Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - Aug. 25, 2013

Lava World, Warp Drive & More

Harold White

Last week astronomers discovered a scorching-hot "lava world,” warp drive could become a reality with quantum-thruster physics and an astronaut aboard the ISS captured video of an UFO.

FIRST STOP: On Strange Lava Planet and Iron World, 'Years' Take Only Hours

On Strange Lava Planet and Iron World, 'Years' Take Only Hours

Cristina Sanchis Ojeda

Astronomers have discovered a scorching-hot "lava world" whose year lasts just 8.5 hours and determined that another planet candidate with an even tighter orbit is likely composed almost entirely of iron. [Full Story]

NEXT: Mars Rover Opportunity Reaches Campsite for Martian Winter

Mars Rover Opportunity Reaches Campsite for Martian Winter

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's long-lived Opportunity Mars rover has reached the site where it will wait out its sixth Red Planet winter. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA's New Astronaut Class, the '8 Balls,' Reports for Training

NASA's New Astronaut Class, the '8 Balls,' Reports for Training

collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

On Tuesday (Aug. 20), NASA’s new astronaut class — nicknamed the "Eight Balls" — were formally welcomed to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they're set to begin two years of basic training. [Full Story]

NEXT: Stars' Twinkling Light Reveals Gravity Strength

Stars' Twinkling Light Reveals Gravity Strength

Regner Trampedach, JILA/CU Boulder, CO.

A star’s gravity is linked to variations in its brightness, a new study of observations from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft reveals. The discovery may yield a new way to determine star gravity. [Full Story]

NEXT: Engage! Warp Drive Could Become Reality with Quantum-Thruster Physics

Engage! Warp Drive Could Become Reality with Quantum-Thruster Physics

Harold White

Warp drive technology, a form of "faster than light" travel popularized by TV's "Star Trek," could be bolstered by the physics of quantum thrusters — another science fiction idea made plausible by modern science. [Full Story]

NEXT: New Telescope Tech Takes Sharpest Night Sky Photos Ever

New Telescope Tech Takes Sharpest Night Sky Photos Ever

Yuri Beletsky, Las Campanas Observatory

Astronomers have taken the sharpest-ever photos of the night sky in visible light, with the aid of a new camera and "adaptive optics" system that cancels out the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere. [Full Story]

NEXT: Sun Unleashes Another Solar Storm Aimed at Earth

Sun Unleashes Another Solar Storm Aimed at Earth

NASA/ESA SOHO

The sun unleashed a powerful solar storm at Earth Wednesday (Aug. 21), the second sun eruption in two days. See what the coronal mass ejection means for Earth here. [Full Story]

NEXT: Incredible Technology: How to Make Reusable Rockets for Cheap Space Travel

Incredible Technology: How to Make Reusable Rockets for Cheap Space Travel

SpaceX

The aerospace industry has long sought to build a fully reusable rocket launch system for cheap access to space. What does it take to create one? [Full Story]

NEXT: Is China's Space Program Shaping a Celestial Empire?

Is China's Space Program Shaping a Celestial Empire?

CMSE

China is pressing forward on its human space exploration plans, intent on establishing an international space station and, experts say, harnessing the technological muscle to send its astronauts to the moon. [Full Story]

NEXT: Astronaut Sees 'UFO' Near Space Station (Video)

Astronaut Sees 'UFO' Near Space Station (Video)

NASA (via YouTube as NASAgovVideo)

When an unidentified flying object floats by the International Space Station, astronauts are going to notice. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy captured a video of an 'unidentified object' near the space station on Aug. 19. See it here. [Full Story]

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