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Astrophysics - Astrobiology Topics

  • Dark Halos Discovered on Mercury

    2008April 6, 2011

    The surprises continue. Scientists studying the harvest of photos from MESSENGER's Jan. 14th flyby of Mercury have found several craters with strange dark halos and one crater with a spectacularly shiny bottom.

  • Radical! Liquid Water on Enceladus

    2006April 6, 2011

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

  • Planets around Dead Stars

    2006April 6, 2011

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a disk of dusty debris surroundung a long-dead star. It is the kind of disk where planets are born, raising the possibility that second-generation planets can form around stars after they go supernova.

  • Bracing for an Interplanetary Traffic Jam

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    NASA is improving its already-extraordinary traffic control system for interplanetary spacecraft, the Deep Space Network, in preparation for a flurry of activity in deep space.

  • A Propitious Alignment of Planets

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    In ancient times many people thought heavenly alignments influenced daily life on Earth. Nowadays they set the schedule for space exploration.

  • Tones from Deep Space

    2007Sept. 20, 2011

    Fifty years after the launch of Sputnik kicked off the Space Age, an ultra-modern probe heading for Pluto is using retro Sputnik-like tones to communicate with Earth.

  • New Lakes Discovered on Titan

    2007April 6, 2011

    The Cassini spacecraft has discovered three new lakes near the south pole of Saturn's moon Titan. These strange bodies are filled not with water but liquid methane and ethane. Researchers are also studying a lake near Titan's north pole larger than Lake Superior.

  • Venus Flyby

    2007April 6, 2011

    Today when NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft flies by Venus en route to Mercury, the craft will shoot a laser beam into Venus' clouds, among other experiments, to learn more about Earth's "evil twin."

  • Grand Theft Pluto

    2007April 6, 2011

    En route to Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is about to fly by Jupiter, and while it's there, steal some velocity for the trip ahead.

  • The Real Lord of the Rings

    2002April 6, 2011

    Four hundred years after they were discovered, Saturn's breath-taking rings remain a mystery