NASA News

NASA Research Reveals That Mercury is Active

September 26, 2016

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Astronomers Reveal Mercury is Active

New research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet. Images obtained by NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft reveal previously undetected small fault scarps— cliff-like landforms that resemble stair steps. These scarps are small enough that scientists believe they must be geologically young, which […]

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NASA DXL Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

September 23, 2016

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NASA-Funded Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

New research confirms some of our ideas about where cosmic X-rays come from and reveals an entire group of X-rays that don’t come from any known source. In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to […]

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Hubble Finds a Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars in System OGLE-2007-BLG-349

September 22, 2016

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Hubble Reveals Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our sun. It […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Views Layered Rock Formations

September 13, 2016

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Mars Rover Views Layered Rock Formations

The layered geologic past of Mars is revealed in stunning detail in new color images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, which is currently exploring the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp. Curiosity took the images with its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on September 8. The rover team plans to assemble several large, color mosaics from […]

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Views a Streamlined Form in Lethe Vallis, Mars

September 13, 2016

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New Image of Lethe Vallis on Mars

This newly released image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a portion of Lethe Vallis, an outflow channel that also transported lava. This image was acquired at 15:16 local Mars time on May 6, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Another investigation of this area (Balme […]

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Witnesses a Double Eclipse

September 6, 2016

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NASA’s SDO Views a Double Eclipse

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory viewed both Earth and the moon crossing in front of the sun. SDO keeps a constant eye on the sun, but during SDO’s semiannual eclipse seasons, Earth briefly blocks SDO’s line of sight each day – a consequence of SDO’s geosynchronous orbit. On September 1, Earth completely eclipsed the sun from […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Glowing Gas and Dark Dust in the LMC

September 6, 2016

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New Hubble Image of the Large Magellanic Cloud

A newly released image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a maelstrom of glowing gas and dark dust within one of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This stormy scene shows a stellar nursery known as N159, an HII region over 150 light-years across. N159 contains many hot young stars. These […]

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New Horizons Image Shows Pluto’s Methane Snowcaps

August 31, 2016

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New Pluto Image Shows Methane Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness

This newly released image shows the southernmost part of Pluto that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft could “see” during closest approach in July 2015. The image contains a range of fascinating geological features, and offers clues into what might lurk in the regions shrouded in darkness during the flyby. The area shown above is south of […]

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NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

August 29, 2016

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NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

New research suggests that IRAS 19312+1950 might be a protostar a star still in the making. For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a […]

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A Billion or More Jupiter-Like Worlds Could Be Orbiting Stars in the Milky Way

August 26, 2016

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Scientists Compare Jupiter with Jupiter-like Planets

Using data from NASA’s Juno probe, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of Jupiter and the the many Jupiter-like planets in our galaxy. Our galaxy is home to a bewildering variety of Jupiter-like worlds: hot ones, cold ones, giant versions of our own giant, pint-sized pretenders only half as big around. Astronomers say that […]

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NASA Telescopes Reveal a Surprising Blazar Connection

August 24, 2016

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A Surprising Blazar Connection Revealed

Using data from from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new […]

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Van Allen Probes View Supercharged Radiation Belt

August 16, 2016

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Van Allen Probes Catch Rare Glimpse of Supercharged Radiation Belt

New research details how a shockwave created by the driving force of a coronal mass ejection from the sun – struck the outermost radiation belt, triggering the greatest geomagnetic storm of the preceding decade. Our planet is nestled in the center of two immense, concentric doughnuts of powerful radiation: the Van Allen radiation belts, which […]

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Hubble Discovers Two Dwarf Galaxies Moving into the Milky Way

August 15, 2016

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Hubble Uncovers a Galaxy Pair Moving into the Milky Way

A team of astronomers has discovered two dwarf galaxies that have traveled from the remote hinterlands of space to the Milky Way. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered two tiny dwarf galaxies that have wandered from a vast cosmic wilderness into a nearby “big city” packed with galaxies. After being quiescent for billions of years, […]

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New Research From NASA Suggests Venus May Have Been Habitable

August 11, 2016

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NASA Suggests Venus May Have Been Habitable

New research from NASA suggests that Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures for up to 2 billion years of its early history. The findings, published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, were obtained with a model similar to the type used to predict future climate change on […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Irregular Galaxy NGC 2337

August 8, 2016

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New Hubble Image of NGC 2337

This newly released Hubble image shows galaxy NGC 2337, which is located 25 million light-years away in the constellation of Lynx. NGC 2337 is an irregular galaxy, meaning that it — along with a quarter of all galaxies in the Universe — lacks a distinct, regular appearance. The galaxy was discovered in 1877 by the […]

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Astronomers Reveal Fluctuating Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Volcanic Moon Io

August 3, 2016

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Astronomers Reveal Fluctuating Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Volcanic Moon

A newly published study from NASA reveals that Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io has a thin atmosphere that collapses in the shadow of Jupiter, condensing as ice. The study shows the freezing effects of Jupiter’s shadow during daily eclipses on the moon’s volcanic gases. “This research is the first time scientists have observed this remarkable phenomenon […]

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Astronomers Discover a Radio Pulsing White Dwarf Binary Star

August 1, 2016

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Artist Impression of the Exotic Binary Star System AR Scorpii

Using telescopes on the ground and in space, a team of astronomers has discovered a new type of exotic binary star in the system AR Scorpii. The rapidly spinning white dwarf star is powering electrons up to almost the speed of light. These high energy particles release blasts of radiation that lash the companion red […]

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Mars Orbiter Shows Gullies on Mars Not Likely Formed by Liquid Water

July 29, 2016

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New Study Shows Mars Gullies Not Formed by Liquid Water

Using data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, astronomers show that gullies on modern Mars are likely not being formed by flowing liquid water. This new evidence will allow researchers to further narrow theories about how Martian gullies form, and reveal more details about Mars’ recent geologic processes. Scientists use the term “gully” for features on […]

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