Created from images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft, the latest, improved global digital elevation model spans wavelengths from infrared to visible light, and has a spatial resolution of as little as 15 m.
In a painstaking re-analysis of Hubble Space Telescope images from 1998, astronomers have found visual evidence for two extrasolar planets that went undetected back then. The most compelling aspect of the discovery is that astronomers can now chart longer-term planetary motion by comparing these images with new data.
For decades scientists had puzzled over whether Mercury had volcanic deposits on its surface. The latest set of images from MESSENGER, the NASA orbiter, affirmed their existence and also discovered a new class of landform known as a ‘hollow’.
Thanks to an updated census from NASA’s sky-mapping spacecraft, the space agency’s Near-Earth Object Office at NASA has identified more than 90% of giant, potentially Earth-threatening asteroids, including ones as big as the one thought to have killed the dinosaurs eons ago.
Using both legacy data and imagery collected by the satellite observatory Aquarius after it went operation on Aug. 25, NASA has put together the first complete map of salinity distribution in the world’s oceans. Salinity patterns revealed by the map has already surprised researchers.
NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere late Sept. 23 or early Sept. 24 Eastern Daylight Time, almost six years after the end of a productive scientific life. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere.
A 6-ton, 20-year-old research satellite is expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters the atmosphere this week, most of it burning up. NASA says 26 of the heaviest metal parts, including one of about 136 kg, are expected to reach Earth. But nobody knows exactly where they will hit.
While scientists are confident a large asteroid ended the age of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, they don’t exactly where the asteroid originated or how it arrived at Earth. New findings from NASA’s WISE mission have probably ruled out a popular candidate for the impact: the remains of the huge asteroid Baptistina.
A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping. The research may help scientists better locate and map Earth's desert aquifers, understand current and past hydrological conditions in Earth's deserts, and assess how climate change is impacting them.
High wind has forced a one-day launch delay for NASA's newest moon spacecraft. An unmanned rocket was supposed to blast off from Cape Canaveral today with the twin probes. But the countdown was halted because of gusty wind in the flight path.
Today's expected launch of NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) twin spacecraft, a carefully choreographed mission to precisely map the moon's gravitational field, could help scientists understand fundamental questions about the moon's composition, internal structure, and evolution.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is carrying a suite of instruments including a $32 million University of Colorado Boulder package, has provided scientists with new information that energy from some solar flares is stronger and lasts longer than previously thought.
According to some experts, we’ve lost control of the environment in Earth’s orbit. There are 22,000 objects in orbit that are big enough to track and countless more smaller ones, anyone on of which could do damage to human-carrying spaceships and valuable satellites. The problem now is how to pick up the pieces.
Researchers from Louisiana Tech University will be floating high above the Gulf of Mexico this month to conduct zero-gravity testing of an experimental DNA analysis instrument developed at Tech that could benefit future NASA astronauts.
Snapping pictures like a tourist, NASA’s solar-powered rover is beaming back images of the horizon, soil, and rocks unlike any it has seen during its seven years roaming the Martian plains. At the western rim of the crater Endeavour, Opportunity has a few more missions to complete.
Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station this fall if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying, a NASA official said Monday. Russia’s Soyuz rockets remain grounded after a failed upper stage, which is similar to what’s used to launch astronauts, was destroyed last week.
Two studies provide new insights into a cosmic accident that has been streaming X-rays toward Earth since late March. The X-rays are being produced by a distant black hole as it slowly devours a Sun-like star.
Sunspots spawn solar flares that can cause billions of dollars in damage to satellites, communications networks, and power grids. But Stanford University researchers have developed a way to detect incipient sunspots as deep as 65,000 km inside the sun, providing up to two days' advance warning of a damaging solar flare.
The spaceship that could carry the next U.S. astronauts to an asteroid or perhaps other planets is about to undergo a new round of tests in Denver. NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is being built under a $7.5 billion contract with Lockheed Martin.
About every 11 years, giant explosions send energy, light and high-speed particles streaming from the solar surface. The biggest flares are known as “X-class”, and the largest flare yet this solar cycle, which struck on the morning of Aug. 9, 2011, is firmly in this class of superflares.
Repeated observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show dark, finger-like features that appear and extend down Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. According to NASA, the best explanation for these observations so far is the flow of briny water.
On Friday, NASA will launch the most distant probe ever powered by the sun. Equipped with three tractor-trailer-sized solar panels to supply 400 W at the terminus of its 2 billion-mile journey, Juno was designed not out of concern for the environment, but for entirely practical considerations.
Last month, NASA's Dawn spacecraft began orbiting the 330-mile-wide rocky body of Vesta, the asteroid belt’s second-largest resident. The latest photos have been full of surprises, revealing extensive features, from multiple craters to mysterious grooves, that will keep scientists busy for years.
Even with the shuttle now history, NASA has a major deadline looming. By presidential order, the space agency has to be ready to launch a manned mission to another asteroid by 2025. The logistical hurdles to be overcome in the 14 years has many NASA brains both thrilled and anxious.
Gale Crater was chosen as the target for the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission after an extensive review of dozens of potential sites. NASA chose this site because they believe they have located the boundary where life may have sprung up and where it may have been extinguished.