Latest Jet Propulsion Lab Stories
Everyone is on pins and needles waiting for the Mars Space Laboratory Mission's Curiosity Rover to touch down later tonight, but the stars are already out.
A giant telescope, galaxy maps, and laser beacons on Mars are only a few of the ideas that teams selected by NASA will study for the next generation of astronomy and astrophysics missions.
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and around the world rely on their ethereal images to tell some out-of-this-world tales of near-Earth objects.
Like people gazing skyward to watch Independence Day fireworks, an international array of telescopes will train expert eyes on a dramatic encounter between NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and a passing comet. Deep Impact is the first space mission to attempt to break the surface of a comet and reveal the secrets inside.
It was a day like any other for a nearby star named GJ 3685A until it suddenly exploded with light. At 2 p.m. Pacific time, April 24, 2004, the detectors on NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer ultraviolet space telescope nearly overloaded when the star abruptly brightened by a factor of at least 10,000. After the excitement was over, astronomers realized that they had just recorded a giant star eruption, or flare, about one million times more energetic than those from our Sun.
Photographs from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft released today are the first pictures ever taken of a spacecraft orbiting a foreign planet by another spacecraft orbiting that planet. Mars Express was passing about 155 miles away when the Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor photographed it on April 20. The next day, the camera caught Mars Odyssey passing 56 to 84 miles away.
NASA salutes Space Day, observed this year on May 5, with a new dramatic image of the Sombrero galaxy. Space Day, held the first Thursday each May, is designed to inspire the next generation of explorers. The galaxy is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy because in visible light it resembles a broad-brimmed Mexican hat called a sombrero.
A giant impact crater the size of Iowa was spotted on Saturn's moon Titan by NASA's Cassini radar instrument during Tuesday's Titan flyby.
It was music to the ears of physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, when they forced liquid helium-4 through thousands of tiny holes and heard a whistling sound. But why the big fuss about an odd sound?
Stealing is a crime on Earth, but at Saturn, apparently it is routine. The Cassini spacecraft has witnessed Saturn's moon Prometheus snatching particles from one of Saturn's rings.
- A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.