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News & Features

Follow mission news or learn about exciting new discoveries from NASA centers and research partners.

  • NanoSail-D Flashes Over the United States Sky

    NanoSail-D Flashes Over the United States Sky

    March 1, 2011

    Streaking across the North American skies between now and Mar. 7, NanoSail-D will next be observable with the naked eye. NanoSail-D unfurled the first ever 100-square-foot solar sail in low-Earth orbit on Jan. 20.

  • Glory Mission Slated for March 4 Launch

    Glory Mission Slated for March 4 Launch

    March 1, 2011

    Orbital Sciences and NASA engineers are making good progress in troubleshooting the ground support equipment issue that caused the postponement of the Glory launch on Feb. 23. Launch will be no earlier than March 4.

  • 19 Asteroids Bagged in One Night

    19 Asteroids Bagged in One Night

    Feb. 28, 2011

    The Pan-STARRS PS1 telescope has discovered 19 near-Earth asteroids in one night. Cataloging near-Earth asteroids is important in determining the potential for future impact events on Earth.

  • Arctic Changes and an Ancient Extinction

    Arctic Changes and an Ancient Extinction

    Feb. 28, 2011

    Scientists are studying an exceptional episode of ancient global warming that occurred around 56 million years ago. During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, global sea surface temperatures increased by about 5°C. Studying this period could help scientists understand how modern climate change could effect life on Earth.

  • Microbes and the Swirl of the Ocean

    Microbes and the Swirl of the Ocean

    Feb. 28, 2011

    New research shows that microorganisms help control the amount of light that is reflected off ocean surfaces. The amount of light that oceans absorb can have effects on our planet's climate.

  • Spotlight on Local Change

    Spotlight on Local Change

    Feb. 28, 2011

    Astrobiology Magazine's climate blog, The Hot Zone, is focusing on the local effects of climate change in different places in the world. Changing climate trends are resulting in less snow in California's Sierra Nevada mountains and more heavy rain for the state of Queensland in Australia.

  • The Moon's Metallic Water

    The Moon's Metallic Water

    Feb. 25, 2011

    Even though our moon has suffered intense bombardment from asteroids and powerful radiation from the Sun, significant deposits of water remain in deep polar craters. New data from the LCROSS spacecraft has improved our understanding of this unique lunar resource and has identified other elements that are present in lunar ice.

  • Plankton are Key to Earth's Oxygen

    Plankton are Key to Earth's Oxygen

    Feb. 25, 2011

    Researchers have provided new information about the role of plankton in the oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. The study will help scientists better understand the links between life, the environment and the habitability on Earth.

  • Chandra Finds Superfluid in Neutron Star's Core

    Chandra Finds Superfluid in Neutron Star's Core

    Feb. 25, 2011

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered the first direct evidence for a superfluid, a bizarre, friction-free state of matter, at the core of a neutron star.

  • Planet Formation in Action

    Planet Formation in Action

    Feb. 24, 2011

    Astronomers have gathered new data from a disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of planetary formation. The study can help astrobiologists understand how planets form and where best to search for habitable extrasolar worlds.