Nov 30, 2016
Observations by NASA's IRIS spacecraft suggest that "heat bombs" are going off in the sun's outer atmosphere, helping to explain why the solar corona is so mysteriously hot.
Sep 23, 2013
Comet ISON is still more than two months away from its spectacular close encounter with the sun. Already, the brightening comet has become a good target for backyard telescopes in the pre-dawn sky.
Sun, Solar System
Sep 16, 2013
Sept. 16, 2013: According to folklore, every full Moon has a special name. There's the Wolf Moon, the Snow Moon, the Worm Moon, the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Flower Moon, the Strawberry Moon, the Thunder Moon, the Sturgeon Moon, the Harvest Moon, the Hunter's Moon, the Beaver Moon, and... Read More
Sep 15, 2013
The full Moon closest to the northern autumnal equinox is coming this week. Don't miss the Harvest Moon.
Universe, Earth, Sun
Sep 12, 2013
Sept. 12, 2013: NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.
Sep 10, 2013
Sept. 10, 2013: We all know what comes out of the bottom of thunderstorms: bolts of lightning. Jagged columns of light plunge Earthward, heating the air to 50,000 degrees F, about five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Claps of thunder announce this process somewhere on Earth as... Read More
Sep 9, 2013
Sometimes, Earth mimics a supernova, producing a Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flash from the tops of thunderstorms. A new lightning sensor on the International Space Station could solve the mystery of these energetic bursts.
Sep 3, 2013
September 3, 2013: Back in the 60s and 70s, Apollo astronauts circling the Moon saw something that still puzzles researchers today. About 10 seconds before lunar sunrise or lunar sunset, pale luminous streamers would pop up over the gray horizon. These “twilight rays” were witnessed by... Read More
Sep 3, 2013
Sept. 3, 2013: A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age. The... Read More
Aug 29, 2013
August 29, 2013: Data from a NASA airborne science mission has revealed an immense and previously unknown canyon hidden under a mile of Greenland ice. "One might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped," said Jonathan Bamber, professor of... Read More
Aug 29, 2013
A NASA spacecraft slated for launch in September will fly to the Moon to investigate the tenuous lunar atmosphere. Researchers hope "LADEE" will solve a mystery that has been puzzling them since the days of Apollo.
Aug 23, 2013
August 23, 2013: Around the world, astronomers are buzzing with anticipation over the approach of Comet ISON. On Thanksgiving Day 2013, the icy visitor from the outer solar system will skim the sun's outer atmosphere and, if it survives, could emerge as one of the brightest comets in years... Read More
Universe, Solar System
Aug 17, 2013
August 17, 2013: When the Space Age began, astronomers knew of exactly zero planets outside the solar system. What a difference 50 years makes.
Aug 15, 2013
Comet ISON is heading for a Thanksgiving Day brush with the sun, but first it's going to pay a visit to Mars. In this week's ScienceCast, researchers discuss what might happen when Comet ISON meets the Red Planet.
Aug 15, 2013
August 15, 2013: Atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi missed witnessing an event of the century last winter when a meteor exploded over his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. From Greenbelt, Md., however, NASA's Gorkavyi and colleagues witnessed the atmospheric aftermath. The explosion created... Read More