NASA Confirms Streaks on Mars Caused by Liquid Water

Following the big build up over the last few days about a big announcement, NASA has confirmed that it now believes that dark streaks seen on Mars are caused by periodic flows of liquid water.  Data from the NASA satellite shows these features on slopes are also associated with salt deposits.  These salts could alter the freezing and vaporisation points of water in the thin Martian atmosphere and allowing the water to stay in a fluid state long enough to move. The findings of the report have … [Read more...]

New Views of Pluto Released from NASA probe

NASA have released further pictures taken by the New Horizons probe currently touring through the Pluto system including ones showing the strange icy plains of the dwarf planet.  The region, named after the Soviet Sputnik satellite, shows a flat terrain broken up into polygon shapes with troughs of dark material at the edges of them.  Some are 20-30km in size and have small dark mounds on them. Scientists are split as to what causes the formations with some thinking it could show evidence of … [Read more...]

Pluto Probe Enters Key Flyby Process

The New Horizons probe sent by NASA to investigate Pluto has entered its key flyby process, the most intense encounter with the dwarf world in its mission.  The probe is set to fly past Pluto on Tuesday, taking a huge amount of pictures and gathering other data as it does. Controllers received a health repot from the probe last week before it turned its antenna away from Earth to focus its attention on the small planet.  Once it has collects its data, it will then call home once more.  This … [Read more...]

NASA: Humans on Mars by 2035

After NASA just recently landed a washing machine-sized, the agency is already looking forward to what they hope will be their next cosmic journey: Mars. Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA’s lead scientist, wants to land a human on the fourth planet from the sun by the mid-2030’s. Mars, according to Stofan, would be the most rational choice for a planet to explore outside of Earth. She noted that humans could thrive on the planet – not out in the open – but without egregious modifications. Sounds … [Read more...]

NASA Tests Saucer-shaped Spacecraft for Mars Use

NASA conducted what was deemed a successful trial of landing apparatus and a saucer-shaped spacecraft as part of preparation for future missions to Mars Saturday in Hawaii, despite the failure of the new supersonic parachute. More details on the trial, which NASA said will actually provide more information because of the failure, will be released in a teleconference Sunday. A helium balloon carried the experimental spacecraft, called a low-density supersonic decelerator (LDSD), 120,000 … [Read more...]

Ganymede’s ‘club sandwich’ may support life

A team of NASA scientists said Friday the largest moon in our solar system and a companion to Jupiter named Ganymede may be having liquid oceans and ice stacked up in a number of layers like a club sandwich or 'Moonwich'. Earlier, it was thought that Ganymede may have had a thick ocean clubbed as a normal sandwich between only two layers of ice, according to the scientists who were part of a new NASA-funded research that modeled the moon's arrangement. Scientists of the NASA-funded … [Read more...]

Planet Mercury Is Shrinking And Wrinkling

The solar system’s tinniest planet Mercury is cooling and shrinking. The planet is also cracking and wrinkling, researchers said Sunday. This claim was based on the pictures transmitted by NASA’s spacecraft Messenger. The probe, launched by NASA in 2004, has been orbiting the small planet since 2011. The expanded name of Messenger is MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging. Messenger’s images confirm that Mercury has shrunk 13.8404km (8.6 miles) in diameter during its … [Read more...]

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Due For A Pit Stop

The Mars Curiosity rover will be taking a pit stop soon to allow NASA scientists to evaluate damage that has occurred to the wheels of the rover during the last months. While wear and tear was expected and planned for in the 98-week- long mission, more damage has been occurring lately possibly due to the operation of the rover on areas that had sharp rocks. The rover will be brought to a flat area in the Gale Crater landing zone and scientists will use the onboard cameras to inspect the … [Read more...]

A Galactic Phoenix-The Neutron Star

What makes a neutron star become so hot? Until now, scientists thought they knew the answer. The theory has been that the star heats itself up by a nuclear reaction inside its crust. After reviewing studies performed by Michigan State University, researchers are not quite as sure as they once were. The research, led by Hendrik Schatz, used theoretical calculations and focused on the nuclear reactions inside the crust.  A type of energy transfer, known as the Urca process, was taking place in … [Read more...]

Comet ISON: The Comet of the Century or a Disappointment?

If you've watched broadcast news or read newspapers in the past week or two, you've probably heard about Comet ISON. But, do you know about its history and recent journeys? NASA published a timeline that tracked the comet throughout 2012, 2013 and into 2014. The timeline estimates that Comet ISON began a journey through the inner solar system at least a million years ago, from the Oort Cloud. It wasn't until September 2012 that two Russian astronomers discovered and named it Comet ISON (for … [Read more...]