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.
Using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes, researchers have tested and improved a model to help...
Welcome to Informatics Snapshot — a feature that highlights the standout properties of the...
Our galaxy is looking far more crowded and hospitable. NASA on February 26, 2014, confirmed a bonanza of 715 newly discovered planets outside our solar system. Scientists using the planet-hunting Kepler telescope pushed the number of planets discovered in the galaxy to about 1,700. Twenty years ago, astronomers had not found any planets circling stars other than the ones revolving around our sun.
NASA scientists have begun deploying satellites and other advanced technology to help California water officials assess the state's record drought and better manage it, officials said February 25, 2104. The California Department of Water Resources has partnered with NASA to use the space agency's satellite data and other airborne technology to better measure the snowpack, groundwater levels and predict storms.
The upcoming world’s largest telescope has passed two critical milestones, according to founding partner The University of Texas at Austin. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has passed major reviews on its design and cost estimates and is ready to proceed to construction.
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 ...
The Arctic isn't nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that's turning out to be a global problem, a new study says. With more dark, open water in the summer, less of the sun's heat is reflected back into space. So the entire Earth is absorbing more heat than expected, according to a study published February 17, 2014, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Earlier this month, NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory successfully downlinked images of the moon and stars taken by onboard camera systems, known as star trackers. This is the first time the LADEE team commanded the spacecraft to send these pictures back to Earth.
XPRIZE has announced that team registration is open for the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a competition to incentivize breakthroughs in ocean pH sensor technology that will radically transform our understanding of ocean acidification. Teams are expected to come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from nanotechnology and biotechnology to industrial chemistry and marine science
Strange events have long been linked to nights of a full moon, though careful scrutiny dispels any association. So, when signals bounced off the lunar surface returned surprisingly faint echoes on full moon nights, scientists sought an explanation in reason rather than superstition. Still, the most compelling evidence arrived during another event that once evoked irrational fears — on a night when Earth's shadow eclipsed the full moon.
A team led by astronomers at The Australian National University has discovered the oldest known star in the Universe, which formed shortly after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. The discovery has allowed astronomers for the first time to study the chemistry of the first stars, giving scientists a clearer idea of what the Universe was like in its infancy.
It was April 1956, and the No. 1 song was Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, scientist Dean Bumpus was busy releasing glass bottles in a large stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 58 years later, a biologist studying grey seals off Nova Scotia found one of the bottles in a pile of debris on a beach, 300 miles from where it was released.
Researchers have found that the melanopsin pigment in the eye is potentially more sensitive to light than its more famous counterpart, rhodopsin, the pigment that allows for night vision. For more than two years, they have been investigating melanopsin, a retina pigment capable of sensing light changes in the environment, informing the nervous system and synchronizing it with the day/night rhythm.
It's not quite the bionics of science fiction, but European researchers have created a touch-enabled robotic hand that gave an amputee a sense of touch he hadn't felt in a decade. The experiment lasted only a week, but it let the patient feel if different objects — a bottle, a baseball, some cotton, a mandarin orange — were hard or soft, slim or round, and intuitively adjust his grasp.
Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child's top.
This scene shows the "Murray Ridge" portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars. The ridge is the NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's work area for the rover's sixth Martian winter. The ridge rises about 130 feet (40 meters) above the surrounding plain, between "Solander Point" at the north end of the ridge and "Cape Tribulation," beyond Murray Ridge to the south.
The Vanuatu Archipelago is a collection of volcanic islands about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) northeast of Australia. Two of the islands, Gaua and Ambrym, frequently vent sulfurous gases. A broad plume of volcanic vog and ash rises from Ambrym and spreads across the South Pacific. Vog is a combination of “volcanic” and “smog,” and is formed when gases from a volcano react with sunlight, oxygen and moisture.
China says its first lunar rover is experiencing mechanical problems, a rare setback for its burgeoning space program that in recent years has conducted space walks and placed a space station in orbit. The six-wheeled Yutu vehicle began operating last month after making the first soft landing on the moon by a space probe in 37 years.
Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. This stunning false-color view spans about 40 light-years across the region, constructed using infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
A decade after landing on Mars, the rover Opportunity is still chugging along. Sure, it has some wear and tear. One of its six wheels and two instruments stopped working long ago. It has an arthritic joint. Its flash memory occasionally suffers a senior moment.
The New Madrid fault zone in the nation's midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported January 23. 2014. It's "not dead yet," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough, who was part of the study published online by the journal Science.
For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet. The five launches, including two to the International Space Station (ISS), are part of an active year for NASA Earth science researchers
Waking up after almost three years of hibernation, a comet-chasing spacecraft sent its first signal back to Earth on January 20, 2014, prompting cheers from scientists who hope to use it to land the first space lander onto a comet. The European Space Agency received the all-clear message from its Rosetta spacecraft at 7:18 p.m. (1818 GMT; 1:18 p.m. EST) — a message that had to travel some 800 million kilometers (500 million miles).
The sweltering year of 1988 first put global warming in the headlines and ended up as the hottest year on record. But on January 21, 2014, it was pushed out of the top 20 warmest by 2013. Last year tied for the fourth hottest and 1988 fell to 21st.
From the world of nanotechnology we’ve gotten electronic skin, or e-skin, and electronic eye implants or e-eyes. Now we’re on the verge of electronic whiskers. Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats.
Are you a B.Sc. or M.Sc. student in computer science, mathematics, engineering or physics, interested in working on advanced IT projects at CERN for two full months during the summer? CERN openlab has R&D activities on multithreaded programming, data acquisition systems, large scale databases, data analytics, and cloud computing that are open to students who will have completed at least three years of full-time studies.
The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), which uses a fine-tipped probe to scan surfaces at the atomic scale, will soon be augmented with a chemical sensor. This involves the use of a hollow AFM cantilever, through which a liquid - in this case mercury - is passed under pressure. The droplet of mercury at the tip acts as a sensor. This microscopic fountain pen was developed by researchers at the...
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