Science

NASA announces an end to “insensitive” nicknames for celestial objects

NASA announces an end to “insensitive” nicknames for celestial objects

Typically when celestial objects are named, it's a long stream of letters and numbers that make no sense and don't exactly roll off the tongue. That means many of the celestial objects end up with nicknames that are easier to say and remember. However, NASA has now said that some of the nicknames given to cosmic objects are "insensitive" and will be retired.

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NASA MAVEN spacecraft spies ultraviolet glow around Mars

NASA MAVEN spacecraft spies ultraviolet glow around Mars

NASA is doing some very cool things on and in orbit above Mars. One of the spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet is called MAVEN. Over the last couple of years, MAVEN made some observations of the Martian atmosphere in the ultraviolet spectrum and discovered something very cool. When the atmosphere is viewed in the ultraviolet spectrum, the sky has nightglow that pulses in a green color invisible to the naked eye.

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NASA has gathered new information on Marsquakes

NASA has gathered new information on Marsquakes

NASA has been recording seismic information from inside the surface of Mars using the InSight Lander's seismometer. NASA says the data record is the first direct evidence of key boundaries inside the Red Planet's interior. The goal was to help planetary scientists understand how rocky planets are formed.

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SpaceX launches 57 new “VisorSat” Starlink satellites

SpaceX launches 57 new “VisorSat” Starlink satellites

SpaceX launched 57 new satellites in its latest push to get its Starlink cluster up and running. The company plans to start beta trials of its Internet service served by the satellites later this summer. There has been controversy surrounding the Starlink satellites, particularly with them being much brighter than anyone anticipated.

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NASA offers startling view of Beirut blast damage using satellite data

NASA offers startling view of Beirut blast damage using satellite data

On August 4, the city of Beirut experienced an enormous, incredibly tragic explosion that claimed numerous lives and caused widespread damage. Many videos of this event show the explosion from different angles, as well as the resulting impact, but it can be hard to comprehend the scope of the damage. Here to help with that is NASA, which has published a map showing the extent of damage caused by the Beirut explosion using satellite data.

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The most inactive creatures ever discovered

The most inactive creatures ever discovered

Creatures shown in a study published this month can survive with lower energy requirements than any life previously discovered by humanity. Some of the undersea sediment-dwelling microbes shown in this study have survived "under extreme energy limitation for millennia, thus calling into question the limit for life.

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NASA is getting rid of old, offensive space nicknames

NASA is getting rid of old, offensive space nicknames

NASA is taking steps to eliminate its use of offensive, inappropriate, or otherwise problematic nicknames given to various cosmic regions and objects. The decision comes amid growing calls for more diversity and inclusion, a process that involves tearing down old problematic structures that may be insensitive at best or, more often than not, actively harmful. The change is kicking off with one nickname in particular.

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Scientists mutate fish with disturbing results

Scientists mutate fish with disturbing results

Research published this week showed an experiment run by scientists with mutation on their minds. In the experiments, scientists altered single genes of zebrafish and recorded the results. Their aim was to study the evolution of the jaw. They created fish with fused upper and lower jaw cartilages, unable to close their mouths.

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Lunar eclipse helps Hubble scientists study the Earth

Lunar eclipse helps Hubble scientists study the Earth

The NASA Hubble Space Telescope used the Earth as a proxy for identifying oxygen on potentially habitable exoplanets orbiting other stars. During the eclipse, astronomers used Hubble to detect Earth's ozone in the atmosphere. The method simulates how astronomers and other researchers can search for life beyond Earth by observing potential biosignatures.

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MIT studied shaving to see why razor blades get dull

MIT studied shaving to see why razor blades get dull

One of the great mysteries of the world is why exactly razor blades cost so much. They never seem to last long as after a few shaves there so dull they basically rip the hair out instead of cutting it. MIT has performed a new study to figure out why, despite that human hair is 50 times softer than steel, razor blades dull quickly.

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NASA OSIRIS-REx mission has one last step before asteroid touchdown

NASA OSIRIS-REx mission has one last step before asteroid touchdown

NASA has announced that its OSIRIS-REx mission has one final step to complete before it can perform its planned touchdown on asteroid Bennu. The space agency plans to perform this final step -- a second rehearsal of the entire touchdown sequence -- on August 11, this one similar to the Checkpoint rehearsal it performed back in April. This upcoming rehearsal has been named 'Matchpoint.'

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NASA Juno mission data reveals “shallow lightning” in Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA Juno mission data reveals “shallow lightning” in Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA currently has a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter called Juno. Recent data collected from Juno suggests that the massive planet is home to a phenomenon known as "shallow lightning." This is an unexpected form of electrical discharge that originates from clouds that contain an ammonia-water solution. Lightning on Earth originates from clouds containing water.

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