If you had to make a choice to shut down either the Mars rover Curiosity or that explorer of the Saturn system Cassini, would you deliver a pink slip to the young, eager, energetic newbie or force an early retirement on a veteran explorer who has delivered volumes of knowledge?
The Chelyabinsk meteor was a 65-foot hunk of space rock that entered the Earth's atmosphere at about 12 miles per second before exploding with a force equal to 600,000 tons of TNT, enough to level buildings and send 1,200 people to local hospitals.
Maybe a week before it passes closest to the sun, the dark side of Comet ISON is expected to begin turning into the sunlight. The sudden exposure to the intense radiation could cause a strong outburst of gases into the coma--like a celestial popcorn kernel suddenly bursting.
NASA's "Engineer with a Mohawk" has become a pop culture phenom (62,000 Twitter followers isn't too shabby). But under that comb beats the heart of a true explorer, as we found when he dropped by for a visit.
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!
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.
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.