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New Year's Fireworks Poster 1
Solar System, Sky Watching, Meteor Showers
Dec 30, 2016
Earth will pass through a stream of debris from comet 2003 EH1 on January 3, 2017, producing a shower of meteors known as the Quadrantids.
Solar System
May 11, 2015
May 11, 2015:  One day, when humans go to Mars, they might find that, occasionally, the Red Planet has green skies.  In late Dec. 2014, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft detected evidence of widespread auroras in Mars's northern hemisphere.  The "Christmas Lights," as researchers... Read More
Universe, Sun, Solar System
May 5, 2015
May 5, 2015:  As May of 2015 unfolds, Halley's Comet is more than 5 billion kilometers from Earth, receding into the inky blackness of the outer solar system, where its looping orbit takes it every 76 years.  Dim and distant, history's most famous comet won't be back until sometime... Read More
Universe, Earth, Solar System
Apr 30, 2015
April 30, 2015:  The planet closest to the Sun is, ironically, one of the coldest. That’s just one of many mind-bending discoveries about Mercury that NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft beamed back to Earth over the past 7 years.  Earlier today, the mission ended with a crash as spectacular as... Read More
Global image data from MESSENGER spacecraft
Solar System
Apr 21, 2015
At the end of a day devoted to Earth, people can look to the heavens for a beautiful shower of Lyrid meteors.
ScienceCasts: Earth Day Meteor Shower
Solar System
Apr 21, 2015
April 21, 2015:  When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flies by Pluto this July, the spacecraft's high-resolution cameras will spot many new landforms on the dwarf planet's unexplored surface.  There could be mountains, craters, rilles, valleys and, of course, the unknown. They are... Read More
Solar System
Mar 30, 2015
On Saturday morning, April 4th, sky watchers in the USA can see a brief but beautiful total eclipse of the Moon.
ScienceCasts: Total Eclipse of the Moon
Solar System
Feb 27, 2015
Feb 27, 2015:  Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object. The latest images from Dawn, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) from Ceres, reveal that a bright spot that... Read More
Solar System
Feb 27, 2015
Feb 27, 2015:  Cruising through the asteroid belt, NASA Dawn spacecraft is approaching dwarf planet Ceres, and some puzzling features are coming into focus. "We expected to be surprised by Ceres," says Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission,... Read More
Earth, Sun, Solar System
Feb 6, 2015
Feb 6, 2015: Every 13 months, Earth and Jupiter have a close encounter.  Astronomers call it an "opposition" because Jupiter is opposite the Sun in the sky. Our solar system’s largest gas planet rises in the east at sunset, and soars overhead at midnight, shining brighter than any star in the... Read More
Solar System
Jan 8, 2015
Jan. 8, 2015:  Scientists have paired NASA's Cassini spacecraft with the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio-telescope system to pinpoint the position of Saturn and its family of moons to within about 2 miles (4 kilometers). The measurement is some 50 times... Read More
Sun, Solar System
Dec 22, 2014
Dec 22, 2014:   According to the calendar, Christmas comes on Thursday, Dec. 25th. For backyard sky watchers, however, the holiday starts earlier. They're getting planets for Christmas—and the show begins on Dec. 22nd.
Earth, Solar System
Dec 19, 2014
Dec. 19, 2014: NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or ice near its surface.
Earth, Solar System
Dec 16, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014: NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.
Solar System
Dec 14, 2014
Dec. 14, 2014: Observations by NASA’s Curiosity Rover indicate Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years. This suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet.