Space & Exploration

There are Ring-Like Formations Around the Lakes on Titan

There are Ring-Like Formations Around the Lakes on Titan

Some lakes on Titan have ring-like shapes around them, and scientists are trying to find out how they formed. Understanding how they formed may tell us something about how the entire region they’re in, including the lakes, formed. The ring-shaped features are found around pools and lakes at Titan’s polar regions.

Gaia Mission is Mapping Out the Bar at the Center of the Milky Way

Gaia Mission is Mapping Out the Bar at the Center of the Milky Way

Despite the many advancements made in the field of astronomy, astronomers still struggle to get an accurate assessment of the Milky Way Galaxy. Because we are embedded in its disk, it is much more difficult to assess its size, structure, and extent – unlike galaxies located millions (or billions) of light-years away. Luckily, thanks to improved instruments and tireless efforts, progress is being made all the time.

Going to the Moon Was Hard — But the Benefits Were Huge, for All of Us

Going to the Moon Was Hard — But the Benefits Were Huge, for All of Us

President John F. Kennedy wasn’t kidding when he said going to the Moon was hard. Much of the technology needed to get to the lunar surface and return didn’t exist at the time of Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech. And much was unknown. As NASA’s Apollo missions were being planned, there was concern that the lunar module might sink right into the surface or become stuck in it.

Pictures from Curiosity Show the Bottom of an Ancient Lake on Mars, the Perfect Place to Search for Evidence of Past Life

Pictures from Curiosity Show the Bottom of an Ancient Lake on Mars, the Perfect Place to Search for Evidence of Past Life

It’s all about the detail.

In a way, Mars looks like a dusty, dead, dry, boring planet. But science says otherwise. Science says that Mars used to be wet and warm, with an atmosphere. And science says that it was wet and warm for billions of years, easily long enough for life to appear and develop.

Awesome picture: HiRISE Spots Curiosity Rover at Mars' 'Woodland Bay'

Awesome picture: HiRISE Spots Curiosity Rover at Mars' 'Woodland Bay'

A dramatic Martian landscape can be seen in a new image taken from space, showing NASA's Curiosity rover examining a location called "Woodland Bay." It's just one of many stops the rover has made in an area referred to as the "clay-bearing unit" on the side of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain inside of Gale Crater.

Study suggests asteroids and other objects might play key role in spreading the seeds of life

Study suggests asteroids and other objects might play key role in spreading the seeds of life

Picture this: A bacteria-carrying asteroid is ejected from the center of the galaxy into the far reaches of space only to be “captured” by a distant solar system, potentially bringing life to a new world.

There Should Be More Iron In Space. Why Can’t We See It?

There Should Be More Iron In Space. Why Can’t We See It?

Iron is one of the most abundant elements in the Universe, along with lighter elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Out in interstellar space, there should be abundant quantities of iron in its gaseous form. So why, when astrophysicist look out into space, do they see so little of it?

Five reasons future space travel should explore asteroids

Five reasons future space travel should explore asteroids

On the same day that the Earth survived an expected near-miss with asteroid 367943 Duende, Russian dashcams unexpectedly captured footage of a different asteroid as it slammed into the atmosphere, exploded, and injured more than 1,000 people. That day in Chelyabinsk in February 2013 reminded the world that the Earth does not exist in a bubble.

A Jarful of Titan Could Teach Us A Lot About Life There, and Here On Earth

A Jarful of Titan Could Teach Us A Lot About Life There, and Here On Earth

Titan is a distant, exotic, and dangerous world. It’s frigid temperatures and hydrocarbon chemistry is like nothing else in the Solar System. Now that NASA is heading there, some researchers are getting a jump on the mission by recreating Titan’s chemistry in jars.

Mars’ North Pole is Doing the Dust Storms Thing Again

Mars’ North Pole is Doing the Dust Storms Thing Again

It’s easy to take for granted the detailed, almost real-time knowledge of Mars that we have at our fingertips. After all, in the not-too-distant past, Mars was largely mysterious. All we had were ground-based images of the planet. Now? Now we have daily weather reports and images of dust storms.

A New Plan for Keeping NASA's Oldest Explorers Going

A New Plan for Keeping NASA's Oldest Explorers Going

With careful planning and dashes of creativity, engineers have been able to keep NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft flying for nearly 42 years — longer than any other spacecraft in history. To ensure that these vintage robots continue to return the best science data possible from the frontiers of space, mission engineers are implementing a new plan to manage them. And that involves making difficult choices, particularly about instruments and thrusters

Very cool: The ESA’s SpaceBok Robot Will Hop Its Way Around Low-Gravity Worlds

Very cool: The ESA’s SpaceBok Robot Will Hop Its Way Around Low-Gravity Worlds

The ESA is helping a group of students from Zurich test and develop their hopping exploration robot. Called SpaceBok, the robot is designed to operate on low-gravity bodies like the Moon or asteroids. It’s based on the concept of ‘dynamic walking’, something that animals on Earth use.

NASA Satellites Find Biggest Seaweed Bloom in the World!

NASA Satellites Find Biggest Seaweed Bloom in the World!

An unprecedented belt of brown algae stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico—and it’s likely here to stay. Scientists at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg's College of Marine Science used NASA satellite observations to discover and document the largest bloom of macroalgae in the world, dubbed the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, as reported in Science.

Where Does Mars’ Methane Go? New Study Provides Possible Answer, with Implications in the Search for Life.

Where Does Mars’ Methane Go? New Study Provides Possible Answer, with Implications in the Search for Life.

For centuries, scientists have speculated about the existence of life on Mars. But it was only within the past 15 years that the search for life (past and present) really began to heat up. It was at this time that methane, an organic molecule that is associated with many forms of life here on Earth (i.e. a “biosignature”) was detected in Mars’ atmosphere.

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”. Half a century later, the event is still one of the top achievements of humankind. Despite the rapid technological advances since then, astronauts haven’t actually been back to the moon since 1972.