NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at a whopping distance of 1.5 billion miles from the Sun (beyond Saturn's orbit). Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, it has already begun to develop an 80,000-mile-wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, enveloping a tiny, solid nucleus of frozen gas and dust.
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Ten years ago, NASA's Dawn spacecraft set sail for the two most massive bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: giant asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. The mission was designed to deliver new knowledge about these small but intricate worlds, which hold clues to the formation of planets in our solar system.
NASA's New Horizons – the fastest-ever spacecraft at launch – left Earth in 2006 and hurtled through the void at nearly one million miles per day toward a mysterious world on the solar system’s outer edge. Three billion miles (4.8 billion km) and 9 1/2 years later, the spacecraft flew-by its target: Pluto.
In the summer of 2018, we’re launching Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will get closer to the Sun than any other in human history.
A NASA-produced map of areas likely damaged by the Sept. 19 magnitude 7.1 Raboso earthquake near Mexico City has been provided to Mexican authorities to help responders and groups supporting the response efforts. The quake, which struck 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City, caused significant loss of life and property damage.
We’re all familiar with vehicles that move by using wind, solar energy, gas, or electricity. But occasionally, vehicles are able to use the most efficient and powerful force of all. Gravity.
Thanks to astronomer Edwin Hubble and others, scientists have known since 1929 that our universe is expanding. Its current rate of expansion is called Hubble’s Constant (H0). There are two leading ways to measure H0, and for fifteen years, they more or less agreed with one another.
Not anymore, and that’s a big deal.
Small satellites provide a cheap, responsive alternative to larger, more expensive satellites. As demand grows, engineers must adapt these “nanosatellites” to provide greater data returns. NASA, in collaboration with educational partners, targets 2021 for the launch of an innovative CubeSat that addresses these challenges.
What if the terabytes of global environmental data streaming down every day from NASA’s fleet of Earth-orbiting satellites for researchers studying the intricacies of our planet could be harnessed to aid the people that are hit by major natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur?
When the Cassini orbiter plunges into the atmosphere of Saturn on Sept. 15, a group of NASA scientists based in Greenbelt, Maryland, will be among those waiting for the spacecraft’s last long-distance ping.