NASA News

Less Algae Gives Lake Tahoe Its Blue Color

August 3, 2015

0 Comments

Tahoe State of the Lake Report 2015

New research from UC Davis and NASA reveals that the blueness of Lake Tahoe is controlled by algal concentration, which in turn is driven by the level of nutrients available to the algae. Lake Tahoe’s iconic blueness is most strongly related to algae, not clarity, according to research released today from the UC Davis Tahoe […]

Continue reading...

Spitzer Confirms Rocky Exoplanet HD 219134b, about 1.6 Times the Size of Earth

July 30, 2015

0 Comments

Location of Rocky Exoplanet HD 219134b Confirmed

Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system – exoplanet HD 219134b. Dubbed HD 219134b, this exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is a mere 21 light-years away. While the planet itself can’t be seen directly, even by telescopes, […]

Continue reading...

Cassini Reveals Unusual Red Arcs on Saturn’s Moon Tethys

July 30, 2015

0 Comments

Cassini Spots Unusual Red Arcs on Icy Saturn Moon

Enhanced-color images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal unexplained reddish arcs on the surface of Saturn’s icy moon Tethys. The red arcs are narrow, curved lines on the moon’s surface, and are among the most unusual color features on Saturn’s moons to be revealed by Cassini’s cameras. Images taken using clear, green, infrared and ultraviolet spectral […]

Continue reading...

New NASA Image of the Northern Plains of Mars

July 30, 2015

0 Comments

New HiRISE Image of the Northern Plains of Mars

This new image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows frost in gully alcoves in a crater on the Northern plains of Mars. Seasonal frost commonly forms at middle and high latitudes on Mars, much like winter snow on Earth. However, on Mars most frost is carbon dioxide (dry ice) rather than water ice. This frost […]

Continue reading...

Data from NASA’s New Horizons Hints at Underground Ocean on Pluto

July 29, 2015

7 Comments

Researchers Believe An Interior Ocean May Be Driving Geologic Activity on Pluto

Scientists believe that the ice flows and water ice mountains revealed by New Horizons help support the idea that an interior ocean may be driving geologic activity on Pluto. Pluto wears its heart on its sleeve, and that has scientists gleaning intriguing new facts about its geology and climate. Recent data from NASA’s New Horizons […]

Continue reading...

NASA DSCOVR Satellite Image of Africa and Europe

July 29, 2015

0 Comments

NASA DSCOVR Satellite Views Africa and Europe from a Million Miles Away

This newly released NASA image shows Africa and Europe from a million miles away. Africa is front and center in this image of Earth taken by a NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. The image, taken July 6 from a vantage point one million miles from Earth, was one of the […]

Continue reading...

Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars InSight Lander’s 2016 Arrival

July 28, 2015

0 Comments

Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars Lander Arrival

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is preparing for the arrival of NASA’s InSight Lander, which will occur on 2016. A planned 77-second firing of six intermediate-size thrusters on July 29 will adjust the orbit timing of the veteran spacecraft so it will be in position to receive radio transmissions from InSight as the newcomer descends through […]

Continue reading...

NASA’s Dawn Reveals Topography of Dwarf Planet Ceres

July 28, 2015

0 Comments

NASA's Dawn Reveals Topography on the Surface of Dwarf Planet Ceres

New color-coded maps of dwarf planet Ceres reveal a diverse topography with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 kilometers). Scientists continue to analyze the latest data from Dawn as the spacecraft makes its way to its third mapping orbit. “The craters we find on Ceres, in terms […]

Continue reading...

New Horizons Reveals Flowing Ices, Exotic Surface Chemistry, Mountains, and Haze on Pluto

July 25, 2015

0 Comments

Flowing Ice Discovered by New Horizons on Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons continues to reveal secrets about Pluto, showing flowing ice and an extended haze around this icy world of wonders. “We knew that a mission to Pluto would bring some surprises, and now — 10 days after closest approach — we can say that our expectation has been more than surpassed,” said John […]

Continue reading...

Kepler-452b and the Search for Another Earth

July 24, 2015

1 Comment

The Kepler Telescope and Astronomers Continue to Search for Another Earth

With the help of the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers and scientists continue to search for another Earth-like planet. The discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star brings us closer than ever to finding a twin of our own watery world. But NASA’s Kepler space telescope has captured evidence of other potentially habitable planets […]

Continue reading...

NASA Lab Results Reveal Recipe for Extraterrestrial Vitamin B3

July 24, 2015

0 Comments

Astronomers Find Extraterrestrial Vitamin

New NASA experiments reveal that vitamin B3 and other complex organic compounds could be made in space and it is plausible that meteorite and comet impacts could have added an extraterrestrial component to the supply of vitamin B3 on ancient Earth. Vitamin B3 could have been made on icy dust grains in space, and later […]

Continue reading...

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Bedrock with High Levels of Silica

July 24, 2015

0 Comments

Curiosity Rover Discovers Unusual Bedrock on Mars

After almost three years on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover continues to amaze. This time Curiosity has discovered a target unlike anything it has studied before – bedrock with surprisingly high levels of silica. Silica is a rock-forming compound containing silicon and oxygen, commonly found on Earth as quartz. This area lies just downhill from […]

Continue reading...

New Horizons Image of Pluto in False Color

July 24, 2015

0 Comments

New False Color Image of Pluto

This newly released image of Pluto was taken by the New Horizons Spacecraft at a distance of 450,000 kilometers. New Horizons scientists use enhanced color images to detect differences in the composition and texture of Pluto’s surface. When close-up images are combined with color data from the Ralph instrument, it paints a new and surprising […]

Continue reading...

Kepler Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth

July 23, 2015

1 Comment

Kepler Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a planet and star that closely resemble the Earth and our Sun. NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey […]

Continue reading...

“Windbots” – The Future Explorers of Planetary Skies?

July 23, 2015

0 Comments

Windbots Could Someday Explore the Skies of Jupiter

Engineers are investigating the feasibility of creating a windbot, a new class of robotic probe designed to stay aloft in a planet’s atmosphere for a long time without wings or hot-air balloons, to someday explore planets like Jupiter. Among designers of robotic probes to explore the planets, there is certainly no shortage of clever ideas. […]

Continue reading...

New Horizons Spacecraft Discovers Second Mountain Range on Pluto

July 22, 2015

1 Comment

New Horizons Reveals Second Mountain Range on Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft has discovered a second mountain range near the southwestern margin of Pluto’s Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), situated between bright, icy plains and dark, heavily-cratered terrain. This image was acquired by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) and sent […]

Continue reading...

New Horizons Views Pluto’s Smaller Moons

July 21, 2015

0 Comments

New Horizons Views Pluto's Smaller Moons Hydra and Nix

NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft reveals new images of Pluto’s moons Hydra and Nix. Pluto has five known moons. In order of distance from Pluto they are: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. While Pluto’s largest moon Charon has grabbed most of the lunar spotlight, two of Pluto’s smaller and lesser-known satellites are starting to come […]

Continue reading...

Distributed Electric Propulsion May Usher in a New Era of Flight

July 21, 2015

0 Comments

NASA to Usher in a New Era of Flight

NASA scientists believe distributed electric propulsion is set to usher in a new era of aviation, allowing engineers to do things that they have wanted to do for 50 years. Mark Moore imagines a world where clean, agile airplanes conquer highway gridlock, where soul-sapping, two-hour commutes are replaced with a quick leap through the sky. […]

Continue reading...