Most astrophysicists stare at the night sky and look at stars. But Lance Simms from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory looks at the blackness of night and knows there something else there. Simms has been working for a year on a NASA project called the Cosmic X-Ray Background Nanosatellite. The breadbox-sized satellite, set for an August launch, will gather X-ray data from the cosmos and beam it back to Earth.
For only the fifth time in history, scientists have chemically confirmed Martian meteorites that people witnessed falling. The fireball was spotted in the sky six months ago, but the rocks weren't discovered on the ground in North Africa until the end of December. The excitement over the find has driven prices on the fragments sky high.
Three studies released Wednesday, in the journal Nature and at the American Astronomical Society's conference in Austin, Texas, demonstrate an extrasolar real estate boom. One of those studies shows that in our Milky Way, most stars have planets. And since there are a lot of stars in our galaxy—about 100 billion—that means a lot of planets.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been a fervent photographer, snapping more than 10,000 pictures of the asteroid Vesta since it slipped into orbit around the giant space rock last summer. The views were taken from a distance away—until now.
Proof that water flowed through underground fractures on Mars at some point in its history has been discovered by NASA’s Opportunity rover. Bright veins of a mineral, most likely gypsum, were observed by the rover and geologists judge by the formation that it was deposited by water.
The Kepler planet-hunting telescope may have found a second Earth. Scientists say the temperature on the surface of the planet is about a comfortable 22.2 C (72 F). Its star could almost be a twin of our sun, and it likely has water and land.
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently completed NASA’s latest quiet sonic boom research study at Edwards Air Force Base. The Waveforms and Sonic boom Perception and Response, or WSPR, project gathered data from a select group of more than 100 volunteer Edwards Air Force Base residents on their individual attitudes toward sonic booms produced by aircraft in supersonic flight over Edwards.
A strangely powerful, long-lasting gamma-ray burst on Christmas Day, 2010 has finally been analyzed to the satisfaction of a multinational research team. Called the Christmas Burst, GRB 101225A was freakishly lengthy and it produced radiation at unusually varying wavelengths.
Brown University physicists have set the strongest limit for the mass of dark matter, the mysterious particles believed to make up nearly a quarter of the universe. The researchers report that dark matter must have a mass greater than 40 GeV. The distinction is important because it casts doubt on recent results from underground experiments that have reported detecting dark matter.
Indiana University astronomer Samir Salim believes the vast archives produced by NASA's space telescopes and ground-based observatories hold the right information to create the largest resource ever for the study of how star formation proceeds in galaxies.
In order to separate human-caused global warming from the "noise" of purely natural climate fluctuations, temperature records must be at least 17 years long, according to climate scientists. To address criticism of the reliability of thermometer records of surface warming, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists analyzed satellite measurements of the temperature of the lower troposphere and saw a clear signal of human-induced warming of the planet.
Even without it’s own manned launch vehicle, NASA is afraid it will soon not have enough astronauts. The space agency needs about 55 astronauts, and currently has 58, but with veteran astronauts leaving the space agency NASA has begun its biggest effort yet to find recruits.
Dwarf galaxies are the most common type in the universe, but the 9 billion-year-old examples found by NASA’s Hubble telescope are unusually prolific and numerous. The rapid star-birth seen in these newly found examples may force astronomers to reassess their understanding of the ways in which galaxies form.
A Naval Research Laboratory instrument designed to study the Earth's thermosphere is part of a future science mission that has been selected by NASA for evaluation for flight.
The space shuttle program may have ended, but data the space craft collected over the past three decades are still helping advance science. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego recently used measurements from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission to predict how changes in elevation, such as hills and valleys, and the shadows they create, impact power output in California's solar grid.
Astronomers are 100% positive asteroid 2005 YU55 is no threat to Earth, but its proximity, passing closer to us than the moon on Nov. 8, is giving researchers a chance to study it by radar. This is the type of carbon-rich asteroid that NASA is aiming to someday visit with astronauts.
A new NASA study suggests if life ever existed on Mars, the longest lasting habitats were most likely below the Red Planet's surface. Spectral evidence gathered by orbiters support a new hypothesis that persistent warm water was confined to the subsurface, and erosional were carved during brief periods when the surface supported stable water.
On Monday, more than 100 Boeing, NASA and state and federal officials gathered in the massive empty former space shuttle hangar—Orbiting Processing Facility No. 3—for the announcement of the first-of-its-kind agreement allowing a private company to take over the government property.
After a years-long delay, NASA’s newest climate satellite blasted into space early Friday on a dual mission to improve weather forecasts and monitor climate change. Five scientific instruments will extend more than 30 key long-term NASA datasets, including ozone layer measurements, land cover, and ice cover.
When the M-Cubed satellite, built by University of Michigan students, goes into orbit, it will become the first CubeSat to test a NASA instrument for major space missions. It is scheduled to be launched on October 28.
A mystery that began nearly 2,000 years ago, when Chinese astronomers witnessed what would turn out to be an exploding star in the sky, has been solved. New infrared observations from two NASA space telescopes reveal how the first supernova ever recorded occurred.
Expecting the worst, NASA agents swept in on a 74-year-old woman in a Denny’s restaurant five months ago to recover what believed to be a moon rock being sold on the black market. The woman claimed the tiny speck of rock, encased in acrylic, was given to her husband by Neil Armstrong. Armstrong says otherwise, and NASA is silent on the case.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announced it has successfully completed the preliminary design review of its launch abort system, a system designed for manned missions using its Dragon spacecraft. This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the space shuttle.
The last decade has been challenging for the aerospace industry, but a host of breakthroughs have given both big business and private consumers reason to hope.
Tests on five tennis-court sized sunshield layers designed to protect NASA's James Webb Space Telescope mirrors and instruments from the heat of the sun will tell Northrop Grumman Corp. (Falls Church, Va.) engineers how the full-size sunshield layers will behave in orbit.