News From Space

  NASA has announced that our next destination in the solar system is the unique, richly organic world Titan. Advancing our search for the building blocks of life, the Dragonfly mission will fly multiple sorties to sample and examine sites around Saturn’s icy moon. Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft […]
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover recently found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission — about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv). One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane. The finding came from the rover’s […]
A black hole and its shadow have been captured in an image for the first time, a historic feat by an international network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). EHT is an international collaboration whose support in the U.S. includes the National Science Foundation. A black hole is an extremely dense object […]
With its rocky, sandy terrain and buoyant salt water, the bottom of the ocean floor has more in common with the lunar surface than you might imagine. That is why this week two members of NASA mission NEEMO 23 are testing ESA’s latest prototype to rescue astronauts on the Moon. ESA’s Lunar Evacuation System Assembly (LESA) […]
A familiar ingredient has been hiding in plain sight on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Using a visible-light spectral analysis, planetary scientists at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, have discovered that the yellow color visible on portions of the surface of Europa is actually sodium chloride, a compound known […]
NASA’s Mars InSight lander has measured and recorded for the first time ever a likely “marsquake.” The faint seismic signal, detected by the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, was recorded on the lander’s 128th Martian day, or sol. This is the first recorded trembling that appears to have come from inside the […]
Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical “fingerprint” of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars. The planet, Gliese 3470 b (also known as GJ 3470 b), may be […]
When a lightning detector on a NOAA weather satellite detected something that wasn’t lightning last Saturday, a scientist at the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, did some detective work. Could a tiny, harmless object that broke up in the atmosphere in a bright flash be […]
The mystery of why Earth has so much water, allowing our “blue marble” to support an astounding array of life, is clearer with new research into comets. Comets are like snowballs of rock, dust, ice, and other frozen chemicals that vaporize as they get closer to the Sun, producing the tails seen in images. A […]
On June 17, four CubeSats were deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) “Kibo” on the International Space Station. NepaliSat-1 was co-developed by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech); Raavana-1 was co-developed by the Arthur C Clarke Institute of Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), Sri Lanka, and Kyutech; Uguisu […]
As NASA’s Cassini dove close to Saturn in its final year, the spacecraft provided intricate detail on the workings of Saturn’s complex rings, new analysis shows. Although the mission ended in 2017, science continues to flow from the data collected. A recent paper published in Science describes results from four Cassini instruments taking their closest-ever […]