Three Weeks to Pluto: A World of Tiny Moons and Missed Mission Opportunities (Part 2)

An artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its closest approach to Pluto and Charon on 14 July. This spacecraft is the only successful outcome in a long line of unrealized missions to Pluto. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

When a Kansan farmboy-turned-astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh discovered […]

New Horizons Sends Back New Photos of Pluto on Clyde Tombaugh's Birthday

Two new images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, taken on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

As the New Horizons spacecraft continues speeding toward its rendezvous with Pluto this summer, it has just sent back new photos […]

Voyager 1 Detects 'Tsunami' Wave From Sun Still Going Strong Beyond the Heliopause

An artist’s concept of Voyager 1 against a backdrop of stars. Having crossed into interstellar space, the spacecraft has detected that a shockwave from a Coronal Mass Ejection which was blasted from the Sun more than a year ago, is still travelling outward into the interstellar medium. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Having long ago completed […]

A Troubled Start to a Triumphant Mission: 37 Years Since the Launch of the Voyagers

Voyager 2 begins its journey of exploration, 37 years ago today (20 August), with a rousing liftoff atop a Titan IIIE-Centaur booster from Launch Complex (LC)-41 at Cape Canaveral. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft became the first machine fashioned by human hands to travel close to the […]

A Gigantic Radio Ear: 25 Years Since Voyager 2's Mission to Neptune (Part 1)

In spite of its immense distance from the Sun, Neptune proved a surprise in terms of the dynamism of its atmosphere. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, humanity braced itself for its last, first-time, close-up glimpse of a new planet in the 20th century. NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in August 1977, […]

Riding on Interstellar Winds: New Solar Outburst Confirms NASA's Voyager 1 Spacecraft Has Exited Heliosphere

Recent measurements of plasma waves at the vicinity of Voyager 1 confirm previous results which showed that the spacecraft has exited the heliosphere and entered interstellar space. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.”

— Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot” (1994)

 

In the last couple […]

That Friday Feelin': New Horizons to Pass Key Distance Milestone Today on Journey to Pluto

With 5 Astronomical Units of distance and just 90 weeks to go, New Horizons is primed and ready for its July 2015 rendezvous with Pluto. Image Credit: NASA

Friday is almost universally recognized as an indicator that the weekend draws inexorably closer … but for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, today will mark a milestone […]

Ultimate Pathfinder: NASA's Voyager Spacecraft Enters Interstellar Space

NASA’s Voyager spacecraft has entered interstellar space, marking the first active probe to do so. The announcement was made Sept. 12, 2013. Image Credit: NASA

NASA announced today under much fanfare that the agency’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station over three decades ago, has entered interstellar space, becoming the […]

Hubble Space Telescope Reveals Massive Groups of Star Clusters in Abell 1689

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged what appears to be more than 160,000 star clusters in a group of galaxies known as Abell 1689. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Blakeslee (NRC Herzberg Astrophysics Program, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), and K. Alamo-Martinez (National Autonomous University of Mexico).

On a day which yielded another historic announcement about […]

Staging Point for the Stars: Space Launch Complexes 40 and 41

An Atlas V rocket with its GPSIIF4 payload launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

Between them, they have spent nearly five decades sending robotic explorers to almost every planet—and a few “non-planets,” too—in our Solar System. Missions bound for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, […]