Space

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Ends Journey on Saturn

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its final plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn on Friday, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet. “This is the final chapter of an amazing mission, but it’s also a new beginning,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.…

Cassini Spacecraft Makes Final Approach to Saturn

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is on final approach to Saturn, following confirmation by mission navigators that it is on course to dive into the planet’s atmosphere on Friday, Sept. 15. Cassini is ending its 13-year tour of the Saturn system with an intentional plunge into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons – in particular Enceladus, with…

NASA’s Cassini Mission Prepares for ‘Grand Finale’ at Saturn

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable journey through space. On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide (2,400-kilometer) gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale. “No…

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Successfully Enters Jupiter Orbit

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By Glynn Wilson – Scientists have confirmed that Juno, a craft the size of a football field launched to explore some key secrets of space, successfully entered the volatile atmosphere in an orbit around Jupiter Monday night about the time most Fourth of July fireworks shows in the United States were climaxing. After a five-year…

NASA Announces Largest Collection of Planets Ever Discovered

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By Glynn Wilson – We are closer than ever to answering the question: Are we alone in the universe? If there are other planets out there that could support life like Earth, NASA’s Kepler space telescope may find them first. Due to the most recent analysis of data from Kepler, launched in March 2009 and…

NASA Satellite Camera Provides ‘EPIC’ View of Earth

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A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away. The color images of Earth from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) are generated by combining three separate images to create a photographic-quality image. The camera takes…

NASA’s New Horizons Reaches Pluto

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By Glynn Wilson – After a decade-long journey through the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto on Tuesday, making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. The craft passed 7,750 miles above the surface of the dwarf planet, roughly the distance from New…

Earth Day in the Nation’s Capital

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will celebrate the 45th annual Earth Day April 17-22 with a variety of live and online activities to engage the public in the agency’s mission to better understand and protect the planet. The agency uses the vantage point of space to increase understanding of the planet,…

NASA Asteroid Hunter Spacecraft Images Now Available to Public

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Millions of images of celestial objects, including asteroids, are now available to the public online from NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft. “NEOWISE is a vital asset in NASA’s program to find objects that truly represent an impact hazard to Earth,” Lindley Johnson, program executive for the Near-Earth Object Observation Program at NASA…

Studies Show 2014 Was the Warmest Year On Record

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By Glynn Wilson – The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest on record since 1880, according to two separate analyses by scientists from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000, they say in a release just out…

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

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Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun — and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth and were thought to…

Hubble Team Unveils Most Colorful View of Universe Captured by Space Telescope

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Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have assembled a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe – among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope. Researchers say the image, in new study called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, provides the missing link in star formation. The Hubble…

NASA Telescopes Find Close Neighbor of the Sun

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NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest “brown dwarf” known — a dim, star-like body that, surprisingly, is as frosty as Earth’s North Pole. Images from the space telescopes also pinpointed the object’s distance to 7.2 light-years away, earning it the title for fourth closest…

Astronomers Measure Spin of Distant Black Hole for First Time

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By Glynn Wilson – Astronomers have accomplished the first direct measurement of the spin of a distant black hole, an important advance for understanding how black holes grow over time, scientists say. The research suggests that this black hole grew by gradually merging material rather than pulling in material in from different directions. NASA’s Chandra…