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
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Mar 25, 2018
Enveloping our planet and protecting us from the fury of the Sun is a giant bubble of magnetism called the magnetosphere. It deflects most of the solar material sweeping towards us from our star at 1 million miles per hour or more. Without the magnetosphere, the relentless action of these solar... Read More
Universe, Stars, Earth’s Space Environment
Mar 6, 2018
Imagine an object moving at super-sonic speed. This object, as it moves through a medium, causes the material in the medium to pile up, compress, and heat up. The result is a type of shock wave, known as a bow shock.  
Cosmic Bow Shocks Poster
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Jan 24, 2018
Like Earth, space has weather. Except instead of swirling winds and downpours of precipitation, space weather is defined by shifting electric and magnetic fields and rains of charged particles. At the very beginning of space, starting just 60 miles above Earth’s surface, there’s a layer of the... Read More
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Sun, Our Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Jun 27, 2017
High up in the clear blue noontime sky, the sun appears to be much the same day-in, day-out, year after year. But astronomers have long known that this is not true. The sun does change. Properly-filtered telescopes reveal a fiery disk often speckled with dark sunspots. Sunspots are strongly... Read More
Solar Minimum is Coming Poster
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
May 16, 2017
The spectacle of a mammoth rocket ‘breaking the surly bonds of Earth’ takes our breath away. Equally amazing are the secrets revealed to us by science missions these rockets have launched – and NASA puts careful thought into what kind of mission will best achieve that science. Sometimes a large,... Read More
NASA's Sounding Rockets Poster
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, 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