JPL News

Juno Mission Prepares for Jupiter Flyby

December 9, 2016

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Juno Prepares for December 11 Jupiter Flyby

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its third science flyby of Jupiter on Sunday, December 11, at 9:04 a.m. PST. At the time of closest approach (called perijove), Juno will be about 2,580 miles (4,150 kilometers) above the gas giant’s roiling cloud tops and traveling at a speed of about 129,000 mph (57.8 kilometers per second) […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Measures a Day on Saturn

November 7, 2016

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Cassini Begins Epic Final Year at Saturn

Measuring the exact length of a Saturn day is turning out to be a bigger challenge than originally thought. Over more than a decade in Saturn orbit, Cassini’s instruments have wrestled with confusing measurements to determine the planet’s precise rotation rate. The mission’s final year and unprecedented trajectory will carry Cassini to unexplored regions so […]

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Kepler Helps Show What Conditions Might Look Like on Various Hot Jupiters

October 19, 2016

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Kepler Reveals Cloudy Nights and Sunny Days on Distant Hot Jupiters

Data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and computer modeling show an approximation of what various hot Jupiters might look like. The weather forecast for faraway, blistering planets called “hot Jupiters” might go something like this: Cloudy nights and sunny days, with a high of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,300 degrees Celsius, or 1,600 Kelvin). These […]

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Quantum Physics – Teleporting Toward a Quantum Internet

October 14, 2016

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Teleporting Toward a Quantum Internet

New experiments in Calgary tested quantum teleportation in actual infrastructure, representing a major step forward for the technology. Quantum physics is a field that appears to give scientists superpowers. Those who understand the world of extremely small or cold particles can perform amazing feats with them — including teleportation — that appear to bend reality. […]

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What’s Inside Ceres? New Research Suggests That Ceres Has a Weak Interior

August 8, 2016

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New Data Suggest That Ceres Has a Weak Interior

New research reveals that Ceres has a weak interior, and that water and other light materials partially separated from rock during a heating phase early in its history. In the tens of thousands of photos returned by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the interior of Ceres isn’t visible. But scientists have powerful data to study Ceres’ inner […]

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Spitzer Provides Astronomers with a New Way to See the Milky Way’s Giant Black Hole

July 26, 2016

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Astronomers See the Milky Way's Giant Black Hole with New Eyes

Astronomers are using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to further explore Sagittarius A*. At the center of our Milky Way galaxy lies a cosmic beast called Sagittarius A*. This supermassive black hole packs about four million sun-masses into a volume roughly the size of our solar system. Recently, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope began exploring this exotic […]

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Europa’s Ocean May Contain the Necessary Balance of Chemical Energy for Life

May 18, 2016

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Chemical Balance for Life May Exist in Europa's Ocean

New research from NASA reveals that Europa’s ocean may contain the necessary balance of chemical energy for life, even if the moon lacks volcanic hydrothermal activity. Europa is strongly believed to hide a deep ocean of salty liquid water beneath its icy shell. Whether the Jovian moon has the raw materials and chemical energy in […]

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New Research Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

February 9, 2016

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New Study Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

New research from NASA and Duke University provides new evidence that natural cycles alone aren’t sufficient to explain the global atmospheric warming observed over the last century. A study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, shows, in detail, the reason why global temperatures remain […]

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Curiosity Rover Continues to Gather Martian Soil Samples

January 22, 2016

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Rover Curiosity Tastes Scooped, Sieved Sand

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover continues its campaign to study active sand dune on Mars, scooping and analyzing samples. At its current location for inspecting an active sand dune, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is adding some sample-processing moves not previously used on Mars. Sand from the second and third samples the rover is scooping from “Namib […]

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New Research Explains Loss of Carbon in Martian Atmosphere

November 25, 2015

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NASA Explains Loss of Carbon in Martian Atmosphere

New research from Caltech and NASA offers an explanation for the “missing” carbon in the Martian atmosphere, showing that a transition from a moderately dense atmosphere to the current thin one is entirely possible. Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere — one that is far too thin to keep water from […]

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‘Chemical Laptop’ Could Be Used to Search for Life Beyond Earth

November 18, 2015

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Miniaturized Laboratory Computer Could Search for Signs of Life Outside Earth

Scientists have developed a miniaturized laboratory, called Chemical Laptop, that could be used to search for signs of life outside Earth. If you were looking for the signatures of life on another world, you would want to take something small and portable with you. That’s the philosophy behind the “Chemical Laptop” being developed at NASA’s […]

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New Images from Mars Orbiter Show Sites of Fiction Film’s Mars Landings

October 6, 2015

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NASA Mars Orbiter Views Sites from Movie The Martian

New images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal details of real regions on Mars where a new Hollywood movie, “The Martian,” places future astronaut adventures. The novel of the same name used actual locations on Mars for the landing sites for its “Ares 3” and “Ares 4” missions. The landing sites for “Ares 3” is […]

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Dawn Spacecraft Reveals New Maps and Insights about Ceres

September 30, 2015

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New Color-Coded Topographic Map of the Occator Crater on Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft continues to provide scientists with new data on Ceres and scientists are still trying to identify the “bright spots” and the processes that could produce these and other unique Cerean phenomena. Mysteries and insights about Ceres are being discussed this week at the European Planetary Science Conference in Nantes, France. NASA’s Dawn […]

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Mars

September 28, 2015

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NASA Confirms Liquid Water Evidence on Mars

New research using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken […]

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Hot Jupiters Orbit 20 Times Closer to Their Host Stars Than Earth Does to the Sun

September 9, 2015

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Astronomers Show Hot Jupiters Fly Close to Their Suns

New research reveals that Jupiter-like planets quickly move to orbits close around their baby stars, helping astronomers better understand how planetary systems like our own solar system form and evolve into maturity. Hot Jupiters, giant Jupiter-like exoplanets that orbit 20 times closer to their host stars than the Earth does to the Sun, can form […]

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Engineers Developing ‘Hedgehog’ Robots That Hop and Tumble in Microgravity

September 4, 2015

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NASA Developed Hedgehog Robots Hop and Tumble in Microgravity

Engineers from NASA, MIT and Stanford are developing “hedgehog” robots that are specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies in microgravity by hopping and tumbling. Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, […]

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NASA Comet Hitchhiker Would Take Tour of Small Asteroids and Comets

September 2, 2015

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NASA Comet Hitchhiker

Comet Hitchhiker is in Phase I study through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program. Its goal is to use the kinetic energy of comets and asteroids to get into orbit and land on them. Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn’t easy. You have to figure out how to land your […]

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Engineers Develop Optical Devices That Shape Light in Exotic Ways

September 1, 2015

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Ultrathin Optical Devices Shape Light in Exotic Ways

Engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have developed innovative flat, optical lenses that are capable of manipulating light in ways that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional optical devices. The new lenses are not made of glass. Instead, silicon nanopillars are precisely arranged into a honeycomb pattern […]

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