JPL News

Triple Crescent Moon Image From Cassini

June 23, 2015

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PIA18322: Triple Crescents

This image taken by the Cassini spacecraft shows three of Saturn’s moons: Titan, Mimas, and Rhea. A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth’s sky, but with Saturn’s many moons, you can see three or even more. The three moons shown here — Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across), Mimas (246 miles […]

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Astronomers Identify a Quadruple Star System, 30 Ari

March 5, 2015

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Researchers Identify a Quadruple Star System

Using the Robo-AO adaptive optics system and the PALM-3000 adaptive optics system, astronomers have identified a planet in a quadruple star system for only the second time. Growing up as a planet with more than one parent star has its challenges. Though the planets in our solar system circle just one star — our sun […]

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Plasma Irregularities in the Polar Ionosphere Can Distort GPS Signals

February 27, 2015

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Study of Atmospheric Froth May Help GPS Communications

New research from scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at the University of New Brunswick looks at irregularities in the ionosphere, comparing turbulence in the auroral region to that at higher latitudes. When you don’t know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with […]

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A New Way to Detect the Early Stages of Massive Star Formation

January 28, 2015

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Citizen Scientists Find Mystery Objects in Space

Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, volunteers discovered a new way to detect the early stages of massive star formation. Sometimes it takes a village to find new and unusual objects in space. Volunteers scanning tens of thousands of starry images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, using the Web-based Milky Way Project, recently stumbled […]

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Asteroid 2004 BL86 Has a Small Moon

January 27, 2015

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Asteroid 2004 BL86 and Its Small Moon

As asteroid 2004 BL86 made its way past Earth yesterday, scientists were able to better measure the asteroid’s size, rotation and location and detected a tiny moon orbiting the asteroid. This “movie” of the asteroid was generated from radar data collected on that date by NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. Twenty individual […]

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Small Helicopter Could Improve the Exploration of Mars

January 23, 2015

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Small Helicopter Could Scout for Future Mars Rovers

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working on a small helicopter that could ‘scout’ a trail for future Mars rovers. Getting around on Mars is tricky business. Each NASA rover has delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the Red Planet, but a rover’s vision is limited by the view […]

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Closes in on Ceres, Delivers New Images

January 20, 2015

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Dawn Spacecraft Closes in on Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has captured new images of dwarf planet Ceres. As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft closes in on Ceres, new images show the dwarf planet at 27 pixels across, about three times better than the calibration images taken in early December. These are the first in a series of images that will be taken for […]

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Mysterious Ecosystem May Hold Clues to Alien Life

November 26, 2014

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Deep Sea Shrimp May Hold Clues to Alien Life

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reveal that the extreme oasis of life deep in the Caribbean Sea may hold clues to life on other planetary bodies, including Jupiter’s moon Europa. At one of the world’s deepest undersea hydrothermal vents, tiny shrimp are piled on top of each other, layer upon layer, crawling on rock […]

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Jupiter’s Red Spot – A Product of Simple Chemicals Being Broken Apart by Sunlight

November 13, 2014

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Red Spot on Jupiter is Likely a Sunburn

New data from NASA’s Cassini mission reveal that the color of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet’s upper atmosphere, contradicting the other leading theory for the origin of the spot’s striking color — that the reddish chemicals come from beneath Jupiter’s clouds. […]

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First Resolved Image of the Nucleus of a Long-Period Comet

October 21, 2014

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New NASA MRO Images of Comet Siding Spring

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured new images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, resulting in the first resolved image of the nucleus of a long-period comet. These images were taken of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 19, 2014, during the comet’s close flyby of Mars and the […]

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NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory to Study Ultra-Cold Quantum Gases

September 29, 2014

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CAL Cools Atoms to Ultracold Temperatures

Researchers will use NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory to study ultra-cold quantum gases, exploring how atoms interact in microgravity when they have almost no motion due to such cold temperatures. Like dancers in a chorus line, atoms’ movements become synchronized when lowered to extremely cold temperatures. To study this bizarre phenomenon, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, researchers […]

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Small Asteroid 2014 RC to Pass Near Earth

September 4, 2014

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Small Asteroid Will Pass Close to Earth

This coming Sunday a twenty meter asteroid called 2014 RC will safely pass near Earth at a distance of about 25,000 miles. A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, September 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. […]

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New Rosetta Image of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

August 18, 2014

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New Detailed Image of 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko

Taken by ESA’s Rosetta Spacecraft, this new image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows the diversity of surface structures on the comet’s nucleus. The image was taken by the Rosetta spacecraft’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on August 7, 2014. At the time, the spacecraft was 65 miles (104 kilometers) away from the 2.5-mile-wide (4-kilometer) nucleus. In the image, […]

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NASA Discovers Further Evidence of Dry Ice Gullies on Mars

July 11, 2014

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NASA Discovers Further Evidence of Dry Ice Gullies on Mars

A new study details further evidence of dry ice gullies on Mars, revealing that the gullies on Mars’ surface are primarily formed by the seasonal freezing of carbon dioxide, not liquid water. Repeated high-resolution observations made by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) indicate the gullies on Mars’ surface are primarily formed by the seasonal freezing […]

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Astronomers View Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 HQ124 as it Passes Earth

June 13, 2014

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Radar Observations of Asteroid 2014 HQ124

Using the Deep Space Network antenna and two other radio telescopes, astronomers were able to capture radar observations of asteroid 2014 HQ124 as it passed Earth on June 8, 2014. NASA scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently discovered asteroid as it slid silently past our planet. Captured on June 8, […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Views Mercury Passing in Front of the Sun

June 11, 2014

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Curiosity Rover Views Mercury Passing in Front of the Sun

This new animated image from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows Mercury passing in front of the Sun. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has imaged the planet Mercury passing in front of the sun, visible as a faint darkening that moves across the face of the sun. This is the first transit of the sun by a planet […]

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Spitzer Discovers a Rare Supernova Where a Dead Star “Fed” Off an Aging Star

June 4, 2014

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Spitzer Space Telescope Reveals a Rare Example of Type Ia Explosion

Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers examined a rare example of Type Ia explosion in which a dead star “fed” off an aging star. Supernovas are often thought of as the tremendous explosions that mark the ends of massive stars’ lives. While this is true, not all supernovas occur in this fashion. A […]

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NASA’s Cassini Views Uranus for the First Time

May 2, 2014

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Cassini Views Uranus for the First Time

On April 11, 2014 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took its first-ever image of the planet Uranus, shown in the distance beyond Saturn’s rings. The robotic spacecraft briefly turned its gaze away from the ringed beauty of Saturn on April 11, 2014, to observe the distant planet, which is the seventh planet from the sun. The planets […]

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