Archives

May 2017



The International Space Station is preparing this week for the departure of two Expedition 51 crew members and the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon.


Scientists using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, have identified bright areas in craters near the moon's south pole that are cold enough to have frost present on the surface.


NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite constellation provided rainfall data after the monsoon generated large amounts of precipitation in Sri Lanka that caused landslides over the week of May 22.


Microscopes afford us the opportunity to look at particles that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, but these particles can sometimes be masked by gravity.


We see many shallow pits in the bright residual cap of carbon dioxide ice (also called "Swiss cheese terrain").


A long-standing question in astrophysics is: how and when did supermassive black holes appear and grow in the early universe?


Saturn's icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus may have tipped over in the distant past, according to recent research from NASA's Cassini mission.


Thomas Pesquet: I will certainly miss the view. The day of return is approaching: I can't wait to be on Earth again and see my loved ones... but I will certainly miss the view/


Wildfires break out in the boreal forests of eastern Russia most summers, but last year was particularly bad.


Today - Cardio Ox Ultrasound: A 50S crewmember completed their Flight Day (FD) 180 ultrasound, blood pressure and Electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements for the Cardio Ox investigation.


Before Cassini entered its Grand Finale orbits, it acquired unprecedented views of the outer edges of the main ring system. For example, this close-up view of the Keeler Gap, which is near the outer edge of Saturn's main rings, shows in great detail just how much the moon Daphnis affects the edges of the gap.


More CubeSats were ejected from the International Space Station this week to explore the Earth's upper atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Expedition 51 crew trained for a crew departure and cargo craft arrival.


The Moon, the Earth's limb and thin blue atmosphere are seen in this photograph taken by an Expedition 51 crew member.


Thomas Pesquet Clouds, water, sand. A poetic picture of Oman


Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot discussed our Fiscal Year 2018 budget request on May 23, during his State of NASA address.


On Oct.13, 2014 something very strange happened to the camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The Expedition 51 crew trained today for the next SpaceX Dragon mission due early next month. The five crew members also explored how microgravity affects their bodies to help scientists keep astronauts healthy in space.


Wildfires break out in the boreal forests of eastern Russia most summers, but last year was particularly bad.


Early science results from NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world


Astronomers have watched as a massive, dying star was likely reborn as a black hole.


Thomas Pesquet: When art supports science. Venice is one of the many cities that will suffer from sea-level rising #BiennaleArte2017


Today - OsteoOmics: The crew fixated BioCells in Biocell Habitat 1 inserted the sample into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).


The Juno spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since July 2016, passing within 3,000 miles of the equatorial cloud tops.


This enhanced color view of Jupiter's cloud tops was processed by citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA's Juno spacecraft.


Thomas Pesquet: The Aswan Dam. With a good camera lens, we can see the water spill when the valves are open from up here!


NASA's Cassini spacecraft still has a few months to go before it completes its mission in September, but the veteran Saturn explorer reaches a new milestone today.


Psyche, NASA's Discovery Mission to a unique metal asteroid, has been moved up one year with launch in the summer of 2022, and with a planned arrival at the main belt asteroid in 2026 -- four years earlier than the original timeline.


Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 10:06 p.m. EDT.


The inquiry into the crash-landing of the ExoMars Schiaparelli module has concluded that conflicting information in the onboard computer caused the descent sequence to end prematurely.


Aerojet Rocketdyne tested its second flight engine controller unit for its RS-25 engine that will be used on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) today at the Stennis Space Center.


Pointing the Very Large Array (VLA) at a famous galaxy for the first time in two decades, a team of astronomers got a big surprise, finding that a bright new object had appeared near the galaxy's core.


Axions are particles whose hypothetical existence was introduced in 1977 by Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn.


Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer are getting ready for a contingency spacewalk Tuesday morning. Whitson and Fischer are set to begin the spacewalk at 8 a.m. Tuesday for about two hours of maintenance work. NASA Television coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m.


A team of international astrophysicists led by The Australian National University (ANU) has shown how most of the antimatter in the Milky Way forms.


ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano last weekend helped to explore the caverns under Sicily using a drone that deliberately bumped into its surroundings in order to build a map.


Expedition 51 is wrapping up a week of ongoing research into how living in space affects an astronaut's brain and vision. The International Space Station also boosted its orbit ahead of crew and cargo missions coming and going in June.


Scientists suggest in a new study the existence of a planetary object called a "synestia," a huge, spinning, donut-shaped mass of hot, vaporized rock, formed as planet-sized objects smash into each other.


Scientists using NASA's Kepler space telescope identified a regular pattern in the orbits of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system that confirmed suspected details about the orbit of its outermost and least understood planet, TRAPPIST-1h.


Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer are getting ready for a contingency spacewalk Tuesday morning. Whitson and Fischer are set to begin the spacewalk at 8 a.m. Tuesday for about two hours of maintenance work.


The projection of Saturn's shadow on the rings grows shorter as Saturn's season advances toward northern summer, thanks to the planet's permanent tilt as it orbits the sun.


Thomas Pesquet: The magic river Dniepr. Back in February I was stunned when I saw these magical winter landscapes: a frozen river north of Kiev and prime example of Earth Art


The star cluster Hodge 301 is 20 million to 25 million years old. Hodge 301 is home to many aging, red supergiant stars, indicating the cluster is older.


The combined power of three space observatories, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, has helped astronomers uncover a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, catalogued as 2007 OR10.


The environment on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, may seem surprisingly familiar: Clouds condense and rain down on the surface, feeding rivers that flow into oceans and lakes.


For the first time in the world, scientists have explored the magnetic field in the upper solar atmosphere by observing the polarization of ultraviolet light from the Sun.


An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut.


Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us. Space weather.


Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study published in Icarus.


NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully observed Ceres at opposition on April 29, taking images from a position exactly between the sun and Ceres' surface.


Thomas Pesquet: The Betsimboka river in Madagascar, one of the most unbelievable landscapes I've seen so far. It has vivid colors, with bright reds and purples mixing with blue and lush green. Madagascar and Africa are so beautiful from space!


Thomas Pesquet: A red lake in South America. Fyodor Yurchikhin, who is on the International Space Station for the 5th time, tells me that it is inhabited by a large group of pink flamingos!


Fifth-graders making styrofoam solar system models may have the right idea.


NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission -- an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater's rim.


Senior Scientist Tamara M. Rogers of the Planetary Science Institute has discovered that substantial variability in the winds on the hot giant exoplanet HAT-P-7b are due to magnetism, and used those measurements to develop a new method to constrain the magnetic field of such an object.


The challenge of predicting space weather, which can cause issues with telecommunications and other satellite operations on Earth, requires a detailed understanding of the solar wind (a stream of charged particles released from the sun) and sophisticated computer simulations.


Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 1:21 p.m. EDT. During the spacewalk, which lasted just over four hours, the two astronauts successfully replaced a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections to the science experiments.


Composite image of Tropical Cyclones Donna (left) and Nineteen (right) encircling Fiji, from EUMETSAT's Metop-A polar orbiting staellite, captured at 06:00 UTC on Tuesday 9 May 2017.


In looking at NASA images of Mars a few years ago, Brown University geologist Peter Schultz noticed sets of strange bright streaks emanating from a few large-impact craters on the planet's surface.


Thomas Pesquet: The Ural delta in the Caspian Sea looks like a tree leaf


Thomas Pesquet: Eat your greens kids! Fresh vegetables are rare on the International Space Station and when we get to harvest a crop of lettuce from our disco greenhouse it is a good day for us.


Thomas Pesquet: San Francisco in California. You can't see the cable cars and steep streets from here but with the grid so clearly in sight it's not hard to imagine them.


This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).


For the first time, astronomers have detected a magnetic field associated with the Magellanic Bridge, the filament of gas stretching 75 thousand light-years between the Milky Way Galaxy's nearest galactic neighbours: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC, respectively).


Thomas Pesquet: Unbelievable desert art. As often in Africa, the landscapes are so huge and diverse I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at when I take a picture


NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this view of bands of bright, feathery methane clouds drifting across Saturn's moon Titan on May 7, 2017.


If you could fly a CubeSat to the Moon, what could such a tiny satellite do there? ESA posed this question - and now four proposals will be studied in more detail for possible flight over the coming decade.


A study combining observations from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes reveals that the distant planet HAT-P-26b has a primitive atmosphere composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.


Supermassive holes are generally stationary objects, sitting at the centers of most galaxies. However, using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers recently hunted down what could be a supermassive black hole that may be on the move.


Taking advantage of a rare orbital alignment between two of Jupiter's moons, Io and Europa, researchers have obtained an exceptionally detailed map of the largest lava lake on Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system.


Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway.


Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula


The Expedition 51 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk Friday and working on several scientific investigations. Robotics controllers also swapped out a power relay box over the weekend through a complex and innovative robotic procedure.


Today: Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) 2 Remove & Replace (R&R): Friday evening and into Saturday, Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arms and successfully removed the failed MBSU 2 and replaced it with a spare.


Black holes get a bad rap in popular culture for swallowing everything in their environments. In reality, stars, gas and dust can orbit black holes for long periods of time, until a major disruption pushes the material in.