Mars rover team working to diagnose electrical issue

Science observations by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have been suspended for a few days while engineers run tests to check possible causes of a voltage change detected on Nov. 17.

NASA's Chandra helps confirm evidence of jet in Milky Way's black hole

Astronomers have long sought strong evidence that Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is producing a jet of high-energy particles. Finally they have found it, in new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope.

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars

For nearly as long as astronomers have been able to observe asteroids, a question has gone unanswered: Why do the surfaces of most asteroids appear redder than meteorites — the remnants of asteroids that have crashed to Earth?

Swarm Mission Control ready for triple launch

After months of intensive training, the Swarm mission control team are ready for liftoff on Friday. The team will carefully shepherd the trio of magnetic explorers through their critical launch and early orbit phase, ready to react to any problem. The data from this new mission, planned to last four years, will be used to study the mysteries of Earth’s magnetic field, its interactions with the solar wind and relation to global change.

Scientists document, quantify deep-space radiation hazards

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire and colleagues have published comprehensive findings on space-based radiation as measured by a UNH-led detector aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The data provide critical information on the radiation hazards that will be faced by astronauts on extended missions to deep space such as those to Mars.

Evidence found for granite on Mars

Researchers now have stronger evidence of granite on Mars and a new theory for how the granite – an igneous rock common on Earth -- could have formed there, according to a new study. The findings suggest a much more geologically complex Mars than previously believed.

Micro Observatory Catches Comet ISON

Hopes are high for Comet ISON, which has the potential to become the most spectacular comet seen in years. ISON is speeding through the inner solar system at about 120,000 miles per hour, on its way to a close approach to the Sun on November 28th. Assuming it survives its close encounter, it could become easily visible to the unaided eye in dawn skies.

NASA-led Firefly Mission to study lightning

Somewhere on Earth, there's always a lightning flash. The globe experiences lightning some 50 times a second, yet the details of what initiates this common occurrence and what effects it has on the atmosphere – lightning may be linked to incredibly powerful and energetic bursts called terrestrial gamma ray flashes, or TGFs -- remains a mystery.

A question for Jupiter

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is one of the solar system's most mysterious landmarks. Based on what scientists understand about fluid dynamics, this massive storm – which is big enough to engulf the Earth two or three times over – should have disappeared centuries ago.

Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best ever image of the globular cluster Messier 15, a gathering of very old stars that orbits the centre of the Milky Way. This glittering cluster contains over 100 000 stars, and could also hide a rare type of black hole at its center.

Young stars paint spectacular stellar landscape

Most stars do not form alone, but with many siblings that are created at about the same time from a single cloud of gas and dust. NGC 3572, in the southern constellation of Carina (The Keel), is one of these clusters.

Astronomers reveal contents of mysterious black hole jets

An international team of astronomers has answered a long standing question about the enigmatic jets emitted by black holes, in research published today in prestigious journal Nature. Jets are narrow beams of matter spat out at high speed from near a central object, like a black hole.

NASA Video Illustrates MAVEN Mission's Investigation of a Lost Mars

NASA has prepared a new video to illustrate its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission's investigation of dramatic climate change on Mars. Today, Mars is a cold and barren desert world, with no sign of life, at least on the surface.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft offers new view of Saturn and Earth

NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. The new panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes, was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday.

Mission to Mars moon could be a sample-return twofer, study suggests

The study helps to confirm the idea that the surface of Phobos contains tons of dust, soil, and rock blown off the Martian surface by large projectile impacts.

Spitzer and ALMA reveal a star's bubbly birth

It's a bouncing baby . . . star! Combined observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the newly completed Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed the throes of stellar birth as never before in the well-studied object known as HH 46/47.

Study finds climate link to 'atmospheric river' Storms

A new NASA-led study of "atmospheric river" storms from the Pacific Ocean may help scientists better predict major winter snowfalls that hit West Coast mountains and lead to heavy spring runoff and sometimes flooding.

Curiosity Rover performs warm reset on Mars

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity experienced an unexpected software reboot (also known as a warm reset) yesterday (11/7/13) during a communications pass as it was sending engineering and science data to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, for later downlinking to Earth.

NASA Mars Orbiter passes Big Data milestone

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has overhauled understanding of the Red Planet since 2006, has passed 200 terabits in the amount of science data returned. The data returned by the mission alone is more than three times the total data returned via NASA's Deep Space Network for all the other missions managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., over the past 10 years.

When is a comet not a comet?

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a unique and baffling object in the asteroid belt that looks like a rotating lawn sprinkler or badminton shuttlecock. While this object is on an asteroid-like orbit, it looks like a comet, and is sending out tails of dust into space.