NASA and International Telescopes Reveal Star’s Bubbly Birth

It’s a baby star! Combined observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the newly completed Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed the throes of stellar birth as never before in the well-studied object known
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Black Holes Don’t Make Big Splash

Throughout the universe, tucked inside galaxies far away, giant black holes are pairing up and merging. As the massive bodies dance around each other in close embraces, they send out gravitational waves that ripple space and time themselves, even as the waves pass right through the (more...)

Galaxy Growth Examined Like Tree’s Rings

Beginning at a tree trunk’s dense core and moving out to the soft bark, the passage of time is marked by concentric rings, revealing chapters of the tree’s history. Galaxies outlive trees by billions of years, making their growth impossible to see. But like biologists, astronomers can read the rings in (more...)

Ghostly Specter Haunts “Coldest Place in the Universe”

At a cosmologically crisp 1 degree Kelvin (minus 272 degrees Celsius), the Boomerang nebula is the coldest known object in the universe — colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, the explosive event that created the cosmos. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) (more...)

Mars Rover Opportunity Heads Uphill

NASA’s Mars exploration rover Opportunity captured this southward uphill view after beginning to ascend the northwestern slope of Solander Point, the tallest hill it has encountered in its nearly 10 Earth years on Mars. Guided by mineral mapping from orbit, the rover is exploring outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander (more...)

Dawn Confirms, Adds to Telescope Studies of Asteroids

Tantalized by images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based data, scientists thought the giant asteroid Vesta deserved a closer look. They got a chance to do that in 2011 and 2012, when NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbited the giant asteroid, and they were able to check (more...)

NASA Space Telescopes Find Patchy Clouds on Exotic World

Astronomers using data from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond the solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. The planet is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Kepler-7b (more...)

Air Pollution – Staying Informed

Author Julie Bowen While the hottest of the summer weather may now be over and we are heading rapidly into fall, this does not signal an end to concerns over air pollution in Philadelphia. While the hotter weather brings the increased risk of ground level ozone and (more...)

Curiosity Finds Water and More in Mars Soil

The first scoop of soil analyzed by the analytical suite in the belly of NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of Mars contain several percent water by weight. “One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity (more...)

Virtual Tour of Vesta With New High-Resolution Images

An atlas of the giant asteroid Vesta, created from images taken as NASA’s Dawn mission flew around the object, is now accessible for the public to explore online. The set of maps was created from mosaics of 10,000 images taken by Dawn’s framing cameras at a low (more...)

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Star, Planet Lines

n 2011, astronomers on the hunt for the coldest starlike celestial bodies discovered a new class of such objects using NASA’s WISE Space Telescope. But until now, no one knew exactly how cool the bodies’ surfaces really are. In fact, some evidence suggested they could be at (more...)

NASA’s Spitzer Telescope Celebrates 10 Years in Space

Ten years after its launch, NASA"s Spitzer Space Telescope, the fourth of the agency"s four Great Observatories, continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes. The telescope, launched August 25, 2003, studied comets and asteroids, counted stars, scrutinized planets and galaxies and discovered soccer-ball-shaped carbon spheres (more...)

Cassini Releases Image of Earth Waving at Saturn

People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA’s Cassini mission on July 19 — the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a (more...)

NASA Spacecraft Reactivated to Hunt for Asteroids

A NASA spacecraft that discovered tens of thousands of asteroids throughout the solar system before being placed in hibernation will return to service for three more years starting in September, helping the agency identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, as well as those suitable (more...)

NASA Rover Gets Movie as a Mars Moon Passes Another

The NASA illustration above provides a comparison for how big the moons of Mars appear to be, as seen from the surface of the red planet, in relation to the size that Earth's moon appears to be when seen from the surface of Earth. Earth's moon actually (more...)

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