News From Space

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launched at 7:20 a.m. EST on December 25, 2021, on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America. A joint effort with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb observatory is NASA’s revolutionary flagship mission to seek the light from the first galaxies in the […]
 
NASA’s Lucy mission, the agency’s first to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, launched at 5:34 a.m. EDT on October 16, 2021, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Over the next 12 years, Lucy will fly by one main-belt asteroid and […]
 
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched at 1:21 a.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 24, 2021, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. […]
 
New findings from NASA’s Juno probe orbiting Jupiter provide a fuller picture of how the planet’s distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues about the unseen processes below its clouds. The results highlight the inner workings of the belts and zones of clouds encircling Jupiter as well as its polar cyclones and even the Great […]
 
A team of shoebox-sized rover scouts was recently put to the test at a NASA Glenn Research Center lab. The facility, called the Simulated Lunar Operations lab (SLOPE), is designed to mimic lunar and planetary surface operations. The mini-rovers traversed simulated lunar soil — called regolith — to better understand the types of challenges that […]
 
Scientists recently added a whopping 301 newly validated exoplanets to the total exoplanet tally. The throng of planets is the latest to join the 4569 validated planets orbiting a multitude of distant stars. How did scientists discover such a huge number of planets seemingly all at once? The answer lies with a new deep neural […]
 
A white dwarf star that completes a full rotation once every 25 seconds is the fastest-spinning confirmed white dwarf, according to a team of astronomers led by the University of Warwick. They have established the spin period of the star for the first time, confirming it as an extremely rare example of a magnetic propeller […]
 
NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way. The gamma-ray telescope, called the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), is expected to launch in 2025 as NASA’s latest small astrophysics mission. NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program […]
 
Could lava tubes, caves, or subsurface habitats offer safe refuge for future astronauts on Mars? Scientists with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team are helping explore questions like that with the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). Unlike Earth, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field to shield it from the high-energy particles whizzing around in space. That radiation […]
 
In our solar system, planets are either small and rocky (like Earth) or large and gaseous (like Neptune). But around other stars, astronomers have found planets that fall in between, worlds slightly larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. These planets may have rocky surfaces or liquid-water oceans, but most are likely to be topped with […]
 
On a recent day in November, the car-sized rover rolled slowly forward, then stopped, perched on the threshold of a martian landscape. But this rover, named OPTIMISM, wasn’t on the Red Planet. And the landscape was a boulder-strewn mock-up of the real Mars — the Mars Yard at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. […]
 
Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 in near-perfect harmony, and U.S. and European researchers have used that harmony to determine how much physical abuse the planets could have withstood in their infancy. “After rocky planets form, things bash into them,” said astrophysicist Sean Raymond of the University of Bordeaux in France. “It’s called bombardment, […]
 
NASA’s Curiosity rover captured a remarkable image from its most recent perch on the side of Mars’ Mount Sharp. The mission team was so inspired by the beauty of the landscape that they combined two versions of the black-and-white images from different times of the day and added colors, creating a rare postcard from the […]