University of New Hampshire 15 Mar 2018, 13:30 UTC It might sound like something from a science fiction plot — astronauts traveling into deep space being bombarded by cosmic rays — but radiation exposure is science fact. As future missions look to travel back to the moon or even to Mars, new research from UNH’s Space Science Center cautions that the exposure to radiation is much higher than previously thought and could have serious implications for both astronauts and satellite technology.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 14 Mar 2018, 19:03 UTC This view from NASA's Dawn mission shows where ice has been detected in the northern wall of Ceres' Juling Crater, which is in almost permanent shadow. Dawn acquired the picture with its framing camera on Aug. 30, 2016, and it was processed with the help of NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP), to estimate the slope of the cliff.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 14 Mar 2018, 18:01 UTC Notanee Bourassa knew that what he was seeing in the night sky was not normal. Bourassa, an IT technician in Regina, Canada, trekked outside of his home on July 25, 2016, around midnight with his two younger children to show them a beautiful moving light display in the sky — an aurora borealis. He often sky gazes until the early hours of the morning to photograph the aurora with his Nikon camera, but this was his first expedition with his children. When a thin purple ribbon of light appeared and starting glowing, Bourassa immediately snapped pictures until the light particles disappeared 20 minutes later. Having watched the northern lights for almost 30 years since he was a teenager, he knew this wasn’t an aurora. It was something else. From 2015 to 2016, citizen scientists — people like Bourassa who are excited about a science field but don't necessarily have a formal educational background — shared 30 reports of these mysterious lights in online forums and with a team of scientists that run a project called Aurorasaurus. The citizen science project, funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, tracks the aurora borealis through user-submitted reports and tweets.
NASA: Kepler News and Features 14 Mar 2018, 14:00 UTC Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. With nary a gas station to be found in deep space, the spacecraft is going to run out of fuel. We expect to reach that moment within several months.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 13 Mar 2018, 17:00 UTC Though once big enough to swallow three Earths with room to spare, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a century and a half. Nobody is sure how long the storm will continue to contract or whether it will disappear altogether.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 12 Mar 2018, 18:00 UTC Astronomers have put NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on an Indiana Jones-type quest to uncover an ancient "relic galaxy" in our own cosmic backyard. The very rare and odd assemblage of stars has remained essentially unchanged for the past 10 billion years. This wayward stellar island provides valuable new insights into the origin and evolution of galaxies billions of years ago.
NASA: Kepler News and Features 9 Mar 2018, 18:46 UTC The seventeenth observing campaign of the Kepler spacecraft’s K2 extended mission is now underway. The cartoon illustrates some of the objects of interest that Kepler is observing for 68 days, from Mar. 1 to May 8, 2018. The campaign has prospects for discoveries among more 30,000 objects in the direction of the constellation Virgo.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 9 Mar 2018, 15:56 UTC This enchanting spiral galaxy can be found in the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear). Star-studded NGC 3972 lies about 65 million light-years away from Earth, meaning that the light that we see now left it 65 million years ago, just when the dinosaurs became extinct. NGC 3972 has had its fair share of dramatic events. In 2011 astronomers observed the explosion of a Type Ia supernova in the galaxy (not visible in this image). These dazzling objects all peak at the same brightness, and are brilliant enough to be seen over large distances.