News From Space

No matter how cold your winter has been, it’s probably not as chilly as Mars. Check for yourself:  Starting today, the public can get a daily weather report from NASA’s InSight lander. This public tool includes stats on temperature, wind, and air pressure recorded by InSight. Sunday’s weather was typical for the lander’s location during […]
A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid’s surface. Bennu also revealed itself to be more rugged than expected, challenging the mission team to alter its flight and sample collection plans, due to […]
A study to be published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers a scientific first: a detailed snapshot of the terrible moments right after the Chicxulub impact — the most cataclysmic event known to have befallen life on Earth. At a site called Tanis in North Dakota’s Hell Creek Formation, a team […]
The ExoMars rover that will search for the building blocks of life on the Red Planet has a name: Rosalind Franklin. The prominent scientist behind the discovery of the structure of DNA will have her symbolic footprint on Mars in 2021. A panel of experts chose Rosalind Franklin from over 36,000 entries submitted by citizens […]
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Tuesday’s announcement by Vice President Mike Pence, at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council, about putting American astronauts back on the Moon in the next five years: “Today, I joined leaders from across the country as Vice President Mike Pence chaired the […]
New findings have emerged about five tiny moons nestled in and near Saturn’s rings. The closest-ever flybys by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal that the surfaces of these unusual moons are covered with material from the planet’s rings — and from icy particles blasting out of Saturn’s larger moon Enceladus. The work paints a picture of […]
A team of space scientists has captured new images of a volcanic plume on Jupiter’s moon Io during the Juno mission’s seventeenth flyby of the gas giant. On December 21, 2018, during winter solstice, four of Juno’s cameras captured images of the Jovian moon Io, the most volcanic body in our solar system. JunoCam, the Stellar Reference […]
A brief and unusual flash spotted in the night sky on June 16, 2018, puzzled astronomers and astrophysicists across the globe. The event — called AT2018cow and nicknamed “the Cow” after the coincidental final letters in its official name — is unlike any celestial outburst ever seen before, prompting multiple theories about its source. Over three days, the Cow […]
Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, the first flight has become an important milestone for any vehicle designed for air travel. While it’s one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper (or computer), it’s another to put all the pieces together […]
Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, are cooking up an alien atmosphere right here on Earth. In a new study, JPL scientists used a high-temperature “oven” to heat a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide to more than 1100° C (2000° F), about the temperature of molten lava. The aim was to […]
Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. ESA’s Rosetta mission has revealed that geological stress arising from the shape of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (Comet 67P/C–G) has been a key process in sculpting the comet’s surface and interior following its formation. Small, icy comets with two distinct lobes seem to be commonplace in the Solar System, with one possible mode of […]
One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA’s Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its […]
On April 11, 2019, an Israeli nonprofit organization called SpaceIL attempted to land the first privately funded lander on the surface of the Moon. Launched on February 22, 2019, onboard a used SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher along with a U.S. Air Force satellite and an Indonesian communications satellite, the craft took more than a month to reach its […]