NASA astronaut Alexander Gerst learns how to use a sextant. “I learned how to navigate after the stars using a sextant,” said Gerst. “It’s actually a test for a backup nav method for #Orion & future deep space missions.” Credits: NASA

Deep Space Navigation: Tool Tested as Emergency Navigation Device

Deep Space Navigation: Tool Tested as Emergency Navigation Device A tool that has helped guide sailors across oceans for centuries is now being tested aboard…

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Image of dunes of methane ice on Pluto. Upper left: mountainous region adjacent to a plain. Lower right: patterns of dune. Credit: NASA

Icy Dunes on Pluto Reveal a Diverse and Dynamic Dwarf Planet

Icy Dunes on Pluto Reveal a Diverse and Dynamic Dwarf Planet Newly discovered dunes on Pluto tell us the dwarf planet’s geology and atmosphere is…

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This artist’s concept of lightning distribution in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere incorporates a JunoCam image with artistic embellishments. Data from NASA’s Juno mission indicates that most of the lightning activity on Jupiter is near its poles. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/JunoCam

Juno Solves 39-Year Old Mystery of Jupiter Lightning

Juno Solves 39-Year Old Mystery of Jupiter Lightning Ever since NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979, scientists have wondered about the…

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An illustration depicting the layers of the heliosphere. Credits: NASA/IBEX/Adler Planetarium

As Solar Wind Blows, Our Heliosphere Balloons

As Solar Wind Blows, Our Heliosphere Balloons What happens when the solar wind suddenly starts to blow significantly harder? According to two recent studies, the…

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Pluto Images_from NASA’s New Horizons Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Icy dunes on Pluto: spacecraft reveals new details about planet’s surface

Icy dunes on Pluto: spacecraft reveals new details about planet’s surface 3D render of Pluto. Shutterstock/NASA Monica Grady, The Open University When Clyde Tombaugh discovered…

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Comparison of the eight brightest TNOs trans-Neptunian objects. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

How we discovered 840 minor planets beyond Neptune – and what they can tell us

How we discovered 840 minor planets beyond Neptune – and what they can tell us The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) at sunset, which observed the OSSOS…

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An illustration of TESS as it passed the Moon during its lunar flyby. This provided a gravitational boost that placed TESS on course for its final working orbit. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Snaps Initial Test Image, Swings by Moon Toward Final Orbit

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Snaps Initial Test Image, Swings by Moon Toward Final Orbit NASA’s next planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is…

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Artist’s impression of the Europa clipper mission. NASA

Signs of water plumes boost chances of finding life on Jupiter’s moon Europa

Signs of water plumes boost chances of finding life on Jupiter’s moon Europa Artist’s impression of the Europa clipper mission. NASA Andrew Coates, UCL Along…

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The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. The star is about 200 light-years from Earth. Using spectroscopy, scientists were able to find helium in the escaping atmosphere of the planet — the first detection of this element in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time

Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the…

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The dark band is the Dark Doodad Nebula, a place where new stars and planets can form. Flickr/cafuego, CC BY-SA

A giant ‘singing’ cloud in space will help us to understand how star systems form

A giant ‘singing’ cloud in space will help us to understand how star systems form The dark band is the Dark Doodad Nebula, a place…

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Time to peer below the swirling clouds of Jupiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill, CC BY

The latest from Juno as Jupiter appears bright in the night sky

The latest from Juno as Jupiter appears bright in the night sky Time to peer below the swirling clouds of Jupiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill, CC…

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NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast of the U.S. After its six-month journey, InSight will descend to Mars to study the heart of the Red Planet. Credits: NASA

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Study How Mars Was Made

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Study How Mars Was Made NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is on…

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Illustration of NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Credits: NASA

NASA Sets Sights on May 5 Launch of InSight Mars Mission

NASA Sets Sights on May 5 Launch of InSight Mars Mission NASA’s next mission to Mars, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport…

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