NASA centers team up to tackle sonic boom

Since the Concorde’s final landing at London’s Heathrow Airport nearly a decade ago, commercial supersonic air travel has been as elusive as a piece of lost luggage. However, this hasn’t stopped NASA from continuing the quest to develop solutions that will help get supersonic passenger travel off the ground once more.

An experiment recreates the crust of the moon Europa

Water, salts and gases dissolved in the huge ocean that scientists believe could exist below Europa´s icy crust can rise to the surface generating the enigmatic geological formations associated to red-tinged materials that can be seen on this Jupiter's satellite.

Catching signals from a speeding satellite

Soaring high above Earth as they speed through space, satellites are difficult targets to track. Now a new approach developed in Europe is helping ground stations to acquire signals faster and more accurately than ever before.

Cassini spacecraft uses "pi transfer" to navigate path around Saturn

On Jan. 19, 2007, the Cassini spacecraft took this view of Saturn and its rings -- the visible documentation of a technique called a "pi transfer" completed with a Titan flyby.

Some galaxies in the early universe grew up quickly

Some galaxies grew up in a hurry. Most of the galaxies that have been observed from the early days of the universe were young and actively forming stars.

See Venus in all its glory!

A rainbow-like feature known as a ‘glory’ has been seen by ESA’s Venus Express orbiter in the atmosphere of our nearest neighbour – the first time one has been fully imaged on another planet.

How did life arise? Fuel cells may have answers

How life arose from the toxic and inhospitable environment of our planet billions of years ago remains a deep mystery. Researchers have simulated the conditions of an early Earth in test tubes, even fashioning some of life's basic ingredients. But how those ingredients assembled into living cells, and how life was first able to generate energy, remain unknown.

NASA's Robonaut Legs headed for International Space Station (ISS)

NASA's built and is sending a set of high-tech legs up to the International Space Station for Robonaut 2 (R2), the station's robotic crewmember. The new legs will be delivered to the space station aboard the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission, due to launch March 16 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

VLT spots largest yellow hypergiant star

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), Olivier Chesneau (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Nice, France) and an international team of collaborators have found that the yellow hypergiant star HR 5171 A is absolutely huge — 1300 times the diameter of the Sun and much bigger than was expected.

Mapping out Earth's place in the universe among 'Council of Giants'

We live in a galaxy known as the Milky Way – a vast conglomeration of 300 billion stars, planets whizzing around them, and clouds of gas and dust floating in between.

These aren’t the voids you’re looking for

Australian astronomers have shown galaxies in the vast empty regions of the Universe are actually aligned into delicate strings in research published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Lava floods the ancient plains of Mars

Two distinct volcanic eruptions have flooded this area of Daedalia Planum with lava, flowing around an elevated fragment of ancient terrain. The images were acquired by ESA’s Mars Express on 28 November 2013 towards the eastern boundary of the gigantic Tharsis Montes volcanic region, where the largest volcanoes on Mars are found.

‘Death Stars’ in Orion blast planets before they even form

The Orion Nebula is home to hundreds of young stars and even younger protostars known as proplyds. Many of these nascent systems will go on to develop planets, while others will have their planet-forming dust and gas blasted away by the fierce ultraviolet radiation emitted by massive O-type stars that lurk nearby.

A small step toward discovering habitable earths

University of Arizona researchers snapped images of a planet outside our solar system with an Earth-based telescope using essentially the same type of imaging sensor found in digital cameras instead of an infrared detector. Although the technology still has a very long way to go, the accomplishment takes astronomers a small step closer to what will be needed to image earth-like planets around other stars.

Nearby star's icy debris suggests 'Shepherd' planet

An international team of astronomers exploring the disk of gas and dust around a nearby star have uncovered a compact cloud of poisonous gas formed by ongoing rapid-fire collisions among a swarm of icy, comet-like bodies. The researchers suggest the comet swarm is either the remnant of a crash between two icy worlds the size of Mars or frozen debris trapped and concentrated by the gravity of an as-yet-unseen planet.

NASA's THEMIS discovers new process that protects Earth from space weather

In the giant system that connects Earth to the sun, one key event happens over and over: solar material streams toward Earth and the giant magnetic bubble around Earth, the magnetosphere helps keep it at bay.

Hubble witnesses an asteroid mysteriously disintegrating

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the never-before-seen break-up of an asteroid, which has fragmented into as many as ten smaller pieces. Although fragile comet nuclei have been seen to fall apart as they approach the Sun, nothing like the breakup of this asteroid, P/2013 R3, has ever been observed before in the asteroid belt.

Chandra and XMM-Newton provide direct measurement of distant black hole's spin

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's (ESA's) XMM-Newton to show a supermassive black hole six billion light years from Earth is spinning extremely rapidly. This first direct measurement of the spin of such a distant black hole is an important advance for understanding how black holes grow over time.

Mystery of planet-forming disks explained by magnetism

Astronomers say that magnetic storms in the gas orbiting young stars may explain a mystery that has persisted since before 2006.

NASA tests new robotic refueling technologies

NASA has successfully concluded a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer hazardous oxidizer – a type of propellant – into the tanks of satellites in space today.