Tag: NASA

NASA’s finds first Earth-Size habitable world.

April 17, 2014 | By | Reply More
NASA’s finds first Earth-Size habitable world.

Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone” — the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone […]

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NASA discovers Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has massive underground ocean of liquid water!

April 3, 2014 | By | Reply More
NASA discovers Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has massive underground ocean of liquid water!

Life on Saturn’s moon has moved a lot closer! NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn’s moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes. Researchers theorized the presence of an interior reservoir of water in 2005 when […]

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The great bonanza of worlds.

February 27, 2014 | By | Reply More
The great bonanza of worlds.

NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of […]

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When super-worlds get cloudy.

December 31, 2013 | By | Reply More
When super-worlds get cloudy.

Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have characterized the atmospheres of two of the most common type of planets in the Milky Way galaxy and found both may be blanketed with clouds. The planets are GJ 436b, located 36 light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo, and GJ 1214b, 40 light-years away in the constellation […]

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It’s full of stars… no, planets!

November 5, 2013 | By | Reply More
It’s full of stars… no, planets!

NASA is excited about the discovery of 833 new candidate planets by the Kepler team. Ten of these candidates are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s habitable zone, which is defined as the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet may be […]

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Gravity (2013), a film review by Mark R. Leeper.

October 6, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More
Gravity (2013), a film review by Mark R. Leeper.

In a spacesuit you can’t bite your fingernails. On a mission to repair the Hubble telescope, things go very wrong and two astronauts are set adrift in space. They have to engineer their own rescue against huge odds. This is a film of solid tension and suspense set against the exquisite background of orbital space. […]

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Life on Titan… plastic based?

October 1, 2013 | By | Reply More
Life on Titan… plastic based?

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn’s moon Titan. This is the first definitive detection of the plastic ingredient on any moon or planet, other than Earth. A small amount of propylene was identified in Titan’s lower atmosphere by Cassini’s Composite […]

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Cloud spotting on Kepler-7b.

October 1, 2013 | By | Reply More
Cloud spotting on Kepler-7b.

Astronomers using data from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. The world is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Previous studies from Spitzer have resulted in temperature maps […]

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NASA to Mars: Who (or ‘what’) is hiding the methane now?

September 19, 2013 | By | Reply More
NASA to Mars: Who (or ‘what’) is hiding the methane now?

Data from NASA’s Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections. The roving laboratory performed extensive tests to search for traces of Martian methane. Whether the Martian atmosphere contains traces of the gas has been a […]

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Earth is not alone… there’s another blue planet.

July 13, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More
Earth is not alone… there’s another blue planet.

Astronomers making visible-light observations with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have deduced the actual color of a planet orbiting another star 63 light-years away. The planet is HD 189733b, one of the closest exoplanets that can be seen crossing the face of its star. Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph measured changes in the color of light […]

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