Space

NASA releases hypnotizing new image of Earth

NASA releases hypnotizing new image of Earth

While much of the buzz from NASA recently has been about the New Horizons' trip to Pluto, the agency hasn't totally forgotten about the blue orb we inhabit. Captured from a camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory, NASA has just released the satellite's first view of the sunlit side of Earth from 1 million miles away, and it sure is stunning. The image shows North and Central America, with the Caribbean islands located in the turquoise areas in the center.

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New Horizons reveal Pluto’s wildly varied landscape

New Horizons reveal Pluto’s wildly varied landscape

This morning the folks behind NASA's New Horizons mission revealed the heart of Pluto. What the New Horizons crew revealed today is a number of deep differences in areas on different sides of the planet. They've also gone over the escaping atmosphere surrounding Pluto. What we're able to see here is a set of two - at least two - very different sorts of landscape on the dwarf planet Pluto. Today's lesson is this - Pluto is not just one simple, flat piece of rock. It's not even just a lumpy rock - it's a whole lot more complicated than that.

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Space is scary: ISS crew cowers from space junk peril

Space is scary: ISS crew cowers from space junk peril

Astronauts on the ISS were forced to take cover in an emergency Soyuz capsule today, as debris from an old satellite threatened to pummel the space station. Damage to the orbiting research facility was, thankfully, avoided, NASA has confirmed, but the unexpectedly close pass of broken chunks of Russian weather satellite forced emergency precautions as there was no time to move the ISS out of the way.

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Latest New Horizons images put Pluto’s icy geology in spotlight

Latest New Horizons images put Pluto’s icy geology in spotlight

The fruits of New Horizons' trip to Pluto continue to emerge, with the latest photos showing fresh mountain peaks and raising new questions for scientists. In the latest batch of images beamed back from the spacecraft, NASA has identified an unusual depression running across Charon, one of Pluto's moons, slashing across the rock with a length of around 240 miles and complete with a central peak. However, it's not the only geological anomaly New Horizons has spotted.

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The best Pluto photos from New Horizons so far

The best Pluto photos from New Horizons so far

New Horizons successfully reaches and passes Pluto, taking photos during a 22-hour period of observation. What we're doing here is collecting the best of the best - which, incidentally, may end up being the whole collection. Straight from NASA to your eyeballs, these are the first images of Pluto from within several thousand miles of the dwarf planet. You can also have a peek at a large set of images captured over the past few weeks by New Horizons by hitting up our New Horizons tag portal.

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New Horizons phones home to say it’s OK

New Horizons phones home to say it’s OK

Pluto may be the god of death, but that has no bearing on NASA's greatest achievement yet. Dozens of sleep-deprived, and most likely teary-eyed, scientists and engineers at NASA awaited in both anticipation and dread as New Horizon's diagnostics data came flowing in a bit before 9 PM Eastern. The good news? New Horizons is safe and sound and didn't encounter any space debris that endangered its flight or its existence. The bad news? Now it has to beam down tons of data for scientists to drool over for the next months, even years!

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We’ve passed Pluto – where are the photos?

We’ve passed Pluto – where are the photos?

Now that we've passed Pluto, you might be wondering why we're not looking at brand new up-close photos of all sorts. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has an antenna that must remain stationary at all times - it's not attached to a robotic arm or anything. Because of this, and because the craft was only passing extremely close to Pluto for a short period of time, the team wisely decided to utilize the time collecting data from our spacey cousin rather than sending back data as fast as they could. In short - photos and data are coming inside this week, just not right this minute.

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See the best color image of Pluto taken just before New Horizons flyby

See the best color image of Pluto taken just before New Horizons flyby

As NASA's New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto for the much-anticipated flyby at 7:49 AM ET this morning, the agency released the final and best color image of Pluto yet to be taken. And because Pluto is such a social media celebrity, NASA even posted the image to Instagram first. The photo offer a stunningly clear look at Pluto, as it was taken from only 476,000 miles away, NASA said, at roughly 4:00 PM ET on July 13th.

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Pluto approaching: New Horizons’ scientist answers 4 questions

Pluto approaching: New Horizons’ scientist answers 4 questions

New Horizons' Ralph Instrument Scientist Dennis Reuter speaks up today about th eminent approach of the mission to Pluto. Also speaking on his position with the Goddard Space observatory, Reuter tapped into Pluto and the exploration of the Kuiper Belt - our solar system's "last frontier." Reuter spoke up about the data collection this mission will execute, seeking out information on Pluto's chemical and atmospheric makeup using the Ralph spectrometer. This mission's apex will be reached tomorrow at 11:50 UTC - that's 4:50 AM Pacific Time, 7:50 AM Eastern Time.

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NASA names commercial crew for SpaceX and Boeing

NASA names commercial crew for SpaceX and Boeing

NASA has picked four veteran astronauts to be the first crew of a commercial spaceflight, as America turns to SpaceX and Boeing to cut its dependence on Russia. Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley, and Sunita Williams will now begin trining with the two companies developing private spacecraft, ahead of missions first to the International Space Station but, eventually, manned trips to Mars which are expected to take place sometime in the 2030s.

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