The 'Floating Hills' of Pluto: Icebergs In a Frozen Nitrogen Sea

Icebergs on Pluto: the large blocks of water ice float in a "sea" of nitrogen ice and are thought to have broken off from the rugged and mountainous highlands. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Icebergs on Pluto: the large blocks of water ice float in a “sea” of nitrogen ice and are thought to have broken off from the rugged and mountainous highlands. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Pluto is a tiny world and incredibly distant from the Sun, so it was a pleasant surprise for scientists last summer when […]

'We did it!' Gravitational Waves Confirmed for First Time After Being Predicted by Einstein

Computer simulation of gravity waves produced by the collision of two black holes. Image Credit: NASA

Computer simulation of gravity waves produced by the collision of two black holes. Image Credit: NASA

Today was a big day for physicists and space science, with the announcement of the first confirmed detection of gravitational waves, 100 years after they had been predicted by Albert Einstein as a major aspect of his general […]

A Year of DSCOVR-y: Joint NASA/NOAA Earth-Watcher Celebrates 12 Months of Operations

The lunar farside begins its transit of the sunlit Earth, as seen by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in July 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

 

The lunar farside begins its transit of the sunlit Earth, as seen by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in July 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

At first glance, it appeared to be an impressive PhotoShop image. The view of the Moon, passing in front of the sunlit face of Earth in July 2015—and […]

Is 'Planet 9' Really a Second Massive Kuiper Belt?

The Kupier Belt is a massive collection of dwarf planet and asteroid-sized worlds orbiting far past Neptune. Is the hypothetical Planet 9 really a second such belt? Image Credit: T. Pyle (SSC)/JPL-Caltech/NASA

The Kuiper Belt is a massive collection of dwarf planet- and asteroid-sized worlds orbiting far past Neptune. Is the hypothetical Planet 9 really a second such belt? Image Credit: T. Pyle (SSC)/JPL-Caltech/NASA

The announcement of a possible large ninth planet in our Solar System way beyond Neptune last month caused a lot of excitement, […]

'Fat as a Goose': 45 Years Since Apollo 14 (Part 2)

Bathed by the intense lunar sunlight, Antares sits on the undulating plain of Fra Mauro in February 1971. Photo Credit: NASA

Al Shepard (foreground) and Ed Mitchell, pictured in the Lunar Module (LM) simulator during training. Photo Credit: NASA

A few hours after leaving Earth on 31 January 1971—45 years ago, this week—Apollo 14 seemed a charmed mission-in-progress, providing a stark contrast with its immediate predecessor, the ill-fated Apollo 13. As outlined in yesterday’s AmericaSpace […]

'Almost Worth the Entire Trip': 45 Years Since Apollo 14 (Part 1)

Al Shepard, pictured at Fra Mauro during Apollo 14 in early 1971. This was the planned landing site for Apollo 13. Photo Credit: NASA

Al Shepard, pictured at Fra Mauro during Apollo 14 in early 1971. This was the planned landing site for Apollo 13. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this week, the sixth team of Apollo lunar explorers—and only the third to accomplish a landing on the Moon’s dusty surface—headed back to Earth after a mission […]

Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Apollo Moonwalker, Dies at 85

Ed Mitchell, who died Thursday, 4 February 2016, aged 85. Photo Credit: NASA, with thanks to Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Ed Mitchell, who died Thursday, 4 February 2016, aged 85. Photo Credit: NASA, with thanks to Michael Galindo/AmericaSpace

Forty-five years to the week since he arrived in lunar orbit and subsequently became one of only 12 humans ever to leave his footprints in the dust of another world, Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell has […]

All Webb Telescope's 18 Primary Gold-Coated Mirrors Now Installed to Unravel Mysteries of the Universe

From NASA: "Inside a massive clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team used a robotic am to install the last of the telescope's 18 mirrors onto the telescope structure." NASA/Chris Gunn

From NASA: “Inside a massive clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team used a robotic am to install the last of the telescope’s 18 mirrors onto the telescope structure.” NASA/Chris Gunn

Construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a NASA, European Space Agency […]

Veteran Astronaut Kevin Ford Departs NASA

Kevin Ford is reflected and inverted in a blob of water, during his five-month Expedition 33/34 increment. Photo Credit: NASA

Kevin Ford is reflected and inverted in a blob of water, during his five-month Expedition 33/34 increment. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronaut Kevin Ford—who piloted one of the twilight missions of shuttle Discovery’s glittering career, before commanding the International Space Station (ISS) for over 100 days—departed NASA on Friday, 29 January. The retired Air Force […]

'Cauliflower' Silica Formations on Mars: Evidence of Ancient Life?

Image of "cauliflower" silica formations found by the Spirit rover in 2008 near Home Plate in Gusev crater. Do they hold clues to ancient life on Mars? Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image of “cauliflower” silica formations found by the Spirit rover in 2008 near Home Plate in Gusev crater. Do they hold clues to ancient life on Mars? Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Was there ever life on Mars? That is one of the longest-running and most debated questions in planetary science, and while there have been […]