Sept. 8, 2016
NASA is launching a spacecraft to visit an asteroid… and return to tell the tale. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral on September 8, 2016, on a mission to orbit, map and collect samples from the asteroid Bennu, and return to Earth 7 years later.
Aug. 29, 2016
DNA sequencing is used to identify forms of life; to study how different organisms are related and how they evolved; to pinpoint genetic diseases in individuals and to develop pharmaceutical treatments for maladies. It’s even used for crime-fighting. Now, thanks to an experiment just delivered to the International Space Station, it may be possible to do all these things in space.
Aug. 27, 2016
August 2016 is a special month for backyard astronomy. Why? Because on almost any evening in August you can take a tour of the solar system—no telescope required.
Aug. 16, 2016
Just below the Arctic Circle, evening skies are filling with pale blue ripples. They appear just after sunset or just before sunrise and are called noctilucent clouds (NLCs). When viewed from space, the same atmospheric phenomenon is referred to as polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs).
July 3, 2016
Dinosaurs were fearsome creatures. Some had thick scales, sharp teeth, and, in many cases, lightning-fast reflexes. One thing they didn’t have: a planetary defense office.
July 3, 2016
Radio signals twinkle in much the same way as bright stars appear to do at optical wavelengths. This can have effects on GPS, causing the signals to brighten and fade, and reach Earth at unpredictable times. All of this could degrade the accuracy of GPS positioning.
July 3, 2016
Air quality is a global issue. Currents of air waft gaseous and particulate pollutants from region to region, country to country, and even continent to continent. Emissions from human activities, sunlight, weather, pollution from far away, wildfires, and wind-blown dust can all affect air quality. And it can change from day to day or even hour to hour. Addressing this global issue requires a global effort. And that effort is in the works.
May 31, 2016
For the first time, researchers have identified a genetic marker associated with a spaceflight medical issue. It is in the enzymes associated with the "1 carbon pathway."
May 18, 2016
Mars and Saturn are getting together in the constellation Scorpius for back-to-back oppositions in May and June 2016.
May 3, 2016
On May 9, 2016, they will see a strange spot on the sun--a dark circle moving across the solar disk. This is no ordinary sunspot. It's the planet Mercury, making a rare transit of the sun.