NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars has raised some eyebrows by something it has not detected: methane. And, much farther out, the Cassini spacecraft has made a positive detection of plastic in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.
The moon often seems like an ancient relic of space exploration, that dusty, dry, airless ball of rock and soil that we visited decades ago and have since left alone—possibly because we found nothing there but dust, rock, and soil? Not so fast. Exploration in the past few years has revealed aspects of the moon that contradict what we were taught in school.
A comet named ISON has been hailed as a possible "comet of the century." But scientists aren't sure yet if it will survive a hairpin turn around the sun.
In 1972, an Apollo 17 astronaut glimpsed a strange phenomenon of streaming light from the window of the command module as it orbited the dark side of the moon. Now, a new NASA mission aims to discover what caused that phenomenon, and whether it could be a hazard for future lunar landings.
If you think the list of achievements of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is impressive, consider that its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, will sport a mirror 21 feet across, with more than 20 times the light-collecting capability of its predecessor!
UC Davis is acquiring a chunk of meteorite that landed in Northern California last year. The meteorite's age makes it rare and valuable. It contains dust from ancient stars that exploded, the same stuff that eventually formed our solar system.
It's time to enjoy the annual Perseid meteors, the Old Faithful of meteor showers that lights up the August night and thoroughly delights those sleepy souls willing to stay up past midnight for one of nature's original fireworks shows.
The science of earthquake prediction is fraught with the human tendency to seek conclusions beyond the reach of the data. In this setting, even the fruitless hypothesis of sunspots is seductive.
On July 19, NASA's Cassini probe captured a picture of the Earth and Moon, offering us a perspective of all of humanity on one tiny dot in space, and a reminder that Cassini is still out there exploring the distant reaches of the Solar System.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its high-powered HiRISE camera has been capturing extremely detailed pictures all over the surface of Mars for a few years now. MRO now reveals a number of surprising, curious, and often captivating landscape features, many of which have inferred the action of dynamic weather processes on Mars.
After ten months of studying a small patch of Mars half a mile from its landing point, NASA's Curiosity rover pulls up stakes, packs its bags and prepares to set forth on a trek to reach the base of Mount Sharp, a layered mound of Martian geologic history with secrets just waiting to be discovered.
Envision the Earth plunging through space and passing a sign that warns, “Watch for falling rocks.” Now, what are we going to do deflect a catastrophic collision from space?
One of NASA’s most popular and successful missions has hit a disabling technical snag. The Kepler space telescope was launched on a search to disprove the notion that Earth is unique in the universe. Over four years, it found more than 100 planets orbiting distant stars.
Smile, universe, for your baby picture! Maps of the early universe by the COBE, WMAP, and Planck missions. Image credit: NASA On news that the universe may be 100 million years older than previously estimated, cosmological markets have seen a reduction in the benchmark of ...
Smartphones do some impressive things these days: navigation, speech recognition, Angry Birds. Now, add “flying through space” to that list. Engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center have turned three off-the-shelf smartphones into miniature satellites, currently orbiting 150 miles above the Earth. “A cell phone has all the kinds of sensors ...
They’re out there… Traveling at close to the speed of light high above the Earth and damaging any satellite in their path. They’re called “killer electrons” and this year, Bay Area researchers are working with a new NASA mission to unlock their mysterious behavior. Killer electrons aren’t a threat to life ...