|An Early Start for Noctilucent Clouds|
Date: Jun 07, 2013
Glowing electric-blue at the edge of space, noctilucent clouds have surprised researchers by appearing early this year. The unexpected apparition hints at a change in the "teleconnections" of Earth's atmosphere.
|Big Asteroid Flyby|
Date: May 30, 2013
NASA is tracking a large near-Earth asteroid as it passes by the Earth-Moon system on May 31st. Amateur astronomers in the northern hemisphere may be able to see the space rock for themselves during the 1st week of June.
|Big Weather on Hot Jupiters|
Date: May 24, 2013
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are making weather maps of an exotic class of exoplanets called "hot Jupiters." What they're finding is wilder than anything we experience here in our own solar system.
|Bright Explosion on the Moon|
Date: May 16, 2013
NASA researchers who monitor the Moon for meteoroid impacts have detected the brightest explosion in the history of their program.
Date: May 09, 2013
The three brightest planets in this month's night sky are lining up for a beautiful sunset conjunction at the end of May.
|Glow-in-the-Dark Plants on the ISS|
Date: May 02, 2013
Can plants adapt to the novelty of climate change? Researchers seeking to answer this question have sent genetically engineered plants to the ISS for exposure to extreme conditions. To report their condition, the plants have learned to glow in the dark.
|Saturn Close Up|
Date: Apr 24, 2013
Saturn and Earth are lining up for a beautiful view of the ringed planet. Saturn will be at its best and brightest on April 28th.
|Comet ISON Meteor Shower|
Date: Apr 19, 2013
Sungrazing Comet ISON, expected to become a bright naked-eye object later this year, might dust the Earth with meteoroids in early 2014. Researchers discuss the possibilities in this week's ScienceCast.
|A Whiff of Dark Matter on the ISS|
Date: Apr 12, 2013
An advanced particle detector onboard the International Space Station may have recorded its first whiff of Dark Matter. Researchers are excited about the possibility of finally understanding what this mysterious substance is made of.
|Don't Let This Happen to Your Planet|
Date: Mar 29, 2013
Life as we know it doesn't thrive on planets without ozone layers. A new instrument slated for launch to the ISS will monitor Earth's protective ozone shell with greater depth and precision than ever before.
|Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars|
Date: Mar 25, 2013
A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself.
Date: Mar 14, 2013
Comet Pan-STARRS has survived its encounter with the sun and is now emerging from twilight in the sunset skies of the northern hemisphere. A NASA spacecraft monitoring the comet has beamed back pictures of a wild and ragged tail.
|Stormy Space Weather|
Date: Mar 07, 2013
Forecasters say solar maximum is due in 2013. To prepare, the UN is organizing an international response to stormy space weather.
|Solar Max Double Peaked|
Date: Mar 01, 2013
Something unexpected is happening on the sun. 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, but solar activity is much lower than expected. At least one leading forecaster expects the sun to rebound with a double-peaked maximum later this year.
|What Exploded Over Russia?|
Date: Feb 25, 2013
Two weeks after an asteroid exploded over Russia's Ural mountains, scientists are making progress understanding the origin and make-up of the unexpected space rock. This week's ScienceCast presents their latest results.
|Pink Planet at Sunset|
Date: Feb 08, 2013
The planet Mercury is about to make its best apparition of the year for backyard sky watchers. Look west at sunset for a piercing pink planet surrounded by twilight blue.
|A Naked-Eye Comet in March 2013|
Date: Feb 01, 2013
A comet falling in from the distant reaches of the solar system could become a naked-eye object in early March. This is Comet Pan-STARRS's first visit to the inner solar system, so surprises are possible as its virgin ices are exposed to intense solar heating.
|Record-Setting Asteroid Flyby|
Date: Jan 28, 2013
On Feb. 15th an asteroid about half the size of a football field will fly past Earth closer than many man-made satellites. Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object so big come so close to our planet.
|Comet of the Century|
Date: Jan 18, 2013
Astronomers are keeping a close eye on a newly-discovered Comet ISON, which could become visible in broad daylight later this year when it skims through the atmosphere of the sun.
Date: Jan 07, 2013
Researchers studying thunderstorms have made a surprising discovery: The lightning we see with our eyes has a dark competitor that discharges storm clouds and flings antimatter into space. Astrophysicists and meteorologists are scrambling to understand "dark lightning."
|Christmas Sky Show|
Date: Dec 20, 2012
The Moon and Jupiter are converging for a heavenly sky show on Christmas 2012. Got a telescope? Something extra-special is happening on Jupiter that makes it an appealing target for backyard optics.
|Why the World Didn't End Yesterday|
Date: Dec 11, 2012
NASA is so sure the world won't come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012, that they already released a video for the day after.
|Rock Comet Meteor Shower|
Date: Nov 29, 2012
The Geminid meteor shower peaks on Dec. 13th and 14th when Earth runs through a stream of debris from a strange object that some astronomers are calling a "rock comet."
|The Diner at the Center of the Galaxy|
Date: Nov 15, 2012
The Milky Way's supermassive black hole is generally a picky eater, but NASA's NuSTAR spacecraft recently caught it in the act of having a snack!
|NASA's Cure for a Common Phobia|
Date: Nov 08, 2012
NASA has an unusual candidate for the astronaut corps--a rubber chicken. Seriously. Beloved by schoolchildren around the country, Camilla the rubber chicken has been training in fighter jets, flying to the edge of space, and visiting classrooms around the country as she prepares to go where no chicken has gone before.
|Total Eclipse of the Sun|
Date: Nov 07, 2012
Scientists and sky watchers are converging on the northeast coast of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, for a total eclipse of the sun.
Date: Oct 25, 2012
Astronomers have caught a red giant star in the act of devouring one of its planets. It could be a preview of what will happen to Earth five billion years from now.
|A Meteor Shower from Halley's Comet|
Date: Oct 11, 2012
Soon, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect 25 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Oct. 21st.
|The Sound of Earthsong|
Date: Sep 27, 2012
A NASA spacecraft has recorded eerie-sounding radio emissions coming from our own planet. These beautiful "songs of Earth" could, ironically, be responsible for the proliferation of deadly electrons in the Van Allen Belts.
|Why Curiosity Matters|
Date: Sep 20, 2012
A former rock-n-roller turned NASA engineer explains why he thinks Curiosity--both the Mars rover and the human desire to learn new things--matters to ordinary people on Earth.
Date: Sep 06, 2012
Once, astronomers thought planets couldn't form around binary stars. Now Kepler has found a whole system of planets orbiting a double star. This finding shows that planetary systems are weirder and more abundant than previously thought.
|The Radiation Belt Storm Probes|
Date: Aug 30, 2012
Most spacecraft try to avoid the Van Allen Belts, two doughnut-shaped regions around Earth filled with "killer electrons." This morning NASA launched two heavily-shielded spacecraft directly into the belts. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes are on a two-year mission to study the Van Allen Belts and to unravel the mystery of their unpredictability.
|Watch Out For The Blue Moon|
Date: Aug 29, 2012
The second full Moon of August--a "Blue Moon"--is just around the corner. It will probably look just like any other full Moon but, on rare occasions, the Moon really does turn blue. Could it happen this month?
|Where Will Curiosity Go First?|
Date: Aug 17, 2012
Curiosity is safe on Mars and ready to roll. In this video from Science@NASA, project scientist John Grotzinger discusses where the rover might go first.
|2012 Perseid Meteor Shower|
Date: Aug 09, 2012
The Perseid meteor shower is underway. There's more to see than meteors, however, when the shower peaks on August 11th through 13th. The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up in the middle of the display.
|Meteor Smoke Makes Strange Clouds|
Date: Aug 02, 2012
A key ingredient of Earth's strangest clouds does not come from Earth. New data from NASA's AIM spacecraft proves that "meteor smoke" is essential to the formation of noctilucent clouds.
|Mars Landing Sky Show|
Date: Jul 27, 2012
On the same night Curiosity lands on Mars, a "Martian Triangle" will appear in sunset skies of Earth. The first-magnitude apparition on August 5th gives space fans something to do while they wait for news from the Red Planet.
|A Taste of Solar Maximum|
Date: Jul 19, 2012
Solar maximum is still a year away. This month sky watchers got a taste of things to come when a powerful flare sparked Northern Lights over the United States as far south as Arkansas, Colorado and California.
|The First Extraterrestrial Marathon|
Date: Jul 12, 2012
More than 8 years after landing on the Red Planet, Mars rover Opportunity is still running. Indeed, mission planners say the tireless robot is poised to complete a full marathon--the first ever long-distance race on an alien planet.
|A Good Reason to Wake Up at Dawn|
Date: Jul 03, 2012
The brightest planets in the solar system are converging for a beautiful sunrise sky show in early July.
|Hidden Magnetic Portals Around Earth|
Date: Jun 28, 2012
A NASA-sponsored researcher at the University of Iowa has developed a way for spacecraft to hunt down hidden magnetic portals in the vicinity of Earth. These portals link the magnetic field of our planet to that of the sun.
|Voyager 1 at the Final Frontier|
Date: Jun 21, 2012
At the edge of the solar system, Voyager 1 is reporting a sharp increase in cosmic rays that could herald the spacecraft's long-awaited entry into interstellar space.
|Why Won't the Supernova Explode?|
Date: Jun 15, 2012
A question has been troubling astronomers: Why won't the supernova explode? Although real stars blow up, the best computer models of dying stars do not result in much of a bang. NASA has launched a new observatory named "NuSTAR" to seek out the missing physics of exploding stars.
|Andromeda vs. the Milky Way: Astronomers Predict a Titanic Collision|
Date: Jun 08, 2012
Astronomers no longer have any doubt: Our Milky Way Galaxy will have a head-on collision with Andromeda. Fortunately, they say, Earth will survive when the two great star systems meet 4 billions years from now.
|ISS Transit of Venus|
Date: May 31, 2012
High above Earth, astronaut Don Pettit is about to become the first human to witness and photograph a transit of Venus from space. His images and commentary will be streamed to Earth during the crossing.
|Partial Eclipse of the Strawberry Moon|
Date: May 24, 2012
On Monday, June 4th, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing a partial lunar eclipse visible across the Pacific from China to the United States.
|The 2012 Transit of Venus|
Date: May 17, 2012
It won't happen again until December 2117. On June 5th, 2012, Venus will transit the face of the sun in an event of both historical and observational importance. The best places to watch are in the south Pacific, but travel is not required. The event will also be visible around sunset from the USA.
|Don't Judge a Moon by its Cover|
Date: May 10, 2012
Superficially, Saturn's moon Phoebe doesn't look much like a planet, but on the inside, the little gray moon has a lot in common with worlds like Earth.
|A Star Turns Inside Out|
Date: May 03, 2012
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has mapped the debris of a supernova and discovered that the explosion may have turned the original star inside out. Peering into the heart of the inverted star, astronomers have found the atoms of life itself.
|Amateur Scientists Discover Galactic Bubbles|
Date: Apr 27, 2012
Amateur scientists have made a effervescent discovery: The Milky Way Galaxy is bubbling like a glass of champagne.
|Here Comes Solar Maximum|
Date: Apr 19, 2012
Solar storms and Northern Lights are in the offing as the sun approaches Solar Max, expected in mid-to-late 2013. Recently, Earth's defenses were tested by a volley of strong eruptions. Find out what happened in this week's explosive ScienceCast.
|April is the Cruelest Month|
Date: Apr 12, 2012
One year after the historic tornado outbreak of April 27-28, 2011, researchers say they've learned a few things about deadly twisters. This week's ScienceCast presents some of the scientific findings that emerged from the swath of destruction.
|A Wonderful Night in April|
Date: Apr 05, 2012
If you have to chose just one night in April to go out and look at the stars, NASA scientists say it should be April 21st. This week's ScienceCast explains what makes that one night so special.
|Getting to Know the Goldilocks Planet|
Date: Mar 29, 2012
NASA's Kepler spacecraft is discovering a veritable avalanche of alien worlds. As the numbers mount, it seems to be just a matter of time before Kepler finds what astronomers are really looking for: an Earth-like planet orbiting its star in the "Goldilocks zone".
|The Surprising Power of a Solar Storm|
Date: Mar 22, 2012
A flurry of solar activity in early March dumped enough heat in Earth's upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. The heat has since dissipated, but there's more to come as the solar cycle intensifies.
|Mysterious Objects at the Edge of the Electromagnetic Spectrum|
Date: Mar 15, 2012
NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope is finding hundreds of new objects at the very edge of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many of them have one thing in common: Astronomers have no idea what they are.
|The Super Moon of May 2012|
Date: Mar 09, 2012
Another "super-Moon" is in the offing. The perigee full Moon in May will be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012.
Date: Mar 01, 2012
Lately, the International Space Station has been flying through geomagnetic storms, giving astronauts an close-up view of the aurora borealis just outside their windows.
|Curiosity, The Stunt Double|
Date: Feb 23, 2012
En route to the Red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has experienced the strongest solar radiation storm since 2005. No need to be alarmed: Researchers say it's all part of Curiosity's job as a 'stunt double' for human astronauts.
|An Alignment of Planets|
Date: Feb 16, 2012
The brightest planets in the night sky are aligning for a must-see show in late February and March 2012. Start looking tonight!
|Alien Matter in the Solar System|
Date: Feb 09, 2012
"Alien matter" detected by a NASA spacecraft orbiting Earth shows that the chemical make-up of our solar system differs from that of the surrounding galaxy. Researchers discuss the possible meaning of this mismatch in this week's ScienceCast video.
|Mission to Land on a Comet|
Date: Feb 02, 2012
Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft is en route to intercept a comet– and to make history. In 2014, Rosetta will enter orbit around 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and land a probe on it for a front row seat as the comet heads toward the sun.
|Solar Eclipse in the USA|
Date: Jan 26, 2012
A "ring of fire" solar eclipse is coming to the USA this spring. It's the first annular eclipse visible from the contiguous United States in almost 18 years.
|What Happened to all the Snow?|
Date: Jan 19, 2012
Winter seems to have been on hold this year in some parts of the United States. Snowfall has been scarce in places that were overwhelmed with the white stuff at the same time last year. In this ScienceCast, JPL climatologist Bill Patzert explains what's going on.
|Some Comets Like It Hot|
Date: Jan 12, 2012
Astronomers are still scratching their heads over Comet Lovejoy, which plunged through the atmosphere of the sun in December and, against all odds, survived. The comet is now receding into the outer solar system leaving many mysteries behind.
|Re-thinking an Alien World|
Date: Jan 05, 2012
A distant super-Earth named "55 Cancri e" is wetter and weirder than astronomers thought possible. The discovery has researchers re-thinking the nature of alien worlds.
Date: Dec 13, 2011
A new iPhone app just released by NASA harnesses the power of citizen scientists to track space debris around Earth.
|Smallest Terrestrial Planet?|
Date: Dec 09, 2011
NASA's Dawn probe, now orbiting Vesta in the asteroid belt, has found some surprising things on the giant asteroid--things that have prompted one researcher to declare Vesta "the smallest terrestrial planet."
|A Super-Sized Lunar Eclipse|
Date: Dec 01, 2011
On Dec 10th, sky watchers in the western United States will witness a total lunar eclipse swollen to super-sized proportions by the Moon illusion.
|The Great Lakes of Europa|
Date: Nov 23, 2011
Scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo probe have discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa. This improves the odds that Europa is a habitat for extraterrestrial life.
Date: Nov 23, 2011
A distant world is being hit by solar storms so ferocious, the entire planet is probably enveloped in auroras. Researchers speculate that the display is probably as beautiful as it is terrifying.
|Mystery of the Lunar Ionosphere|
Date: Nov 10, 2011
How can a world without air have an ionosphere? Somehow the Moon has done it. Lunar researchers have been struggling with this mystery for years, and they may have finally found a solution.
Date: Nov 03, 2011
A NASA space telescope named "GALEX" has found stars forming in extreme galactic environments, places where researchers thought stars should not be. The finding could affect astronomy much as the discovery of microbial extremophiles affected biology in the 1970s.
|A Star with Spiral Arms|
Date: Oct 28, 2011
Using a Japanese telescope, NASA-supported researchers have found the first clear case of a star with spiral arms.
|The Sleepy Hollows of Mercury|
Date: Oct 20, 2011
NASA's MESSENGER probe has discovered a surprise on Mercury: Something is digging "hollows" in the surface of the innermost planet.
|600 Mysteries in the Night Sky|
Date: Oct 14, 2011
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope recently produced a map of the night sky. Out of 1873 new sources, nearly 600 were complete mysteries. In this week's ScienceCast, researchers speculate on the nature of the mystery objects - including the possibility that they are made of dark matter.
|Draconid Meteor Outburst|
Date: Oct 05, 2011
Forecasters say Earth is heading for a stream of dust from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. A close encounter with the comet's fragile debris could spark a meteor outburst over parts of our planet on October 8th.
|The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater|
Date: Sep 29, 2011
NASA's newest rover Curiosity is getting ready to leave Earth. It's destination: Gale crater on Mars. Today's story from Science@NASA explains the attraction of this Martian crater with a strangely-sculpted mountain the middle.
|Did Earth Have Two Moons?|
Date: Sep 22, 2011
Did our planet once have two moons? Some researchers say so. Moreover, the missing satellite might still be up there--splattered across the far side of the Moon. NASA's GRAIL mission could help confirm or refute the "two moon" hypothesis.
|Secret Lives of Solar Flares|
Date: Sep 15, 2011
Researchers have just discovered that solar flares have been keeping a secret--and it's a big one.
Date: Sep 09, 2011
Stars as cold as the human body? Believe it. A NASA spacecraft has discovered a half-dozen "Y Dwarfs" with atmospheric temperatures as low as 80 F.
|Visit To Pluto|
Date: Sep 02, 2011
Dwarf planet Pluto is a world of mystery waiting to be visited for the first time. NASA's New Horizons probe is racing across the solar system for a ground breaking close encounter that could dramatically alter what researchers "know" about Pluto and other small worlds.
|Breath of Fresh Air|
Date: Aug 25, 2011
The same kind of oxygen humans breath on Earth has been found in deep space. It's a breath of fresh air for astronomers who have been searching for cosmic "O2" until now without success.
|Bright Perseids Photographed|
Date: Aug 18, 2011
On August 13th, space station astronaut Ron Garan photographed a centimeter-sized chunk of comet debris disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere. His rare photo of a meteor from Earth orbit is a must-see.
|Dawn's Smooth Move|
Date: Aug 04, 2011
NASA's Dawn spacecraft doesn't do things like other missions. In July it slipped into orbit around asteroid Vesta using a smooth move that made mission planners want to get up and dance.
|What Lies Inside Jupiter|
Date: Jul 28, 2011
For four long centuries the gas giant's vast interior has remained hidden from view. NASA's Juno probe, scheduled to launch on August 5th, could change all that.
|Sun Grazing Comet|
Date: Jul 27, 2001
On July 5th, a comet dove into the sun and disintegrated. New footage just released by NASA shows the final stages of the comet's death plunge.
|Summer Meteor Shower|
Date: Jul 21, 2011
If you're camping out and can't sleep, maybe your slumber is being interrupted by the flash of meteors. The summer Perseid meteor shower is getting underway as Earth enters the debris stream from comet Swift-Tuttle.
Date: Jul 14, 2011
NASA has just released new movies of an "inky-dark" solar explosion that continues to puzzle experts more than a month after it happened.
|An Astronomer's Dilemma|
Date: Jul 07, 2011
Stars are bright, but their planets are not, which makes planet hunting difficult. However, NASA's ultraviolet telescope GALEX may be providing a solution.
Date: Jun 30, 2011
Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, devastating floods: There's no doubt about it. Since Dec. 2010, the weather in the USA has been positively wild. But why?
|Power of Sea Salt|
Date: Jun 16, 2011
Aquarius is the first NASA sensor to track ocean salinity from space, and aims to help uncover how the salinity of Earth's oceans are effecting our climate.
Date: Jun 09, 2011
NASA's Voyager probes have reached the edge of the solar system and found something surprising there--a froth of magnetic bubbles separating us from the rest of the galaxy.
|Salute to Spirit|
Date: Jun 02, 2011
It's been more than a year since NASA has heard from Mars rover Spirit. The agency says it may be time to say "thanks and farewell."
Date: May 19, 2011
Something is exploding in the Crab Nebula ten billion times more powerful than a solar flare. These "superflares" are baffling astronomers who haven't yet figured out the source of the blasts.
Date: May 12, 2011
NASA has announced the results of an epic physics experiment which confirms the reality of a space-time vortex around our planet.
|Morning Planet Show|
Date: May 05, 2011
The Great Morning Planet Show of May 2011 is underway. Wake up before sunrise any day this month to see a shape-shifting alignment of heavenly lights.
Date: Apr 28, 2011
More than 30 years after they were launched, NASA's two Voyager probes have traveled to the edge of the solar system and are on the doorstep of interstellar space.
|Meteors from Halley's Comet|
Date: Apr 20, 2011
Earth is about to pass through a stream of dust from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. The show begins before sunrise on May 6th.
Date: Apr 13, 2011
With a burst of solar flares and Northern Lights, the sun is waking up from a three-year slumber.
Date: Apr 06, 2011
For reasons researchers do not understand, the rate of midnight fireballs increases during the weeks around the vernal equinox. It's a beautiful display, but where do they come from? NASA's growing network of fireball cameras is scanning the heavens for answers.
Date: Mar 31, 2011
Strange quantum fluids that love to sneak out of cups have been found trapped inside the core of a dead neutron star.
Date: Mar 23, 2011
When solar activity recently plunged into a century-class minimum, many experts were puzzled. Now a group of researchers say they have cracked the mystery of the missing sunspots.
Date: Mar 16, 2011
Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
Date: Mar 09, 2011
Last month, NASA scientists got a rare chance to study "thundersnow" first-hand when a freak winter storm rolled right over their research center.
Date: Feb 18, 2011
High overhead, out of the darkness, a bright light surges into view. For 5 to 10 seconds it outshines the brightest stars in the sky, mimicking a supernova, perhaps even casting faint shadows at your feet. The silence is broken by your own excited shouts. Could this happen to you? It could, if you happen to be outside when NanoSail-D flies by.