JPL News

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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NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland Mission Maps Greenland’s Coastline

August 26, 2015

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OMG Mission Maps Greenland's Coastline

NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission is making the first high-resolution maps of the complete Greenland coast and continental shelf, helping scientists to better understand ice melt and its impact on the environment. This summer, a refitted fishing boat is mapping the seafloor around Greenland as the first step in a six-year research program to document […]

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NASA Dismisses Rumor, States “There is No Asteroid Threatening Earth”

August 20, 2015

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NASA Puts Rumor to Rest: "There is No Asteroid Threatening Earth"

In an effort to dispel rumors of an impending asteroid impact on Earth, NASA has stated, “There is no scientific basis — not one shred of evidence — that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.” Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will […]

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NASA Study Reveals Oceans Temporarily Hide Global Warming

July 12, 2015

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Oceans Temporarily Hide Global Warming

A newly published NASA study shows that the recent extra heat from greenhouse gases has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans, accounting for the slowdown in the global surface temperature trend observed during the past decade. Researchers Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis and Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), […]

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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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