Recently published research describes how archaeologists outfitted a customized drone with a heat-sensing camera to unearth what they believe are ceremonial pits and other features at the site of an ancient village in New Mexico. The discovery of the structures hidden beneath layers of sediment and sagebrush is being hailed as an important step that could help archaeologists shed light on mysteries long buried by eroding desert landscapes
The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a favorite for astronauts shooting photos from the...
Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7½...
Mars’ northern-most sand dunes are beginning to emerge from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice. Dark, bare south-facing slopes are soaking up the warmth of the sun. The steep lee sides of the dunes are also ice-free along the crest, allowing sand to slide down the dune.
On August 3, 2004, NASA’s Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft began a seven-year journey, spiraling through the inner solar system to Mercury. One year after launch, the spacecraft zipped around Earth, getting an orbit correction from Earth’s gravity and getting a chance to test its instruments by observing its home planet.
An active region of the sun just rotating into the view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory gives a profile view of coronal loops over about a two-day period, from February 8 to 10, 2014. Coronal loops are found around sunspots and in active regions.
Are we on the brink of a robotics revolution? That’s what numerous media outlets asked last December when Google acquired eight robotics companies that specialize in such innovations as manipulation, vision, and humanoid robots. Among those acquisitions was MIT spinout Meka Robotics. Founded in 2006, Meka was an early creator of “compliant” humanoid robots that now work safely alongside humans in everyday environments
Migratory birds and military aircraft often fly in a V-shaped formation. The “V” formation greatly boosts the efficiency and range of flying birds, because all except the first fly in the upward motion of air — called upwash — from the wingtip vortices of the bird ahead. In this image of a dune field on Mars ...
As NASA's Dawn spacecraft travels to its next destination, this mosaic synthesizes some of the best views the spacecraft had of the giant asteroid Vesta. Dawn studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. The towering mountain at the south pole — more than twice the height of Mount Everest — is visible at the bottom of the image. The set of three craters known as the "snowman" can be seen at the top left.
This photograph of cloud bands over southern Mauritania was taken from the International Space Station with an oblique angle, such that the cloud shadows are a prominent part of the view. Beneath the clouds, the plateau of dark sedimentary rocks appears as a ragged, near-vertical escarpment
This mosaic of images from Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) shows geological members of the Yellowknife Bay formation. The scene has the Sheepbed mudstone in the foreground and rises up through Gillespie Lake member to the Point Lake outcrop.
On December 6, 1998, the crew of space shuttle mission STS-88 began construction of the International Space Station, attaching the U.S.-built Unity node and the Russian-built Zarya module together in orbit. The crew carried a large-format IMAX camera, used to take this image
The new HITS research group “Astroinformatics” will develop methods and software for astronomers and help facilitating the analysis and processing of the rapidly growing amount of data in astronomy. The junior group led by Kai Polsterer will work closely with other astronomical research groups in Heidelberg.
From the vantage point of the International Space Station, astronauts frequently observe atmospheric and surface phenomena in ways that are impossible to view from the ground. Two such phenomena — gravity waves and sunglint — are illustrated in this photograph of northeastern Lake Superior.
In an age when we're able to consume content so many different ways — and that's a good thing, mostly — let's declare right now that there's only one truly correct way to experience "Gravity," Alfonso Cuaron's thrilling new space film. In a theater. On a huge screen. And in 3-D. Yes, even for all you 3-D naysayers — we hear you, but this is the movie you HAVE to see in 3-D.
A photo captures only as much as the camera in use will allow, and is therefore limited by the field of view of the camera's lens. In the case of smartphones and many advanced cameras, the view from the lens is much smaller than the view from your own eyes.
The splash from rain hitting a windowpane or printer ink hitting paper all comes down to tiny droplets hitting a surface, and what each of those droplets does. Cornell University researchers have produced a high-resolution “photo album” of more than 30 shapes an oscillated drop of water can take. The results, a fundamental insight into how droplets behave, could have applications in everything from inkjet printing to microfluidics.
NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft recently provided the first complete pictures of the solar system's downwind region, revealing a unique and unexpected structure. Researchers have long theorized that, like a comet, a "tail" trails the heliosphere, the giant bubble in which our solar system resides
Scientists using images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across. Researchers have identified 248 new impact sites on parts of the Martian surface in the past decade
A standard camera takes flat, 2-D pictures. To get 3-D information, such as the distance to a far-away object, scientists can bounce a laser beam off the object and measure how long it takes the light to travel back to a detector. The technique, called time-of-flight (ToF), is already used in machine vision, navigation systems for autonomous vehicles, and other applications, but many current ToF...
The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. This image is a digital combination of a ground-based image from the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and a space-based image from the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured a spectacular image of the bright star-forming ring that surrounds the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097. In this image, the larger-scale structure of the galaxy is barely visible: its comparatively dim spiral arms, which surround its heart in a loose embrace, reach out beyond the edges of this frame
This rectangular version of a self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars
This new view of the historical supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, located 11,000 light-years away, was taken by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR
NASA’s Kepler mission has identified 2,740 planets orbiting other stars, but do any of them harbor intelligent life? Scientists have used the Green Bank Telescope to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars
Technicians prepare to fit a special fixture around an Orion capsule inside the high bay of the Operations & Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The fixture is designed to enable precise pre-launch processing of the Orion spacecraft
Whether you’re planning an upcoming hike, or want to learn more about the Earth’s geological history, Google Maps can help. We’re releasing panoramic imagery of one of the world’s most spectacular national monuments: the Grand Canyon. These beautiful, interactive images cover more than 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads, making our map of this area even more comprehensive, accurate and easy to use than ever before.
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