourly from a location between the plant and its host star.

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Astronomers detect water in Neptune-sized exoplanet’s atmosphere

Astronomers detect water in Neptune-sized exoplanet’s atmosphere

Astronomers have detected lots of water in the atmosphere of HAT-P-26b, a Neptune-sized exoplanet that is located far outside of our solar system.

Discovered in 2011 and orbiting a sun that is twice as old as our own host star, HAT-P-26b is equivalent in size as Neptune, which has a hydrogen-helium atmosphere. However the exoplanet is warmer than Neptune as it orbits its host star more closely than Neptune does.

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NASA astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

NASA astronauts conduct 200th spacewalk

NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer floated outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, setting a new milestone by successfully conducting 200th spacewalk.

Whitson and Fischer’s spacewalk was shortened by an equipment water leakage, they the duo managed to replace a faulty electronics box. They wasted no time removing the faulty electronics box, and placing a new unit.

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NASA rules out astronauts on first flight of super-massive rocket

NASA rules out astronauts on first flight of super-massive rocket

Putting a crew on board the first flight of the Orion capsule atop the super-massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket would not be feasible because of immense safety costs, a NASA working group has concluded.

The first flight of the super-massive rocket, which is being seen as the first step in the United States’ return to human space exploration, has been scheduled to take place sometime in 2019.

NASA usually tests new rockets first without a crew, given numerous safety risks associated with such space vehicles.

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