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Cassini Completes Final — and Fateful — Titan Flyby

Cassini Completes Final — and Fateful — Titan Flyby

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has had its last close brush with Saturn’s hazy moon Titan and is now beginning its final set of 22 orbits around the ringed planet. The spacecraft made its 127th and final close approach to Titan on April 21 at 11:08 p.m. PDT (2:08 a.m. EDT on April 22), passing at an […]

NASA: New Insights into ‘Ocean Worlds’ in Our Solar System

NASA: New Insights into ‘Ocean Worlds’ in Our Solar System

Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other “ocean worlds” in our solar system and beyond. The findings are presented in papers published Thursday by researchers with NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn and Hubble Space Telescope. In the […]

NASA’s Cassini Mission Prepares for ‘Grand Finale’ at Saturn

NASA’s Cassini Mission Prepares for ‘Grand Finale’ at Saturn

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story. On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide (2,400-kilometer) gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale. “No spacecraft has […]

Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow

Earth Science on the Space Station Continues to Grow

The number of instruments on the International Space Station dedicated to observing Earth to increase our understanding of our home planet continues to grow. Two new instruments are scheduled to make their way to the station Feb. 18 on the SpaceX Dragon capsule. The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument will monitor the […]

Black Holes Hide in Our Cosmic Backyard

Black Holes Hide in Our Cosmic Backyard

Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that NASA’s NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission can detect. That’s how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby […]

NASA Symposium: Futuristic Space Exploration Concepts in Pasadena

NASA Symposium: Futuristic Space Exploration Concepts in Pasadena

  Proposals Include Wind-Powered Automatons and Icy Volcano Divers Each year, store NASA funds a handful of futuristic concepts to push forward the boundaries of space exploration. These early-stage proposals are selected with the hope of developing new ideas into realistic proofs-of-concept. From Aug. 23 to 25, thumb the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) symposium […]

What’s Inside Ceres? New Findings from Gravity Data

What’s Inside Ceres? New Findings from Gravity Data

In the tens of thousands of photos returned by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the interior of Ceres isn’t visible. But scientists have powerful data to study Ceres’ inner structure: Dawn’s own motion. Since gravity dominates Dawn’s orbit at Ceres, scientists can measure variations in Ceres’ gravity by tracking subtle changes in the motion of the spacecraft. […]

Loneliest Young Star Seen by Spitzer and WISE

Loneliest Young Star Seen by Spitzer and WISE

Alone on the cosmic road, far from any known celestial object, a young, independent star is going through a tremendous growth spurt. The unusual object, called CX330, was first detected as a source of X-ray light in 2009 by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory while it was surveying the bulge in the central region of the […]

Mars Canyons Study Adds Clues about Possible Water

Mars Canyons Study Adds Clues about Possible Water

Fast Facts: › Big canyons on Mars hold thousands of seasonal dark streaks examined in a new study of such features, ed which might be signs of liquid water. › The seasonal streaks at many locations are unlikely to result from underground water reaching the surface. › Salts drawing water vapor from the atmosphere might […]

NASA’s Juno Peers Inside a Giant

NASA’s Juno Peers Inside a Giant

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its long anticipated arrival at Jupiter on July 4. Coming face-to-face with the gas giant, Juno will begin to unravel some of the greatest mysteries surrounding our solar system’s largest planet, including the origin of its massive magnetosphere. Magnetospheres are the result of a collision between a planet’s intrinsic magnetic […]

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