NASA

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Astronaut Can See Daughter's Love— From Space

Thanks to a little help from Hyundai

(Newser) - A 13-year-old girl has managed to send a message to her dad ... one that he could see from space. Sure, it's a publicity stunt executed by Hyundai, but it's heartwarming nonetheless. The automaker put 11 Genesis sedans and stunt drivers to work in Nevada's Delamar Dry Lake,... More »

Asteroid Named After Anti-Taliban Activist

Malala Yousafzai honored by NASA researcher

(Newser) - A dark rock you might spot orbiting the sun every 5.5 years now has its own name: 316201 Malala (2010 ML48) . The part we all understand—Malala—refers to Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, 17, who drew the world's attention by defying Taliban rule... More »

Here's Where Lightning Strikes Most Often

You might want to avoid Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo

(Newser) - Bad news for us landlubbers: Lightning strikes more often here than it does on water, NASA reports. And things are particularly bad near the equator. In fact, some 90% of lightning on Earth strikes between the 38th parallels south and north, LiveScience reports. Want more specifics? A new NASA map... More »

You Can Name Parts of Pluto

Public invited to submit, vote on, suggestions

(Newser) - Some think Pluto may be welcomed back into the planet fold this year, and now the SETI Institute has more good news for Pluto's fans: The public will get to name its most prominent features. Everyone's invited to the "Our Pluto" website to vote on previously selected... More »

Top Contender for Life Outside Earth: a Saturn Moon

Enceladus has a warm ocean, hydrothermal activity

(Newser) - Thanks to the Cassini spacecraft, we already knew that one of Saturn's moons has a big ocean . Now things have gotten more interesting on Enceladus. It turns out that the ocean is not only warm, it seems to have the same kind of hydrothermal activity going on as oceans... More »

Ancient Ocean Once Covered Swath of Mars

Study finds evidence of huge ocean on Mars 4.3B years ago

(Newser) - Imagine all the water in the Arctic Ocean. Now, imagine all that and more on Mars. If you visited the Red Planet roughly 4.3 billion years ago, that's what you likely would have found, say NASA scientists. Their new study arrived at that "solid estimate ... by determining... More »

'I Am in Orbit Around Ceres,' Spacecraft Tweets

Dawn, pulled in by dwarf planet's gravity, is first craft to orbit 2 extraterrestrial objects

(Newser) - You heard it straight from the spacecraft's mouth: "Confirmed: I am in orbit around #Ceres." That was the tweet sent out from the Dawn Mission at 9:37am EST this morning to announce NASA's first spacecraft to arrive at a dwarf planet. The agency confirmed the... More »

Mission May Unravel Mystery of Ceres' 2 Bright Spots

NASA spacecraft enters the dwarf planet's orbit on March 6

(Newser) - With a NASA spacecraft closing in on the dwarf planet Ceres , scientists were looking forward to figuring out the origins of a mysterious bright spot. But it turns out there are actually two bright spots, right next to each other, reports Mashable . The best guess continues to be ice of... More »

Get Ready to Welcome Pluto Back as a Planet

Astronomer thinks Ceres will join the club, too

(Newser) - Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub thinks Pluto was wrongly kicked out of the planet club in 2006. But he's confident that this is going to be a very big year for Pluto and for another so-called "dwarf planet" named Ceres, he writes in the Conversation . NASA spacecraft will visit... More »

The Hubble Spots 'Smiley Face' in Space

Its 'eyes' are actually galaxies

(Newser) - The universe is smiling down on us—almost literally. The Hubble Telescope has captured a "smiley face" in space: two bright yellow eyes (a cluster of galaxies called SDSS J1038+4849), a white nose, and a faint smile and incomplete circle around the entire face. But those curving lines "... More »

Video Unveils 'Dark' Side of the Moon

NASA makes video with data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

(Newser) - Curious about the far side of the moon? No one has seen it from Earth because it's always facing away from us, but a new animated video aims to light up the darkness, Tech Times reports. NASA made the video using data from its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has... More »

FAA Trying to Regulate Moon Business

Reuters analyzes FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace

(Newser) - Can American businesses now stake their claim on the moon? That's the indication from an FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace, in which the agency reveals plans to "leverage the FAA's existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities... More »

NASA Closes In on Dwarf Planet— and Its Mystery Spot

Ceres asteroid might even hold oceans: experts

(Newser) - After years of preparation, NASA is about to learn a lot more about an asteroid that, a scientist says, is "actually the largest body between the sun and Pluto that a spacecraft has not yet visited." In exploring the 600-mile-wide Ceres, "we're going to reveal the... More »

Your Christmas Lights Are Visible From Space

US cities grow up to 50% brighter around the holidays

(Newser) - You're helping make the world a brighter place just by switching on your Christmas lights. New data shows many US cities brighten by 20% to 50% between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and it's all visible from space, Wired reports. A research team used a NASA-NOAA satellite... More »

Scientists Find 'Coldest Place in the Universe'

The Boomerang Nebula is minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit

(Newser) - Think winter is cold in your neck of the woods? It's nothing compared to the Boomerang Nebula (also known as the Bow Tie Nebula), where a dying star 5,000 light-years away has created the coldest known place in the universe, Smithsonian reports in a wintery look at the... More »

NASA Wasted $349M on 'Ghost Tower'

Unused project to cost $700K per year to keep up

(Newser) - Four years ago, NASA knew it wouldn't likely use a giant tower originally intended to test rockets—because the testing program was canceled. Yet the agency kept building the A-3 test stand and finally finished the $349 million project in June. And the costs keep coming, with the Mississippi... More »

NASA Emails Wrench to Astronaut

Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing

(Newser) - Butch Wilmore had a common problem—he couldn't find a socket wrench—with an uncommon twist: He's an astronaut on the International Space Station about 270 miles above the nearest hardware store. Solution? NASA emailed him one, in a manner of speaking. As the Guardian reports, NASA's... More »

Kepler 'Rises From the Ashes,' Finds a 'Super-Earth'

Unlivable new planet about 2.5 times the size of Earth discovered during K2 mission

(Newser) - The Kepler spacecraft has had its shares of ups and downs since its 2009 launch. The downs have included a 2013 mechanical failure that left Kepler supposedly "beyond repair" . The ups have included a "resourceful strategy" that made use of pressure from sunlight to allow Kepler to be... More »

California's Massive Drought Deficit: 11T Gallons of Water

That's 130K Rose Bowls' worth: NASA

(Newser) - Even the biggest reservoir in the US wouldn't provide enough water to replace what's been lost in California's drought. In fact, you'd need 1.5 times that much water, or 11 trillion gallons, to do so, according to NASA satellite findings. Another way to put it... More »

Rover's Discovery Raises Hopes of Life on Mars

Curiosity detects methane

(Newser) - The Mars rover has delivered what a NASA scientist calls an "oh my gosh moment"—it detected methane on the red planet, reports the New York Times . The discovery is making headlines because the gas had to originate somewhere, and one possibility is that the source is some... More »

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