Billions and Billions of Planets

Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But the sky is also filled with planets — billions and billions of them at least. That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California
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NASA Mars Rover Explores “Yellowknife Bay”

After imaging during the holidays, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity resumed driving January 3 and pulled within arm's reach of a sinuous rock feature called Snake River, shown in the lower center of the mosaic of images above. Snake River is a thin curving line of darker rock cutting (more...)

Explore Your Curiosity with Rover-Themed Badge on Foursquare

NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge (seen above) by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center (more...)

Energy Dept. Helps Cast Light on Diseases

Two powerful X-ray instruments, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), are helping scientists learn more about diseases and could lead to new treatments. According to the U.S. Energy Department, which hosts both instruments at one of its labs, the LCLS produces (more...)

Mars Mission Leads a Year of Space Milestones

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer The U.S. space agency delved into the secrets of other worlds in 2012, developed and tested new technology to reach those worlds and pursued these goals in partnership with space agencies from many other countries. The car-sized rover Curiosity landed on the surface of Mars (more...)

Wright Brothers Day, Remember First Flight

December 17 is celebrated as Wright Brothers Day in the United States, commemorating two bicycle mechanics, Orville and Wilbur Wright, who built and then flew the first heavier-than-air craft on December 17, 1903 (above). “Like so many Americans before and after them, these two men achieved the

Little Telescope Spies Gigantic Galaxy Clusters

The all-sky infrared maps created by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have revealed one distant galaxy cluster and are expected to uncover thousands more.

These massive structures are collections of up to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. They were born out of seeds of matter

Herschel Serves Up Solar Systems with Extra Comets

Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host planets. These cometary belts could have delivered oceans to the innermost planets. The findings are based on observations from the Herschel space telescope, a European Space Agency mission with participation from NASA. Last

Space Station Crew Returns to Earth

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer

The Expedition 33 crew returned to Earth November 19 from the International Space Station, landing the Soyuz spacecraft in northeast Kazakhstan after 127 days in space. Commander Suni Williams of NASA, Russian Soyuz commander Yuri Malenchenko, and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan

Mars Rover Reports Weather, Radiation Data

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer After more than three months on Mars, the rover Curiosity is using its scientific instruments to give Earth-bound scientists a view of the changing seasons on the Red Planet The rover carries 10 sophisticated instruments — known together as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Rover Offers Clues on Mars’ Atmosphere, Past and Present

The rover Curiosity has sent back its first sniff of the Martian atmosphere, and NASA scientists are analyzing what the findings mean about the habitability of the planet at some time in the past. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, seen here before the mission launch, took

Now in Saturn’s Orbit, Cassini Marks 15th Anniversary

By Charlene Porter
Staff Writer
An unmanned spacecraft orbiting Saturn celebrated a solitary anniversary of 15 years in flight October 15, still on the job, sending back data about the ringed planet in our solar system. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been managing the Cassini mission since its launch (more...)

Nobel Prizes for 2012 Recognize Five Americans

By Mark Trainer
Staff Writer
The 2012 Nobel Prizes recognized five Americans for groundbreaking work in the fields of physics, chemistry and economics. Lloyd Shapley (left) and Alvin E. Roth's work in matching theory has real-world applications for matching organ (more...)

Scientists Theorize Global Sunblock Could Lessen Warming

By Charlene Porter
Staff Writer
Blocking the sunlight that reaches Earth might be another means to lessen the effects of climate change, some U.S. scientists theorize. Scientists backed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are testing the idea with computer projections on future climate change. “It’s (more...)

NOAA Satellites Have Helped Save Lives for 30 Years

The U.S. part of an international program that has rescued more than 30,000 people worldwide is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first lifesaving rescue, which occurred October 10, 1982. The U.S. Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system, or Cospas-SARSAT, a part of NOAA, operates several satellites and the U.S. Mission (more...)