Report: Gusev Crater on Mars once held a lake

If desert mirages occur on Mars, "Lake Gusev" belongs among them. This come-and-go body of ancient water has come and gone more than once, at least in the eyes of Mars scientists.

On the trail of a galactic serial killer

Several clues in the structure of NGC 1316 reveal that its past was turbulent. For instance, it has some unusual dust lanes embedded within a much larger envelope of stars, and a population of unusually small globular star clusters.

Regolith of small asteroids formed by thermal fatigue

The centimeter-sized fragments and smaller particles that make up the regolith — the layer of loose, unconsolidated rock and dust — of small asteroids is formed by temperature cycling that breaks down rock in a process called thermal fatigue, according to a paper published today in the Nature Advance Online Publication.

New catalog brings NASA software down to Earth

From the rudimentary but effective Apollo Guidance and Navigation System that landed the first humans on the lunar landscape to the code used to manage robotic missions to explore other planets, software has always been at the core of NASA’s mission successes.

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity scopes out new target

Last week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover drove the last 98 feet feet (30 meters) needed to arrive at a site planned since early 2013 as a destination for studying rock clues about ancient environments that may have been favorable for life.

Hubble sees a spiral home to exploding stars

In this Hubble image, we can see an almost face-on view of the galaxy NGC 1084. At first glance, this galaxy is pretty unoriginal.

NASA detects ocean inside Saturn moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.

Fermi data tantalizes with new clues to dark matter

A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe.

New research finds 'geologic clock' to help determine moon's age

An international team of planetary scientists determined that the Moon formed nearly 100 million years after the start of the solar system, according to a paper to be published April 3 in Nature. This conclusion is based on measurements from the interior of the Earth combined with computer simulations of the protoplanetary disk from which the Earth and other terrestrial planets formed.

NASA’s OCO-2 brings sharp new focus on global carbon

Simply by breathing, humans have played a small part in the planet-wide balancing act called the carbon cycle throughout our existence. However, in the last few hundred years, we have taken a larger role. Our activities, such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation, are pushing the cycle out of its natural balance, adding more and more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Ancient volcanic explosions shed light on Mercury’s origins

The surface of Mercury crackled with volcanic explosions for extended periods of the planet’s history, according to a new analysis led by researchers at Brown University. The findings are surprising considering Mercury wasn’t supposed to have explosive volcanism in the first place, and they could have implications for understanding how Mercury formed.

'Cosmic barometer' could reveal violent events in universe's past

Exploding stars, random impacts involving comets and meteorites, and even near misses between two bodies can create regions of great heat and high pressure.

NSIDC, NASA say Arctic melt season lengthening, ocean rapidly warming

The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

NASA releases images of X-class solar flare

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:48 p.m. EDT March 29, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event.

Study finds astronauts' hearts become more spherical in space

New findings from a study of 12 astronauts show the heart becomes more spherical when exposed to long periods of microgravity in space, a change that could lead to cardiac problems, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Hubble magnifies the distant universe

Galaxy clusters are some of the most massive structures that can be found in the Universe — large groups of galaxies bound together by gravity.

Cleaner NASA rover sees its shadow in Martian spring

Late afternoon lighting produced a dramatic shadow of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity photographed by the rover's rear hazard-avoidance camera on March 20, 2014.

Mars yard ready for Red Planet rover

A state-of-the-art ‘Mars yard’ is now ready to put the ExoMars rover through its paces before the vehicle is launched to the Red Planet in 2018.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spots Mars-bound comet sprout multiple jets

How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes -- powerful objects that dominate the hearts of all galaxies.

Rosetta sets sights on destination comet

The Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on Jan. 20.