NASA

NASA astronaut sets US record for longest duration in space

NASA astronaut sets US record for longest duration in space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly set a new record last week for American in space. On Friday, October 16th, his cumulative time spent in space hit 382 days, surpassing the previous record set by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke in 2011. Kelly is currently aboard the International Space Station, serving as commander. He has just passed 200 days on a nearly year-long mission, intended to study long-term microgravity's effects on the human body, which he will be returning from in March 2016.

Continue Reading

NASA website shares new daily photos of Earth

NASA website shares new daily photos of Earth

Following the release of a handful of new images of Earth taken by NASA's DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) satellite over the past few months, the space agency has launched a new section of its website that showcases daily photos of our "blue marble." The website, found at epic.gsfc.nasa.gov, will post 12 new photos per day, all taken of the Earth over the last 24 hours as it rotates. The images are all taken by DSCOVR's camera, known as EPIC, or Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.

Continue Reading

NASA photo ignites conspiracy about deity statue on Mars

NASA photo ignites conspiracy about deity statue on Mars

A legion of imaginative folks dedicate their time to scouring NASA's Mars photos, looking for oddities on the Red Planet. These individuals have spotted all sorts of "objects" (hint: they're rocks), some more interesting than others. Just about right on time, a new conspiracy theory has surfaced involving a new Mars photo, this one seemingly showing a statue of some deity off in the distance.

Continue Reading

Pluto has pits likely made by ice

Pluto has pits likely made by ice

It's no secret that Pluto has ice across its face, appearing with more than a couple bits of proof since NASA's closest approach earlier this year. NASA mission New Horizons sought out the surface of this planet-like space body, coming near enough that they're now presenting photos that are about 130 miles (210 kilometers) across. The image we're seeing today shows a collection of small pits and troughs, created - more than likely - by icy liquids, forming solidly then evaporating away over time.

Continue Reading

NASA’s new sun photo shows massive coronal hole

NASA’s new sun photo shows massive coronal hole

This week, NASA published an incredible photo of our sun, and within the image we see a giant, somewhat jagged black void. That dark spot is a big coronal hole, according to the space agency, an area on the sun where “the magnetic field is open to interplanetary space.” It looks frightening, but is nothing to worry about; according to NASA, the photo was taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory on October 10.

Continue Reading

NASA reveals Cassini’s amazing north pole photos of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

NASA reveals Cassini’s amazing north pole photos of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Following spacecraft Cassini's flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus on October 14th, NASA has released the first photos of the satellite's north pole region. While more photos are still being transmitted to Earth over the next few days, these first photos reveal the best and closest look at the frozen ocean-covered Enceladus thus far. Wednesday's flyby saw Cassini get within 1,142 miles (1,838 kilometers) of Saturn's moon, the closest its been since arriving at the planet in 2004.

Continue Reading

New Horizons Pluto Science Data Revealed

New Horizons Pluto Science Data Revealed

So far, all we have seen of Pluto is the images that New Horizons took as it sped past the former planet. Months after that flyby was completed the first of the scientific data that the probe recorded is finally being unveiled. This week scientists studying that data have published the first overview of what the probe discovered about Pluto.

Continue Reading

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

The news and discoveries related to water on Mars just keep flowing! Shortly after NASA's exploration of the red planet recently confirmed that water in liquid form still exists, new data has suggested that there once may have been enough to support life. NASA's Curiosity rover has been studying the Gale crater, discovering evidence that it was once the site of a lake-like body of water, and for a long period as well.

Continue Reading

Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

NASA details the three phases in reaching Mars with human astronauts, including Earth Reliant, Proving Ground, and Earth Independent. The first of these, Earth Reliant, requires that we make certain we're capable of existing outside of our own atmosphere for long periods of time. This includes astronaut missions aboard the International Space Station. Part of NASA's plan requires that we extend ISS operations until at least the year 2024. NASA also suggests that they'll need to pursue an evolvable SLS via Exploration Upper Stage before advanced solid rocket boosters if they're ever to make a craft that'll bring humans to Mars AND be able to bring them back to Earth.

Continue Reading

Pluto’s sky and ice revealed: blue and red

Pluto’s sky and ice revealed: blue and red

The sky on Pluto is blue, NASA showed the world today, and the ground has water ice. While other sorts of more "volatile" ices appear to mask the water ice found around the planet, some water ice can be seen in photos captured by New Horizons spacecraft earlier this year. Much of this water ice is surrounded by what NASA scientists call "reddish tholin colorants" on the surface of Pluto. Many of these photos are still arriving in the NASA labs for analyzation.

Continue Reading

NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity rover is still puttering around the Red Planet, drilling small holes and taking pictures and giving its human operators better insight into humanity’s future home away from home. Over the weekend, the space agency published a composite image of the upper region of Mount Sharp, Curiosity’s future stomping grounds, taken by the rover on September 9. In it we get a look at a beautiful landscape not so different from our own.

Continue Reading

A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

Earth isn’t the only place with cold avalanches; Mars, the big Red Planet that is maybe the next stepping stone for the human race, is also home to avalanches, though they’re not quite the same as the ones we’re familiar with. HiRISE recently caught one of those frosty events on camera, which from the perspective it was taken looks merely like a puff of cotton on a cracked, barren red stone landscape.

Continue Reading