NASA

Mercury joins Earth as tectonically active planet

Mercury joins Earth as tectonically active planet

NASA made a short but substantial announcement on Monday: Mercury is tectonically active, joining Earth as the second tectonically active planet located in our solar system. The realization was made thanks to research funded by NASA, which found that Mercury — which is small, hot, and shrinking, the space agency says — is continuing to contract, resulting in small fault scarps that are “geologically young" and serve as signs of tectonic activity.

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SpaceX Mars mission event: all the important details

SpaceX Mars mission event: all the important details

Today Elon Musk and his group of space magicians have explained how they'll make it possible for the everyday citizens to reach Mars in our lifetime. What we're doing here is running down some of the key details - all the important details, that is - for the common citizen. The citizen that plans on going to Mars as soon as possible, that is. The first item on our list that we'll be chopping up is the SpaceX timeline. It's ambitious, but very much within the realm of possibility for this forward-thinking company.

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NASA spies what may be plumes of water erupting on surface of Europa

NASA spies what may be plumes of water erupting on surface of Europa

Using the Hubble Space Telescope scientists have imaged what they think might be plumes of water erupting on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. This is the first direct finding to bolster other observations made using the Hubble that lead scientists to believe that Europa erupts with water plumes that throw water vapor high into the atmosphere of Europa. The big deal with this discovery is that it suggests that future missions to Europa might be able to gather samples of the subsurface ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.

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Destination: Mars uses Microsoft HoloLens to bring the Red Planet to life

Destination: Mars uses Microsoft HoloLens to bring the Red Planet to life

Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center Complex will get to walk on the surface of Mars thanks to some slick virtual reality features that take advantage of Microsoft HoloLens tech. The new experience is called Destination: Mars and it allows users to walk on Mars using real images from the Curiosity Rover. Destination: Mars is a Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex exclusive, will be located in a pop-up theater, and will be available for viewing through January 1, 2017.

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Ancient comet disintegrates in deep blue Hubble space photo

Ancient comet disintegrates in deep blue Hubble space photo

Most of NASA’s photos are visually stunning but similar in nature: bright stars and planets are mixed with large splashes of saturated colors, dust clouds and debris usually mixed in amidst it all. A new photo the space agency shared this week is very different but no less great — it shows a very deep blue background with bright blue particles mixed in, the entire image covered with what could easily be mistaken for film grain. The photo is calm, relaxing, and a small glimpse at the death of an ancient comet.

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Annual Arctic sea ice minimum in 2016 ties second lowest amount on record

Annual Arctic sea ice minimum in 2016 ties second lowest amount on record

NASA has been using satellites to record the minimum and maximum levels for sea ice in the Arctic Sea since 1978. The sea ice minimum and maximums are a gauge to see how global warming is affecting the Arctic. NASA has announced that the annual lowest extent of sea ice happened on September 10 and that sea ice extended for 1.60 million square miles on that date.

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NASA: Charon’s red spot comes from ‘graffiti artist’ Pluto

NASA: Charon’s red spot comes from ‘graffiti artist’ Pluto

Pluto’s moon Charon has a red spot, which NASA recently showcased in a high-resolution photo captured by New Horizons. That red spot, it turns out, is a bit of graffiti ‘gifted’ from Pluto itself; the stain is composed of an organic material dubbed tholins that originate from Pluto’s methane gas. When the methane gas escapes Pluto’s atmosphere, the space agency says, it ends up trapped by Charon’s gravity and eventually freezes in place, finally converting into heavy hydrocarbons via exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

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This is the stunning star-spawning “Stellar Nursery” NASA just spotted

This is the stunning star-spawning “Stellar Nursery” NASA just spotted

NASA has released a processed photograph taken of what it calls a "stellar nursery" found in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The nursery is dubbed N159, and it is home to many colorful young stars outputting ultraviolet light that, as a result, causes the surrounding hydrogen gas to glow. Joining the hot stars and their ethereal glow are "torrential stellar winds," says NASA, which are themselves etching arcs, ridges, and filaments from the various space materials found within the satellite galaxy. The photo, released by the space agency over this past weekend, was captured using the Hubble Space Telescope.

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NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

Yesterday the NASA Osiris-Rex mission launched without a hitch. This mission is heading to an asteroid called Bennu with plans to take a sample of the asteroid and return it to Earth for study. Osiris-REx is an acronym, which is no surprise when you consider how famous NASA is for acronym names. The name stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer.

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Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Just because Ceres is a dwarf planet doesn't mean that it has nothing of interest on its surface. As scientists have studied Ceres we have found that it may have ice deposits in its permanently shadowed regions. We have also learned that it has salt, mountains, and shiny craters on its surface. NASA has now offered up an image that shows a massive ice volcano sitting on the surface of the dwarf planet.

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NASA spacecraft captures double eclipse in new video

NASA spacecraft captures double eclipse in new video

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, more commonly called the SDO, caught a rare double eclipse up close as both the Earth and the moon crossed in front of the sun. It’s a rare event, and one that we get to see up-close thanks to a video the space agency has made public. All we see are two massive dark shadows, but there’s an easy way to tell them apart — the Earth’s edges look fuzzy when it passes in front of the sun, while the moon’s edges are super sharp and clear.

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Jupiter’s North Pole is so unlike Jupiter, other gas planets

Jupiter’s North Pole is so unlike Jupiter, other gas planets

When you say “North Pole”, people will undoubtedly think of elves, Santa, and snow. Jupiter’s north pole, however, is anything but jolly. Initial data acquired from the Juno spacecraft’s first orbital flyby have started to open up more questions than NASA scientists could have imagine. While both north and south poles are, indeed, as stormy as the tempestuous giant of our solar system, images that Juno have gathered defy expectations and presumptions, revealing a plant that is just as mysterious as it is huge.

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