AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch GPS IIF-8 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
29 Oct 14 17:21:00 GMT
29 Oct 14 13:21:00 EDT

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Astronomers Create Most Detailed Weather Map Yet of an Exoplanet

Graphic depicting how WASP-43b orbits its star, always keeping the same hemisphere facing the star, much like how the Moon always keeps the same hemisphere facing the Earth. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

Being able to find exoplanets orbiting distant stars is a major accomplishment in itself, and fine-tuning the data [...]

Giant Cloud at Titan's South Pole Is Toxic and Freezing Cold

View from Cassini of the huge polar vortex cloud over Titan’s south pole. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/University of Arizona/SSI/Leiden Observatory and SRON

Titan is the only moon in the Solar System known to have a dense atmosphere, and while similar to Earth’s atmosphere in some ways, such as being rich in nitrogen, it also holds [...]

Exploring Uncharted Territory: ESA's Venus Express Spacecraft Completes Aerobraking Campaign, Raises Orbit Prior to End of Mission

An artist’s concept of Venus Express during the aerobraking manoeuvre, which saw the spacecraft orbiting Venus at an altitude of approximately 130 km from 18 June to 11 July. These low passes through the atmosphere of Venus allowed the spacecraft to conduct scientific observations that weren’t possible from higher altitudes. Image Credit: ESA–C. Carreau

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No Water, Please: The Case of the Surprisingly Dry 'Hot Jupiters'

This is an artistic illustration of the gas giant planet HD 209458b in the constellation Pegasus. The planet was recently studied by astronomers alongside two other similar extrasolar worlds, for their abundance in water. To the surprise of astronomers, they have found much less water vapor in the planets’ atmospheres than standard planet-formation models [...]

Titan's Hidden Ocean Might Be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Illustration of what Titan’s interior is thought to look like, with a rigid ice shell above the salty water ocean below. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturn’s moon Titan is known for its methane seas, lakes, and rivers; surprisingly Earth-like in appearance yet distinctly alien at the same time. But there is also evidence for another [...]

Do Pluto and Charon Share the Same Atmosphere?

Artist’s conception of Pluto and Charon. Image Credit: ESO

Atmospheres are, of course, a common feature of planets and even some moons. Most of the planets in our Solar System and a few moons have their own unique atmospheres, but now there may be evidence for something new: a shared atmosphere between a planet [...]

Hazy Sunsets on Titan Provide Clues to Atmospheres on Alien Exoplanets

Artist’s conception of the Cassini spacecraft observing a sunset on Titan. Such studies can also help astronomers understand the atmospheres of exoplanets. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturn’s moon Titan is one of the murkiest places in the Solar System; its thick smog-like hydrocarbon haze in the upper atmosphere shrouds the entire moon, much like Venus’ perpetual cloud [...]

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking—Now the Smallest Ever Seen

In this new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is seen at its smallest size ever recorded. Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is one of the most recognizable features in the Solar System: a massive hurricane-like oval-shaped storm [...]

PHOTOS: NASA Ready to Send MAVEN on Half-Billion Mile Journey to Mars Monday

The Atlas-V rocket with NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft onboard minutes after arriving at the launch pad Saturday afternoon. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace / Mike Killian

The clocks are ticking and the launch team at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 in Florida is preparing to send NASA’s next Mars-bound spacecraft on an epic half-billion [...]

Cassini Spacecraft Discovers Plastic Ingredients on Saturn's Moon Titan

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, as photographed by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been exploring Saturn and its many moons (roughly 60 discovered so far) since 2004, recently discovered an ingredient on the moon Titan that is very common here on Earth, one which is probably in your kitchen [...]