News Articles

Understanding the Outer Reaches of Earth's Atmosphere Poster
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Mar 30, 2018
Up above the clouds, Earth’s atmosphere gives way to space. This interface is called the ionosphere. Changes in the ionosphere – in reaction to space weather above and Earth’s weather below -- can disrupt communications and GPS signals and could potentially harm astronauts. So it is important to... Read More
Universe, Earth, Sun, Solar System
Apr 13, 2017
Earth. A world dominated by water. Trillions of gallons flow freely across the surface of our blue-green planet. While we once thought oceans made our planet unique, we’re now coming to realize that ‘ocean worlds’ are all around us.  
Ocean Worlds Poster
Earth, Sun
Mar 20, 2017
The earliest satellites of the Space Age were small. Sputnik, for instance, weighed just 184.3 lbs. America’s first satellite, Explorer 1, was even smaller at only about 30 lbs. Over time, satellites grew to accommodate more sensors with greater capabilities, but thanks to miniaturization and new... Read More
NASA Embraces Small Satellites Poster
Sun, Sky Watching, Eclipses
Feb 24, 2017
Something strange is about to happen to sunbeams in the southern hemisphere. On Sunday, February 26th, the moon will pass in front of the sun, transforming rays of sunlight across parts of South America, southern Africa and Antarctica into fat crescents and thin rings of light.  
Southern Hemisphere Solar Eclipse Poster
Sun, Our Sun
Nov 30, 2016
Imagine standing around a roaring campfire, roasting s’mores. You feel the warmth of the flames as the marshmallows crackle. Now back away. You get cooler, right? That's not how it works on the sun. The visible surface of the sun has a temperature of 10,000° F.  Backing away from the inferno... Read More
The Mystery of Coronal Heating Poster 2
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Sep 21, 2016
Summertime airshows are fun to watch, especially when aircraft fly in tight formation. The sight of airplanes soaring overhead practically wingtip to wingtip is thrilling to behold. Four of NASA’s spacecraft recently performed an equally thrilling maneuver: In Oct. 2015, the satellites of NASA’s... Read More
NASA Spacecraft Fly in Record-setting Formation Poster 2
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Aug 16, 2016
Northern summer is underway. It’s time for picnics, hot dogs, dips in the pool... …and, oh yes, electric blue sunsets.
Earth, Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Jun 14, 2016
Go outside tonight and behold the stars — especially bright stars low on the horizon. They twinkle as irregularities in Earth's atmosphere pass by. Unseen to the human eye, the same thing happens to signals from GPS, the Global Positioning System. Radio signals twinkle in much the same way as... Read More
Twinkle Twinkle GPS Poster 2
Sun, Sky Watching
May 3, 2016
Solar Scientists are accustomed to seeing spots on the sun--irregular islands of magnetism that sometimes erupt, producing strong solar flares. On May 9, 2016, they will see a spot of a very different kind--a dark circle moving across the solar disk. This spot is no ordinary sunspot. It's the... Read More
2016 Transit of Mercury Poster
Sun, Sky Watching, Eclipses
Mar 8, 2016
The forests of Indonesia are homes to one of the richest populations of songbirds in the world.  Ecotourists travel from far and wide to listen to them sing from the leafy canopy of the nation’s volcanic islands.  On March 9th, 2016, not long after sunrise, a time when the forest is... Read More
Indonesian Solar Eclipse Poster
Exoplanets, Sun
Feb 18, 2016
In 1947, shortly after the end of World War II, a young radio astronomer in Australia named Ruby Payne-Scott was observing the sun when a tremendous roar of static issued from the loudspeaker of her radio telescope. Almost 70 years later, astronomers are still marveling at the outburst. “It was... Read More
Listening to the Stars Poster
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Dec 14, 2015
Warning:  Earth is surrounded by electrons that can be disruptive to our technology.
Escape of the Destructive Electrons Poster
Sun
Oct 20, 2015
For an astronomer, discovering a comet can be the highlight of a lifetime.  Great comets carry the names of their discoverers into history.  Comet Halley, Comet Lovejoy, Comet Hale-Bopp are just a few examples…. Imagine the frustration, though, if every time you discovered a comet, it... Read More
Thousands of Doomed Comets Poster
Sun, Solar System
Sep 22, 2015
In the days before light bulbs, farmers relied on moonlight to help them harvest their crops.  Many crops ripen all at once in late summer and early autumn so farmers found themselves extremely busy at this time of year. They had to work after sundown.  Moonlight became an essential part... Read More
Sun
Sep 11, 2015
As any backcountry hiker knows, Global Positioning System, or GPS, trackers are crucial for navigation. But they can also be a little finicky.  Units sometimes lose lock when you walk into the shadow of a canyon wall, when you point the units at the ground, or even when you make a sharp turn... Read More