Water in a Martian desert

Craters once brim-full with sediments and water have long since drained dry, but traces of their former lives as muddy lakes cling on in the Martian desert.

Monster galaxies lose their appetite with age

Our universe is filled with gobs of galaxies, bound together by gravity into larger families called clusters. Lying at the heart of most clusters is a monster galaxy thought to grow in size by merging with neighboring galaxies, a process astronomers call galactic cannibalism.

Spitzer discovers young stars with a 'hula hoop'

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have spotted a young stellar system that "blinks" every 93 days. Called YLW 16A, the system likely consists of three developing stars, two of which are surrounded by a disk of material left over from the star-formation process.

NASA's Cassini identifies forces controlling Saturn moon jets

The intensity of the jets of water ice and organic particles that shoot out from Saturn's moon Enceladus depends on the moon's proximity to the ringed planet, according to data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Laser communications set for Moon mission

An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA’s observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.

NASA's Chandra sees eclipsing planet in X-rays for first time

For the first time since exoplanets, or planets around stars other than the sun, were discovered almost 20 years ago, X-ray observations have detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.

Airborne campaign preps pollution-climate link probe

The floor of a NASA hangar and an adjacent laboratory in Southern California's high desert have been in constant motion this month as scientists prepare their instruments for installation on two of the agency's specialized science aircraft that will begin a major NASA airborne science campaign in early August.

Mysterious Centaurs may be comets

The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Are they asteroids or comets? A new study of observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets.

Particle accelerator discovered in Earth’s Radiation Belts

Scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe called the Van Allen radiation belts.

NASA's IRIS telescope offers first image of Sun's mysterious atmosphere

The moment when a telescope first opens its doors represents the culmination of years of work and planning - while simultaneously laying the groundwork for a wealth of research and answers yet to come. It is a moment of excitement and perhaps even a little uncertainty.

Ancient snowfall likely carved Martian valleys

Valley networks branching across the Martian surface leave little doubt that water once flowed on the Red Planet. But where that ancient water came from — whether it bubbled up from underground or fell as rain or snow — is still debated by scientists.

NASA satellites measure plant health

NASA scientists have established a new way to use satellites to measure what's occurring inside plants at a cellular level.

Spitzer telescope observes gas emission from Comet ISON

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.

Boeing debuts CST-100 Mock-up, astronauts climb aboard

Two NASA astronauts conducted flight suit evaluations inside a fully outfitted test version of The Boeing Company's CST-100 spacecraft earlier this week, the first time the world got a glimpse of the crew capsule's interior.

Large coronal hole observed near Sun’s North Pole

The European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured an image of a gigantic coronal hole hovering over the sun’s north pole on July 18, 2013, at 9:06 a.m. EDT.

NASA's Hubble shows link between stars' ages and their orbits

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy's early days.

A warmer planetary haven around cool stars, as ice warms rather than cools

In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. This is due to the interaction of a star’s light with ice and snow on the planet’s surface.

MAVEN Spectrometer opens window to Red Planet’s past

When NASA’s MAVEN mission begins its journey to the Red Planet later this year, it will be equipped with a special instrument to take the planet back in time. That instrument is the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, a network of electrically charged rods that will measure the charged gas particles—or ions—making up Mars’ upper atmosphere.

NASA's interplanetary probes to snap images of Earth from space

Two NASA spacecraft, one studying the Saturn system, the other observing Mercury, are maneuvering into place to take pictures of Earth on July 19 and 20.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover passes one kilometer mark

The latest drive by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover brought the total distance that the rover has driven on Mars to more than 1 kilometer. One kilometer is about 0.62 miles.