Isn’t she a beauty?!
NASA’s GREECE mission, which will study how the curls and swirls of an aurora forms, launched early last week.
“We can’t wait to dig into the data,” said one investigator on the project.
We can’t either!
We have another Martian oddity on our hands.
In this late 2013 image of the red planet, a field of dunes appear in V-shaped formation. Located on a large crater in an old Martian valley, the dunes number in the dozens.
“For dune fields, the spacing of individual dunes is a function of sand supply, wind speed, and topography,” according to NASA.
The formations have been likened to migratory bird formations and even a popular sci-fi show.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 19, 2014
The Kepler planet-hunting mission continues to rake in results.
Over 700 new planets have been discovered, Kepler researchers announced yesterday. A large majority of the planets – about 95 percent – are the size of Neptune, which is four times larger than Earth.
Kepler has been searching for planets outside of our Solar System for several years now. This discovery brings the total number of confirmed exoplanets to 1,700. That’s amazing! And, there are still over 3,000 potential planets that have not yet been confirmed.
The sun released a “significant” solar flare Monday – a monster in fact, according to some media reports. The powerful blast of radiation doesn’t seem to be headed our way, but if it were, NASA says not to worry. Earth’s atmosphere protects us from being harmed by radiation. However, we might have some problems tweeting.
… when intense enough [solar flares] can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.”
Not good. Here’s more about Monday’s flare:
— NASA Goddard Images (@NASAGoddardPix) February 25, 2014
Some believe a large enough flare could cause damage to the North American electrical grid, the effects of which could leave Western nations in the dark for months. But that’s for another time. If you’re interested in learning more about solar flares and the sun’s active cycle – which is happening right now!! – check out some of our past posts.
This photo is amazing! I can’t believe I didn’t see it make the rounds last November.
Here we see the spacecraft MAVEN launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., at the tail end of 2013. NASA researchers hope to learn a bit more about Mars’ upper atmosphere, which disappeared millions of years ago. So far, everything is on track with MAVEN, which will begin orbiting the red planet in mid-September.
How far has the spacecraft traveled since this picture was taken? More than 137 million miles. Go, Maven!
Much has changed since the beginning of space exploration. What better way to look back at all the advancements than by illustrating them with an infographic?
Thanks to Meilen L. for sending this my way.
Space Travel: Then and Now [Infographic] [Infographic] by the team at Wish.co.uk
Who doesn’t love the Jovian moon Europa?
It has mystery, intrigue and so much possibility. One of Jupiter’s largest moons, Europa has the potential to harbor life, according to researchers, who believe an ocean of water exists below the satellite’s frigid surface. Most recently, there’s been some evidence to support that claim.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of water vapor surrounding the northern region of the icy moon. Researchers are confident that the vapor is caused by erupting water plumes on Europa’s surface.
Should further observations support the finding, this would make Europa the second moon in the solar system known to have water vapor plumes.
The first moon believed to have ejected water vapor is Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.
The search for water is paramount to the search for life and scientists believe there are countless areas in our solar system and beyond that have H20. Here’s a photo gallery of some of the places that are believed to have had or have water. Which is your fav?
In my neck of the woods, the frigid temperatures are seemingly endless. I don’t know anyone who isn’t ready for springtime. But the cold weather also brings fairly clear skies, which is great for star and planet gazing.
As I was staring at some huge icicles hanging on the outside of my home, I realized Jupiter (yes, that bright dot!) was out in full force. Can you see the planet between two of the icicles? Apparently, Jupiter’s brightness is unchallenged in the night sky.
If you’re interested in learning about what you can see in the sky this evening, check out the “Stargazing: Tonight’s Sky” menu above.