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Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 9 Years on Mars

Though the focus of 2012 was the new Curiosity rover, NASA’s Opportunity rover is still exploring the Martian landscape. The rover has now been examining the red planet for nine years. This week NASA revealed that Opportunity is currently examining …

Climate Change is Threatening the Amazon Rainforest, Says NASA

A NASA-led study has shown that a part of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California is still suffering from a “megadrought” that began in 2005. Researchers cited this and damage due to drought recurrences in the Amazon during …

NASA Looks For the Origin of Life at the Bottom of the Ocean

NASA this week revealed that it is simulating the conditions believed to have created the organic molecules that may have been the precursors to life on Earth. An experiment at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is mimicking the conditions observed …

Mars Rover Curiosity Drilling Rock Chosen

For more than a month now, Mars Rover Curiosity has been preparing to test its hammering drill on a Martian rock. The rover team took great pains to scan a low-lying area called “Yellowknife Bay” for the perfect rock specimen. …

“Doomsday” Asteroid Won’t Hit Earth in 2036
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Earlier this week, astronomers with the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that they were collecting data on the asteroid Apophis as it made its most recent approach to Earth. The data was, among other things, meant to narrow the prediction …

Mars Rover Curiosity Tidies Up a Rock

Though most of Mars rover Curiosity‘s on-board tools have already been used successfully, a few specific instruments remain to be tested. One of those instruments is the rover’s hammering drill, which it is preparing to test on a rock in …

Mars Rover Curiosity Resumes Mars Exploration

The Mars Rover Curiosity team stationed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) had a big year in 2012. Aside from nailing the rover’s landing, the researchers kept Mars hours for months while testing Curiosity’s capabilities. So, during the holidays the …

100 Billion Planets Populate the Milky Way Galaxy, Say Astronomers

For years now, NASA‘s Kepler mission has been confirming the existence of planets outside our solar system. Now, a new review of Kepler data suggests that there are billions upon billions of planets just in the Milky Way galaxy. “There …

Cassini to Track Venus Transit, Study Exoplanets

NASA announced today that it will begin using the Cassini probe’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) for uses other than studying Saturn and its moons. On Friday, from its vantage point in orbit around Saturn, the VIMS will be …

Mars Rover Curiosity Prepares to Drill a Rock

Nearly all of the instruments packed into Mars rover Curiosity‘s frame have been utilized, but once crucial test has yet to be performed. NASA scientists will soon use Curiosity’s percussive drill to powder the interior of a rock for analysis, …

NASA Looks Back on a Historic Year in Space [VIDEO]

This year, as usual, was a historic year for NASA, spaceflight, astronomy, and space exploration. Though NASA’s share of the U.S. federal budget has been falling for years now, the agency has an uncanny knack for stretching its budget and …

NASA Probes Smash Into Moon Mountain as Planned
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NASA’s GRAIL project spacecrafts, Ebb and Flow, crash-landed on the surface of the moon yesterday afternoon. The impact had been pre-planned, and occurred as predicted at 5:28 pm December 17, 2012. The landing site has been named in honor of …

NASA Probes Prepare to Slam Into the Moon
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NASA‘s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes today completed a burn that irreversibly altered their orbit and have begun skimming the surface of the moon. Over the weekend, the probes, named Ebb and Flow, will orbit ever closer to …

Mars Rover Curiosity to Drill Rocks in Yellowknife Bay

NASA reported this week that Mars Rover Curiosity recently drove 19 meters (63 feet) toward an area called “Yellowknife Bay. The drive represents the rover’s fourth consecutive driving day since leaving an outcrop called “Point Lake.” Curiosity has now driven …

Enormous Galaxy Cluster Spotted by NASA’s WISE
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Galaxy clusters, the rarest of galaxy groupings, can be difficult for astronomers to find. NASA‘s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope, however, has just found a gigantic galaxy cluster, and is expected to uncover thousands more. The new findings …

Mars Rover Opportunity Completes Walkabout of Matijevic Hill

NASA announced today that Mars rover Opportunity has completed a reconnaissance circuit around an area named “Matijevic Hill.” Opportunity began its study of the location at the beginning of October. The site is named after Jacob Matijevic, who led the …

Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fully Analyzed Martian Soil

Mars Rover Curiosity has now used each of its on-board instruments to analyze Martian soil. Though researchers have found a complex chemistry in the soil on Mars, they haven’t found what would be considered a major discovery: carbon-based organic compounds …

Voyager Discovers New Region at the Edge of the Solar System
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Excited NASA researchers today announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has encountered a new, unexpected region on its way out of the solar system. The scientists believe that the region is the final hurdle before Voyager enters interstellar space. The …

Study Shows Ice Loss at Both Poles Increasing

A new study by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) is showing that the melting rate for ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica has increased over the past two decades. All together, the ice sheets are losing over three …

Hurricane Strength Forecasts Improved by NASA Study

A new NASA study shows that hurricane forecasters may soon be able to better predict hurricane and tropical storm strength by analyzing their relative-humidity levels. The study, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, looked at relative humidity data …

Mars Rover Curiosity Celebrates a Milestone
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This week marks one year since Mars rover Curiosity launched on the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral on Earth. Today, NASA provided a few statistics on the “new” rover to celebrate the occasion. Though Curiosity has only been on …