NASA News

New NASA Mission Will Visit Metal Asteroid 16 Psyche

January 17, 2017

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New NASA Mission Will Visit a Metal Asteroid

NASA has announced a new mission that will send an unmanned spacecraft to a large asteroid in the primary asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA recently announced a pair of new space missions to explore questions about the earliest stages of our solar system. One of the missions, Psyche, will send an unmanned spacecraft […]

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Hubble Detects ‘Exocomets’ Plunging Into Young Star HD 172555

January 10, 2017

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Hubble Reveals Exocomets Plunging into a Young Star

The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into young star HD 172555, which resides 95 light-years from Earth. The exocomets — comets outside our solar system — were not directly seen around the star, but their presence was inferred by detecting gas that is likely the vaporized remnants of their icy nuclei. HD 172555 […]

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New NASA Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

January 5, 2017

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NASA Selects Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

A new NASA mission will allow astronomers to explore the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. Objects such as black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas […]

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NEOWISE Mission Spots One Comet, Maybe Two

January 3, 2017

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NASA's NEOWISE Mission Spots Comet 2016 WF9

NASA’s NEOWISE mission has discovered some celestial objects traveling through our neighborhood, including one on the blurry line between asteroid and comet. An object called 2016 WF9 was detected by the NEOWISE project on November 27, 2016. It’s in an orbit that takes it on a scenic tour of our solar system. At its farthest […]

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The Interstellar Medium: Crossing the Cosmic Void

December 27, 2016

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The Interstellar Medium Crossing the Cosmic Void

Humanity’s great leap into the space between the stars has, in a sense, already begun. NASA’s Voyager 1 probe broke through the sun’s magnetic bubble to touch the interstellar wind. Voyager 2 isn’t far behind. New Horizons shot past Pluto on its way to encounters with more distant dwarf worlds, the rubble at the solar […]

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Captures New Image of Jupiter

December 14, 2016

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New Image of Jupiter from Juno

This newly released Juno image highlights the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls’ on Jupiter. This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls’ on Jupiter — massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas […]

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NASA’s New Global View of CO2, Critical Step for Carbon-Cycle Science

December 13, 2016

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Eye-Popping View of CO2, Critical Step for Carbon-Cycle Science

NASA’s new global view of carbon dioxide builds on the agency’s previous satellite measurements of carbon dioxide and combines them with a sophisticated Earth system model to provide one of the most realistic views yet of how this critical greenhouse gas moves through the atmosphere. Scientists have tracked the rising concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide […]

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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 Runs First-Ever Test of New “Propulsor” Jet Engine Tech

December 7, 2016

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NASA Tests New Jet Engine Tech

Aerospace engineers believe they can reduce fuel consumption by embedding an aircraft’s engines into the boundary layer to ingesting the boundary layer air flow. Car, truck, train and aircraft manufacturers have made great strides in recent years to reduce fuel consumption, resulting in consumer savings and lower emissions. With NASA’s help, the aircraft industry is […]

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AIM Spacecraft Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

December 2, 2016

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NASA Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

Data from NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere spacecraft shows the sky over Antarctica is glowing electric blue due to the start of noctilucent, or night-shining, cloud season in the Southern Hemisphere – and an early one at that. Noctilucent clouds are Earth’s highest clouds, sandwiched between Earth and space 50 miles above the […]

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Astronomers Probe Mystery of Pluto’s Icy Heart

December 1, 2016

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Researchers Probe Mystery of Pluto’s Icy Heart

New research looks to solve the many mysteries of Pluto’s icy heart-shaped feature. Was Pluto’s frozen heart formed in an ancient impact basin and was it once closer to the north pole? And does the icy heart conceal a subsurface ocean? Scientists are offering several new scenarios to explain the formation of Pluto’s frozen heart-shaped […]

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NASA’s SOFIA Set To Study New Frontiers in the Solar System and Beyond

November 16, 2016

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SOFIA Observatory Expanding New Frontiers in the Solar System and Beyond

NASA’s SOFIA flying Observatory set to study planets, comets and asteroids orbiting other stars and supermassive black holes. NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, will soon be studying Neptune’s giant moon, Triton, and following-up on Hubble’s recent sighting of water plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa. According to recently completed plans for the 2017 observing […]

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Get Ready for the November Supermoon

November 11, 2016

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November Supermoon

Don’t miss the upcoming supermoon on Monday, November 14. It will be the closest full moon to Earth since 1948 and we won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034. The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as it […]

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Astronomers Explain Mysterious Dimming of Markarian 1018

November 10, 2016

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Markarian 1018 Black Hole Dims Brilliant Galaxy

By combining data from Chandra, VLT and several other telescopes, astronomers reveal that the dimming of Markarian 1018 arises from the black hole at the center being deprived of enough fuel to illuminate its surroundings. Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of […]

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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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New “Morphing” Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Flight

November 3, 2016

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Morphing Wing Could Enable More Efficient Plane Manufacturing and Flight

Engineers at MIT and NASA have developed a new kind of bendable, “morphing” wing that could enable more efficient plane manufacturing and flight. When the Wright brothers accomplished their first powered flight more than a century ago, they controlled the motion of their Flyer 1 aircraft using wires and pulleys that bent and twisted the […]

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Captures a Partial Solar Eclipse

November 1, 2016

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NASA’s SDO Catches a Lunar Transit

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun. The moon’s shadow obstructs SDO’s otherwise constant view of the sun, and the shadow’s edge is sharp and distinct, since the moon has no atmosphere which would distort sunlight. From SDO’s point of […]

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10 Years of Revolutionary Solar Views from NASA’s STEREO Mission

October 25, 2016

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STEREO 10 Years of Revolutionary Solar Views

Ten years ago the twin STEREO spacecraft joined a fleet of NASA spacecraft monitoring the sun and its influence on Earth and space – and they provided a new and unique perspective. Launched 10 years ago, on October 25, 2006, the twin spacecraft of NASA’s STEREO mission – short for Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory […]

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