NASA

Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

"Flyby" has become a hot word in science news ever since the New Horizons probe made its historic flyby of Pluto in July. Of course, that isn't the only probe doing such up close and personal missions. The latest to land on the radar is Cassini, who just made its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus last October 28. Cassini has been hanging around the second largest planet in the solar system since 2004 and its data on its moon could help scientists in their search for a habitable new home.

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NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

In a report on Wednesday, NASA stated that the amino acids found in lunar samples from the Apolla era are likely the result of contamination from Earth, though there are a couple other possibilities. The space agency came to this conclusion due to the fact that “the lunar surface is completely inhospitable for known forms of life” — meaning the organic matter isn’t likely to have actually originated from the moon.

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Old lunar rover sold for scrap was saved from junkyard grave

Old lunar rover sold for scrap was saved from junkyard grave

Yesterday, a report surfaced about a prototype lunar rover that had been sold for scrap, having first gone from a NASA auction to someone’s barn, where it sat until the owner passed away and someone in charge of the estate took the rover to a junkyard. It was a sad story about a piece of history being lost forever, but one with an unexpected plot twist. The rover, it turns out, is doing just fine.

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Dying space body is first object ever seen transiting a white dwarf star

Dying space body is first object ever seen transiting a white dwarf star

The real-deal Death Star has been discovered - a white dwarf star with evidence of solar-system-destroying features. This may not be the only such white dwarf in the universe - in fact, chances are it isn't alone. What's unique about this situation is that it's the first evidence of a theory that said white dwarf stars become "polluted" by elements from space bodies it pulls in with its massive gravity. Bodies found around this white dwarf are far closer to it than any planet is to our own Sun.

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NASA releases Pluto ‘family portrait’ with smallest moon Kerberos

NASA releases Pluto ‘family portrait’ with smallest moon Kerberos

While NASA's spacecraft New Horizons already completed its flyby of Pluto over three months ago, some of its latest photos have been transmitted to Earth, revealing a new look at the former planet's smallest moon, Kerberos. In addition to finally getting a completed "family portrait" of Pluto and its five moons, NASA says it's realized that Kerberos is much smaller than previously thought. The pixellated photo of the moon above is actually a combination of four separate images.

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NASA: most habitable planets don’t exist yet

NASA: most habitable planets don’t exist yet

Based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have determined that most of the Earth-like habitable planets that will fill our universe don’t yet exist — our own planet was among the first batch of habitable planets that will dot the universe. Said the author of the study, Peter Behroozi, “Compared to all the planets that will ever form in the universe, the Earth is actually quite early."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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