NASA Goddard Space Flight Center News

NASA Shows Arctic Sea Ice Is Losing Its Bulwark Against Warming Summers

October 31, 2016

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How Arctic Sea Ice Is Losing Its Bulwark Against Warming Summers

New research shows that the Arctic sea ice has been hit with a double whammy over the past decades: as its extent shrunk, the oldest and thickest ice has either thinned or melted away, leaving the sea ice cap more vulnerable to the warming ocean and atmosphere. “What we’ve seen over the years is that […]

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Astronomers Discover X-Ray Echoes from a Black Hole That Shattered a Passing Star

June 23, 2016

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X-ray Echoes of a Shredded Star Provide Close-up of Black Hole

Using data from the Swift Satellite, astronomers have identified the reflections of X-ray flares erupting from a star that was shattered by a black hole. Some 3.9 billion years ago in the heart of a distant galaxy, the intense tidal pull of a monster black hole shredded a star that passed too close. When X-rays […]

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Newly Discovered Kepler-1647 Is The Largest Planet That Orbits Two Suns

June 14, 2016

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Newly Discovered Kepler-1647 Is The Largest Planet That Orbits Two Suns

Using the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the largest planet to date around a double-star system. If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you’ll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system. It’s too faint to see with the naked eye, but a team led […]

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Astronomers Track the Source of Slow Solar Wind

May 11, 2016

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Implications of L1 Observations for Slow Solar Wind

Using newly processed observations, astronomers spot tell-tale signs that the slow solar wind passing Earth originated from a magnetic phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection. From our vantage point on the ground, the sun seems like a still ball of light, but in reality, it teems with activity. Eruptions called solar flares and coronal mass ejections […]

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NASA Reveals New Visualization of Space Environment at Pluto

December 9, 2015

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New Visualization of Space Environment at Pluto Released by NASA

Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, the Space Weather Research Center (SWRC) and the Community-Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC), Enlil and Dusan Odstrcil (GMU) This newly released video shows a short simulation of the space environment all the way out to Pluto in the months surrounding New Horizons’ July 2015 flyby. At the […]

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NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Celebrates 20 Years of Science

December 1, 2015

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SOHO Views a Solar Tsunami

ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory celebrates twenty years of space-based science. After 20 years in space, ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, is still going strong. Originally launched in 1995 to study the sun and its influence out to the very edges of the solar system, SOHO revolutionized this field […]

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Fermi Mission Reveals Hints of Gamma-Ray Cycle in Active Galaxy PG 1553+113

November 13, 2015

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Fermi Finds Hints of Gamma-ray Cycle in an Active Galaxy PG 1553+113

Using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered hints of periodic changes in brightness in blazar PG 1553+113, whose emissions are powered by a supersized black hole. If confirmed, the discovery would mark the first years-long cyclic gamma-ray emission ever detected from any galaxy, which could provide new insights into physical […]

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Planet-Finding Technology Visible Nulling Coronagraph Passes Another Hurdle

November 12, 2015

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Innovative Planet-Finding Technology Passes Another Hurdle

Researchers are developing innovating planet-finding technology that will help locate Earth-like planets in other solar systems and study their atmospheres to identify chemical signatures of life. The instrument, called the Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC), combines an interferometer with a coronagraph — in itself a first. It’s well on its way to demonstrating operations over a […]

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Mars’ Moon Phobos Shows Signs of Structural Failure

November 11, 2015

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Mars’ Moon Phobos is Slowly Falling Apart

New research presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences reveals that the long, shallow grooves lining the surface of Phobos are likely early signs of the structural failure that will ultimately destroy this moon of Mars. Orbiting a mere 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the surface of Mars, Phobos is […]

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2015 Antarctic Ozone Hole Larger Than Recent Years

October 30, 2015

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Annual Antarctic Ozone Hole is Larger

Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveal that the 2015 Antarctic ozone hole area was larger and formed later than in recent years. On October 2, 2015, the ozone hole expanded to its peak of 28.2 million square kilometers (10.9 million square miles), an area larger than the continent of North […]

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NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer Provides New Details on Solar System Boundary

October 20, 2015

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NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer Sheds New Light on Solar System Boundary

New research from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission provides the most definitive analyses, theories and results about local interstellar space to date. The new research is published in 14 papers in the October 2015 Astrophysical Journal Supplement. IBEX uses energetic neutral atom imaging to examine how our heliosphere, the magnetic bubble in which our sun […]

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NASA Scientists Reveal the Role of Electrons in Pulsating Auroras

October 8, 2015

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NASA Measures a Pulsating Aurora

Using satellites, a ground-based array of all-sky cameras, and some spectacular aurora borealis, a team of scientists has uncovered evidence for an unexpected role that electrons have in creating the dancing auroras. Though humans have been seeing auroras for thousands of years, we have only recently begun to understand what causes them. In this study, […]

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Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse to Occur on September 27

September 16, 2015

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A Supermoon in Combination with a Lunar Eclipse on September 27

For the first time in more than 30 years, on September 27 you’ll be able to witness a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse. Late on September 27, 2015, in the U.S. and much of the world, a total lunar eclipse will mask the moon’s larger-than-life face for more than an hour. But what […]

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NASA’s SDO Views Earth and the Moon Transiting the Sun

September 15, 2015

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NASA's SDO Catches a Double Photobomb

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of Earth and the moon as they crossed the sun. Just before the moon entered the shot, Earth blocked SDO’s view completely. By the time SDO had a clear view again, the moon was just completing its journey across the sun’s face. On September 13, 2015, as NASA’s Solar […]

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NASA Spacecraft Confirms Existence of Neon in Lunar Atmosphere

August 17, 2015

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LADEE Spacecraft Reveals Neon in Lunar Atmosphere

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft has confirmed the existence of neon in the lunar atmosphere. “The presence of neon in the exosphere of the moon has been a subject of speculation since the Apollo missions, but no credible detections were made,” said Mehdi Benna of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in […]

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MMS Mission to Give Unique Look at Magnetic Reconnection

August 5, 2015

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NASA's MMS Formation Will Give Unique Look at Magnetic Reconnection

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission is poised to give astronomers a unique look at magnetic reconnection. On July 9, 2015 the four spacecraft of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission began flying in a pyramid shape for the first time. The four-sided pyramid shape—called a tetrahedron—means that scientists’ observations will be spread out over three dimensions. […]

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“Behemoth” Bleeding Atmosphere Around a Warm Exoplanet Discovered by Hubble

June 25, 2015

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This artist's concept shows "The Behemoth," an enormous comet-like cloud of hydrogen bleeding off of a warm, Neptune-sized planet just 30 light-years from Earth. Also depicted is the parent star, which is a faint red dwarf named GJ 436. The hydrogen is evaporating from the planet due to extreme radiation from the star. A phenomenon this large has never before been seen around any exoplanet.

An enormous cloud of hydrogen is bleeding off the warm exoplanet GJ 436b due to exreme radiation from it’s star. The huge cloud is about 50 times the size of the star, and has been dubbed “The Behemoth” by astronomers. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dubbed “The […]

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Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – The Search for Planets Outside Our Solar System

March 23, 2015

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TESS — Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an Explorer-class planet finder. In the first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey, TESS will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a wide range of […]

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