Archives

February 2019



Every object, planet or person traveling through space has to contend with the Sun's damaging radiation -- and the Moon has the scars to prove it.


Some of the peculiar aspects of our solar system -- an enveloping cloud of comets, dwarf planets in weird orbits and, if it truly exists, a possible Planet Nine far from the sun -- have been linked to the close approach of another star in our system's infancy flung things helter-skelter.


The stratospheric ozone layer protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet light, which damages DNA in plants and animals (including humans) and leads to sunburns and skin cancer.


Dark matter may scatter against each other only when they hit the right energy, say researchers in Japan, Germany, and Austria in a new study. Their idea helps explain why galaxies from the smallest to the biggest have the shapes they do.


Towards the end of their lives some 95% of stars evolve into red giants which lose their mass via a "stellar wind". Eventually they end up as planetary nebulae, ionized gas with a central hot star, a white dwarf.


Over the course of the past two decades, observational surveys have unveiled the intricate orbital structure of the Kuiper Belt, a field of icy bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune.


The cloud-covered Pacific coast of the South American nation of Chile contrasts with the Andes Mountain range and the cloud formations extending over Argentina.


Researchers at the TSU Siberian Botanical Garden (SibBG), the Institute of High Current Electronics SB RAS (IHCE), and Tomsk Polytechnic University have implemented an interdisciplinary project to study the optimal parameters of UV radiation for pre-seed treatment and photosynthetically active radiation for growing economically valuable plants.


Thick, black, billowing smoke rises over North Cascade, Western Australia in this image taken by NOAA/NASA's Suomi NPP satellite on February 21, 2019.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite captured this true-colour image on 5 February 2019, just three days after heavy rainfall in Rome and the surrounding area of Lazio, Italy.


Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them locate this elusive expanse of missing matter.


Typhoon Wutip was impacting the Federated States of Micronesia in the Southern Pacific Ocean when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and analyzed the storm in infrared light.


NASA has selected 12 science and technology demonstration payloads to fly to the Moon as early as the end of this year, dependent upon the availability of commercial landers.


The Sun's glint radiates off the Atlantic Ocean as the International Space Station orbited 253 miles above the African nation of Mauritania.


Captured on 3 September 2018 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite, this image shows part of western Sicily in Italy and two of the main Aegadian Islands: Favignana and Levanzo.


A compilation of scientific results from The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, reveal new clues to how stars form and galaxies evolve, and closer to understanding the environment of Europa and its subsurface ocean.


When you look at a Tropical Cyclone Oma from space, you'll get a sense of its massive size. While orbiting the Earth, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at the large tropical storm in the Southern Pacific Ocean.


This picture showcases a gravitational lensing system called SDSS J0928+2031. Astronomers are using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observations of this type of lensing to research how stars form and evolve in distant galaxies.


An Israeli spacecraft from SpaceIL was launched Thursday, Feb. 21 and is aiming to touch down on Mare Serenitatis two months later.


The mission team called it a "stretch goal" -- just before closest approach, precisely point the cameras on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to snap the sharpest possible pics of the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, its New Year's flyby target and the farthest object ever explored.


These images from ESA's Mars Express satellite show a branching, desiccated system of trenches and valleys, signs of ancient water flow that hint at a warmer, wetter past for the Red Planet.


Total human carbon dioxide emissions could match those of Earth's last major greenhouse warming event in fewer than five generations, new research finds.


The outermost part of our planet's atmosphere extends well beyond the lunar orbit - almost twice the distance to the Moon.


When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens onto the Moon's surface at 450 kilometers per second (or nearly 1 million miles per hour), they enrich the Moon's surface in ingredients that could make water, NASA scientists have found.


Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, along with older data from the Voyager 2 probe, have revealed more about the origin of Neptune's smallest moon.


Swirling white clouds, deep blue oceans and multicolored landscapes bring to life the pages of NASA's new 168-page book "Earth," a collection of dramatic images captured by Earth-observing satellites.


In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material.


The International Space Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, seemingly reaches out to the North African nation of Libya and the Sahara 251 miles below.


On Tuesday the President signed Space Policy Directive-4 (SPD-4) which creates the United States Space Force.


Currently, NASA relies on radio waves to send information between spacecraft and Earth.


An international team of more than 200 astronomers from 18 countries has published the first phase of a major new radio sky survey at unprecedented sensitivity using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope.


A volunteer working with the NASA-led Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project has found the oldest and coldest known white dwarf -- an Earth-sized remnant of a Sun-like star that has died -- ringed by dust and debris. Astronomers suspect this could be the first known white dwarf with multiple dust rings.


Feeling stressed? You're not alone. ESA's Rosetta mission has revealed that geological stress arising from the shape of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been a key process in sculpting the comet's surface and interior following its formation.


Just after midnight (UTC) on February 1, 2019, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed nearly overhead the Chang'e 4 landing site.


In this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the smoking gun of a newborn star, the Herbig-Haro objects numbered 7 to 11 (HH 7-11).


Administrator Jim Bridenstine kicked off an industry forum with remarks, followed by William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, who provided an overview of the agency's lunar human architecture solicitation requests.


Copernicus Sentinel-2 brings you some of the jewels of the Maldives for Valentine's week.


Five sites on the far side of the Moon now have official names, including Chang'e-4's landing site. The names have significance in Chinese culture, reflecting the background of the probe's team.


This image from Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 showcases NGC 1501, a complex planetary nebula located in the large but faint constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe).


Working with industry to develop new lunar landers, testing resumes with our Space Launch System rocket engine, and after a job well done - the end of the line for one of our Mars rovers ... a few of the stories to tell you about - This Week at NASA.


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


The three residents onboard the International Space Station today worked with a diverse array of science hardware.


The Sun's glint reflects off the Gulf of Mexico and outlines the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. The International Space Station was orbiting 254 miles above Louisiana when an Expedition 58 crew member photographed the Gulf coast including Matagorda Bay, Galvestion Bay and Sabine Lake.


Most schoolchildren learn that the Earth has three (or four) layers: a crust, mantle and core, which is sometimes subdivided into an inner and outer core.


The option to measure the gravitational waves of two merging neutron stars has offered the chance to answer some of the fundamental questions about the structure of matter.


Queen Mary University of London has led a study which describes the first direct measurement of how energy is transferred from the chaotic electromagnetic fields in space to the particles that make up the solar wind, leading to the heating of interplanetary space.


NASA held a media briefing session today at NASA HQ. The purpose of the briefing was to talk about the various lunar activities NASA is engaged in.


Wednesday saw the Expedition 58 crew explore the inner workings of the human body in space and maintain cooling systems aboard the International Space Station.


February has just begun and already weather extremes are being seen throughout the country of Chile. In the northern part of Chile one of the world's driest deserts is flooding and in the south some of the planet's wettest woodlands are burning.


One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA's Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA's return to the Red Planet.


The Expedition 58 crew explored space exercise and checked out biology hardware today aboard the International Space Station.


Lake Nasser in Egypt, which leads to the Nile River, is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 251 miles above the Western Desert in the African nation.


A study published last year in the journal Science suggested liquid water is present beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars.


A recent NASA mission to the dwarf planet Ceres found brilliant, white spots of salts on its surface.


In this image many sand dunes are visible. They have an elongated crescent form and are called "barchan dunes." They are formed by the continuous action of the wind blowing in the same direction.


Two tough, resilient, NASA spacecraft have been orbiting Earth for the past six and a half years, flying repeatedly through a hazardous zone of charged particles around our planet called the Van Allen radiation belts.


Spacesuit work, robotic assistants as well as exercise and biology studies took up the majority of the Expedition 58 crew's schedule on Monday.


An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this oblique photograph of Mount Everest, Earth's tallest mountain (when measured from sea level).


The Hawaii-based James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) has discovered a stellar flare 10 billion times more powerful than the Sun's solar flares


Dust particles form as dying red giant stars throw off material and become part of interstellar clouds of various sizes, densities and temperatures.


An evocative new image sequence from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft offers a departing view of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule -- the target of its New Year's 2019 flyby and the most distant world ever explored.


Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft was released from the Canadarm2 at 11:16 a.m. EST and has departed the International Space Station.


Scientists have discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.


Remembering our fallen heroes, a milestone for our InSight lander on Mars, and, data released on our global temperature ... a few of the stories to tell you about - This Week at NASA.


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


Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter is just a day away from completing its tenth mission to the International Space Station. The Expedition 58 crew is training today for Cygnus' robotic release on Friday and preparing it for one more mission afterward.


Captured on 1 October 2018 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite, this image features part of northeast Kenya - an area east of the East African Rift.


Astronomers have discovered an asteroid looping through the inner solar system on an exotic orbit.


Like Earth, Uranus and Neptune have seasons, which likely drive some of the features in their atmospheres. But their seasons are much longer than on Earth, spanning decades rather than months.


ESA's Gaia satellite has looked beyond our galaxy and explored two nearby galaxies to reveal the stellar motions within them and how they will one day interact and collide with the Milky Way -- with surprising results.


The astronauts onboard the International Space Station continued exploring today how living in space affects their minds and bodies. The Expedition 58 crew also researched fluid physics and prepared a resupply ship for its departure.


NASA's Kepler space telescope may be retired, but the discoveries continue to rack up for this historic planet-hunting mission.


This region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) glows in striking colours in this image captured by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT).


Earth's global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


How have stars and planets developed from the clouds of dust and gas that once filled the cosmos? A novel experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has demonstrated the validity of a widespread theory known as "magnetorotational instability," or MRI, that seeks to explain the formation of heavenly bodies.