This amazing image from the robotic Spitzer Space Telescope shows infrared light from the well-studied Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation of the Water Carrier Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a Sun-like star.
Comets are time capsules containing primitive material left over from the epoch when the Sun and its planets formed. By studying the gas, dust and structure of the nucleus and organic materials associated with the comet, via both remote and in situ observations, the Rosetta mission is a key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System.
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers a twist on a popular theory for how life on Earth began about four billion years ago, challenging the "RNA world" hypothesis, a theory for how RNA molecules evolved to create proteins and DNA. Instead, the new research offers evidence for a world where RNA and DNA evolved simultaneously.
Astronomers have discovered a 'hot molecular core', a cocoon of molecules surrounding a newborn massive star, for the first time outside our Galaxy. The discovery, which marks the first important step for observational studies of extragalactic hot molecular cores and challenges the hidden chemical diversity of our universe.
Astro Mike Massimino takes us inside Johnson Space Center, with a little help from his friends and guests, NASA Flight Directors Emily Nelson and Royce Renfrew, and his co-host Maeve Higgins. Discover just what it takes to keep expedition crews and vehicles safe during operations, from the mundane aspects of creating daily schedules that keep astronauts as productive – and happy – as possible, to the emergency procedures that can prevent disaster, as they did when water in astronaut Tim Kopra’s helmet led mission control to terminate an EVA.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took direct ultraviolet images of the icy moon Europa transiting across the disk of Jupiter. Out of ten observations, Hubble saw what may be water vapor plumes on three of the images. This adds another piece of supporting evidence to the existence of water vapor plumes on Europa - Hubble also detected spectroscopic signatures of water vapor in 2012. The existence of water vapor plumes could provide a future Europa flyby mission the opportunity to study the conditions and habitability of Europa's subsurface ocean
In recent years, there has been much scientific interest in understanding the Van Allen belts. New technologies now require that telecommunication satellites spend a great deal of time in those belts and that GPS satellites operate in the heart of the belts. With the increasingly smaller size of space electronics has come greater vulnerability of satellites to space radiation, according to Yuri Shprits, a research geophysicist with Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences in the UCLA College and a member of the international team.
China, on its way of implementing the strategy of building a maritime power, is endeavoring to promoting the development of maritime big data and building of "Smart Ocean," using satellite sensing, intelligent buoy, underwater glider, underwater robot, and deep-sea space station.