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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
Throughout our universe, tucked inside galaxies far, far away, giant black holes are pairing up and merging. As the massive bodies dance around each other in close embraces, they send out gravitational waves that ripple space and time themselves, even as the waves pass right through our planet Earth.
Black holes—massive objects in space with gravitational forces so strong that not even light can escape them—come in a variety of sizes. On the smaller end of the scale are the stellar-mass black holes that are formed during the deaths of stars. At the larger end are supermassive black holes, which contain up to one billion times the mass of our sun.
A team of NASA and international scientists for the first time have gathered a detailed understanding of the effects on Earth from a small asteroid impact. The unprecedented data obtained as the result of the airburst of a meteoroid over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013, has revolutionized scientists' understanding of this natural phenomenon.