Orbiting Rainbows: Using 'Glitter Clouds' to Search For and Image Exoplanets

The search for exoplanets may one day get a lot more glittery. It sounds a bit like science fiction, but a new NASA proposal called Orbiting Rainbows would use glitter-like materials to help image some of those far-away worlds, which could enable high-resolution imaging at a fraction of the cost.

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'Old Earths': The Search for Ancient and Habitable (But Dying) Exoplanets

Illustration depicting the life cycle of Sun-like stars. Billions of years from now, our own Sun will expand into a red giant star, scorching any life that exists. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Researchers at Cornell University are taking a new approach to the search for alien life: looking for habitable planets older than Earth, […]

The Eyes of SMAP: Interview With Astro Aerospace, Makers of SMAP’s Spinning Antenna (Part 2)

Members of the AstroAerospace team who worked closely with NASA JPL throughout the reflector development process for the SMAP spacecraft. From left to Right: Peter Laraway, Lead Reflector Project Engineer Ed Keay, SMAP Program Manager/Director of Business Development Mark Gralewski, Lead Systems Engineer Mehran Mobrem, Chief Analyst Mike Fedyk, Lead Thermal Engineer. Photo Credit: […]

Curiosity Rover Finds More Evidence for Possible Liquid Water Brines on Mars

The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Curiosity rover, used to make the brine calculations. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The search for liquid water on Mars is one that has been on-going for decades. It can’t exist for long on the surface, as it will quickly sublimate into the cold, thin atmosphere. Aquifers deep […]

Rosetta Team Completely Rethinking Comet Close Encounter Strategy

This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image was taken from a distance of 77.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 22 March 2015. The image has a resolution of 6.6 m/pixel and measures 6 x 6 km. The image is cropped and processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. […]

NASA's New Horizons Begins Pluto Approach Phase-2 for July Encounter

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The spacecraft has enetered Approach Phase 2 earlier this month, swinging the mission’s science observations into high gear. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

If one were to characterise NASA’s New Horizons mission, it […]

Comet Debris Causes Significant Navigation Issues During Rosetta’s Latest Close Flyby

This stunning scene was created from two NAVCAM frames acquired at 19.9 km from the comet centre on 28 March. The scale is about 1.7 m/pixel and the image measures 3.1 x 1.7 km. The image has been adjusted for intensity and contrast, and the vignetting has been fixed. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA […]

Curiosity Discovers Biochemically Accessible Nitrogen, Key Ingredient Needed for Martian Life

Curiosity detected biochemically accessible nitrogen here at John Klein drill site! Curiosity accomplished historic first drilling into Martian rock at John Klein outcrop on Feb 8, 2013 (Sol 182), and discovered a habitable zone, shown in this context mosaic view of the Yellowknife Bay basin taken on Jan. 26 (Sol 169). The robotic arm […]

Opportunity Arrives at Alien Gateway to Clay Minerals at Spirit of St. Louis Crater

The View from Opportunity on Mars Today Opportunity arrives at Spirit of Saint Louis crater and peers into Marathon Valley and Endeavour crater from current location on Mars as of April 3, 2015, in this photo mosaic. The crater is the gateway to Marathon Valley and exposures of water altered clay minerals. This pancam […]

The Eyes of SMAP: Interview With NASA JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg (Part 1)

NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg with the SMAP spacecraft, now in orbit above the Earth. Photo Courtesy: Kent Kellogg

A behind-the-scenes look into the birth of a spacecraft; the research, development, fabrication, and mission objectives of NASA/JPL’s Earth science observatory, SMAP, and the challenges met in creating a new technology. Part One: An […]