AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AFSPC-4 on a Delta 4 - Medium+ rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 23 Jul 14 23:03:00 GMT

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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 [...]

Solar System's Largest Moon Ganymede May Have 'Club Sandwich' Oceans

Illustration depicting the “club sandwich” layers of oceans and ice in Ganymede’s interior. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Europa and Enceladus, for good reason, have captured the attention and imagination of those searching for evidence of life elsewhere in our Solar System. Both moons are now thought to have subsurface oceans with conditions where [...]

The Sea of Enceladus: Cassini Confirms Underground Ocean on Saturn's Geyser Moon

Diagram of what the interior of Enceladus is now thought to look like, with the icy outer shell, liquid water ocean, and inner rocky core. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Coming just after the news of the ringed asteroid and new dwarf planet, some more exciting news from the outer Solar System was announced [...]

Of Exoplanets and Habitability: Exploring the Possibility of 'Superhabitable Worlds'

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet with a mass approximately 3.6 times that of Earth, discovered orbiting just inside of the habitable zone of the Sun-like star HD 85512. Are “Super-Earths” such as this the most promising candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life? Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

“For there is a single general space, a single [...]

Gravity Controls Enigmatic Moon's Geysers

These images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft show how the pull of the planet affects the amount of material ejected by geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. It turns out that the moon launches more spray when it is farther away from Saturn. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Cornell/SSI

Saturn’s 314-mile-wide icy moon Enceladus has been teasing [...]

Hubble Space Telescope Discovers New Moon Orbiting Neptune

This composite image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the location of Neptune’s newest known moon, S/2004 N 1, which was discovered by Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute. The black and white portion and the color inset were both taken in 2009. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute).

NASA’s Hubble [...]

Searching for Life in Europa's Ocean - With a Tiny Submarine

Artist’s conception of DADU exploring ice-covered waters.Image Credit: Jonas Jonsson / Angstrom Space Technology Centre of Uppsala University

For decades, Jupiter’s moon Europa has been the focus of fascination and debate. Why? Because it has a global ocean—a deep, salty ocean similar to those on Earth, except that in Europa’s case it is always covered by a [...]

Scientists to Io: Volcanoes are in the Wrong Spot

Video courtesy of NASA

Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active world in the solar system, with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting lava fountains up to 250 miles high (about 400 kilometers). However, concentrations of volcanic activity are significantly displaced from where they are expected to be, based [...]

Cassini Sees Meteor Impacts in Saturn's Rings

Just like planets and moons, Saturn’s rings experience frequent meteor impacts.Photo Credit: NASA/JPL

Meteors flashing across the sky are a common sight here on Earth, but of course they are not limited to only our planet; these bits of rocky debris, smaller pieces of asteroids and comets known as meteoroids, can be found just [...]

Wackiest Missions That Never Happened (or Ended Badly)

The Titan Mare Explorer was proposed to be the first interplanetary “boat” to sail the methane seas of Titan. Like so many missions proposed and considered by NASA, it wasn’t to be. Image Credit: NASA

For every triumph, such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, there are any [...]