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Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins

Fri, 2018-02-23 16:01
But don't throw away those physics books just yet, m'kay?

Astronomers at the Space Telescope Institute and John Hopkins University have used NASA’s Hubble Telescope to show that the universe is expanding a little bit faster than expected.…

SpaceX's broadband satellites to beam down 'Hello Earth' from orbit

Thu, 2018-02-22 20:16
But ship-borne catcher's mitt misses payload fairing catch

The first two internet-relaying satellites in SpaceX's Starlink constellation have been launched into Earth's orbit – and will begin broadcasting to the world this week.…

Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Thu, 2018-02-22 17:35
What are the chances of that El Reg? 1 in 10 MEEEELION

Published today in the journal Nature is a description of a rare and difficult to capture event – the birth of a supernova (and the death of a star).…

Make H when the sun shines, and H when it doesn't.

Wed, 2018-02-21 16:54
German boffins design solar reactor that, er, works at night

Researchers in Cologne, Germany have successfully demonstrated a solar reactor known as CONTISOL, which promises to be able make hydrogen day and night while running on little more than air and sunlight.…

Euro Space Agency probe begins search for guff gas on Mars

Wed, 2018-02-21 11:49
Do we mean methane? You're darn tootin'

The European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is to conduct its final aerobraking manoeuvre this evening prior to starting its mission of sniffing for Martian methane.…

Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

Mon, 2018-02-19 16:31
Long-lived robot throws 5,000 sol party. Beancounters not invited

As MER-B, better known as the Opportunity rover, passes the 5,000 sol mark on Mars and approaches the 15th anniversary of its launch (thankfully without the desolate rendition of "Happy Birthday" played by its plutonium-powered successor, Curiosity) it appears the knives are out at NASA.…

Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

Fri, 2018-02-16 06:11
Everything we knew was a lie

The Andromeda galaxy is actually roughly the same size as the Milky Way, and may not engulf our galaxy when it is expected to collide in about four billion years time, according to new research.…

Arrrgh! Put down the crisps! 'Ultra-processed' foods linked to cancer!

Thu, 2018-02-15 14:26
Just kidding – vague definitions, confounding factors mean you probably shouldn't panic... yet

A study has suggested a link between diets high in ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of cancer – but academics have warned against over-interpreting the results.…

Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs

Thu, 2018-02-15 09:05
Inside Porthcurno's world-spanning telegraphy web

Geek's Guide to Britain  I'm sitting on a perfect sandy beach in dazzling winter sunshine which makes it feel two months warmer than it really is. The beach is nearly empty, although a couple of dogs are enjoying the surf. The nearest road peters out a few hundred yards up a steep valley – the only way here is to walk. Porthcurno beach, just a few miles from Land's End in Cornwall, feels pleasantly like it is a long way from anywhere.…

Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years

Thu, 2018-02-15 03:01
Astroboffins calculate MuskMobile will only last millions of years, has decent chance of bonking Earth, Venus

Explaining why he used his Tesla roadster as the test mass on his Falcon Heavy launch, Elon Musk remarked that he liked the idea of it orbiting for a billion years.…

Mars is red, Earth is blue. Here's a space laser story for you

Wed, 2018-02-14 05:31
NASA to take Mars meteor from London and use it for target practise ahead of 2020 mission

NASA has decided to use fragments of Martian meteorites for target practice ahead of the Mars 2020 mission, then send one back to Mars.…

National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter

Tue, 2018-02-13 09:36
Campaign to move a Bombe into historic Block H

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has organised a whip-round to move a historic code-breaking computer into a new location at Bletchley Park.…

NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

Mon, 2018-02-12 23:34
Cheer up – by 2030, we'll have flying cars, too

President Trump's administration has handed down a budget for 2019 to NASA – and it effectively kills off key projects in exchange for a vague promise to go back to the Moon.…

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, heads to asteroids

Wed, 2018-02-07 21:38
Where's a sat-nav when you need one?

Pic  The final rocket burn of the SpaceX craft carrying Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster into the cosmos pushed the billionaire's flash jalopy much further than anticipated. It's now heading out toward the Solar System's asteroid belt rather than swinging close by Mars as planned.…

LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to <i>micro</i>-Hertz

Wed, 2018-02-07 05:02
Better-than-expected performance created 'the quietest pace in space'

In other space news today, the boffins in charge of the European Space Agency's LISA Pathfinder mission have wrapped up the final results for the space-based gravitational wave dry run.…

Can't wait to get to Mars on a SpaceX ship? It's a cold, dead rock – boffins

Wed, 2018-02-07 00:05
El Reg says: Ignore the Big Red Planet lobby, get your ASCII to Europa

SpaceX today parked Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster in Earth's orbit, using a Falcon Heavy lifter, with a rocket strapped to the flash motor to take it on to Mars.…

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX thrusts Tesla into orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Tue, 2018-02-06 22:11
Falcon Heavy blasts off, 2 boosters return, 1... MIA

Video  After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered its cherry-red payload into orbit – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster.…

NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

Tue, 2018-02-06 07:59
Sat's battery is full and stuff thought to be broken in 2005 is working again

NASA has updated the status of its once-was-lost, now-is-found IMAGE satellite and revealed the bird's power supplies are operational. The space agency will therefore attempt to revive the mission – if it can can money to fund the effort.…

Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...

Tue, 2018-02-06 06:03
The future is female – or at least female friendly

While the world worries about savvy computers taking people's jobs, it may want to focus more on how to retrain its men, who are evidently ill-equipped for work that's increasingly social.…

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Mon, 2018-02-05 21:53
'Mad' Mike living up to his nickname

Video  An American bloke, who reckons Earth is flat as a frisbee, is on a quest to send himself into space to verify his theory. And on Sunday, he failed to even launch a rocket to a few hundred feet.…