From red Mars to green Earth

How can a sensor for analysing the atmosphere of Mars help us to cut greenhouse emissions on Earth? By going where no human or machine has been before. Parts of our planet are so hostile they are unreachable. But if we are to understand Earth’s atmosphere it is vital we monitor factors such as gases around industrial chimneys and erupting volcanoes.

Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

NASA's Kepler discovers first Earth-size planet in the 'habitable zone' of another star

Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.

Into the abyss: Scientists explore one of Earth's deepest ocean trenches

What lives in the deepest part of the ocean--the abyss? A team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will use the world's only full-ocean-depth, hybrid, remotely-operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to find out. They will explore the Kermadec Trench at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

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.

Understanding Earth's dynamic interior

Seeking to better understand the composition of the lowermost part of Earth's mantle, located nearly 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) below the surface, a team of Arizona State University researchers has developed new simulations that depict the dynamics of deep Earth.

NASA spacecraft reveal new “Zebra Stripes” structure in Earth’s inner radiation belt

Scientists have discovered a new, persistent structure in Earth’s inner radiation belt using data from the twin NASA Van Allen Probes spacecraft. Most surprisingly, this structure is produced by the slow rotation of Earth, previously considered incapable of affecting the motion of radiation belt particles, which have velocities approaching the speed of light.

Plasma plumes help shield Earth from damaging solar storms

The Earth's magnetic field, or magnetosphere, stretches from the planet's core out into space, where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted by the sun. For the most part, the magnetosphere acts as a shield to protect the Earth from this high-energy solar activity.

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.

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.

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.

Report: Earth became habitable 4.4 billion years ago

With the help of a tiny fragment of zircon extracted from a remote rock outcrop in Australia, the picture of how our planet became habitable to life about 4.4 billion years ago is coming into sharper focus.

Why the deep ocean is Earth's last frontier

Growing industrialization threatens the deep ocean's ecosystems, considered key to the health of the planet.

LADEE sends Its first images of the moon back to Earth

Earlier this month, NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory successfully downlinked images of the moon and stars taken by onboard camera systems, known as star trackers. This is the first time the LADEE team commanded the spacecraft to send these pictures back to Earth.

Space droids battle to save Earth from comet

A comet heading towards Earth threatens humanity’s existence – that was the virtual scenario of this year’s Zero Robotics tournament. Secondary-school students from across Europe controlled miniature satellites on the International Space Station in a competition to save our planet.

Why life got big in the Earth's early oceans

Why did life forms first begin to get larger and what advantage did this increase in size provide? UCLA biologists working with an international team of scientists examined the earliest communities of large multicellular organisms in the fossil record to help answer this question.

Bright star reveals new exoplanet

By studying the star around which the planet revolves, they found that the star's rotation appears to be well-aligned with the planetary movement. The object can be well-studied because the star is relatively bright, it can be seen if strong binoculars are used.

Decade-old rover adventure continues on Mars and Earth

Eighth graders didn't have Facebook or Twitter to share news back then, in January 2004. Bekah Sosland, 14 at the time, learned about a NASA rover landing on Mars when the bouncing-ball video on the next morning's Channel One news in her Fredericksburg, Texas, classroom caught her eye.

Earth's crust was unstable in the Archean eon and dripped down into the mantle

Earth's crust was unstable in the Archean eon and dripped down into the mantle Model calculations indicate that the extreme density of the base of the thickened primary crust caused it to subside into Earth's mantle.

Scientists solve a decades-old mystery in the Earth's upper atmosphere

New research published in the journal Nature resolves decades of scientific controversy over the origin of the extremely energetic particles known as ultra-relativistic electrons in the Earth's near-space environment and is likely to influence our understanding of planetary magnetospheres throughout the universe.