News Articles

Michael Russell and Laurie Barge of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

April 15, 2014

New Study Outlines 'Water World' Theory of Life's Origins

Did life first arise on Earth in warm, gentle springs on the sea floor? Researchers are putting together the chemical pieces of how this process might have occurred.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 15, 2014

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discovery

NASA will host a news teleconference at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

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Moon or Planet? The 'Exomoon Hunt' Continues

April 10, 2014

Faraway Moon or Faint Star? Possible Exomoon Found

Does our solar system's pantheon of moons stand alone, or do so-called "exomoons" exist in other planetary systems? The search is ongoing.

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The Sagan Fellowship program, named after the late Carl Sagan, supports talented young scientists in their mission to explore the unknown.

April 2, 2014

NASA Selects 2014 Carl Sagan Fellows

NASA has selected seven scientists as recipients of the 2014 Carl Sagan Exoplanet Postdoctoral Fellowships.

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Bulgeless Galaxy Hides Black Hole

March 26, 2014

The Search for Seeds of Black Holes

How does one grow supermassive black holes? A new study using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up what might be their seeds.

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This animation shows the prototype starshade, a giant structure designed to block the glare of stars so that future space telescopes can take pictures of planets.

March 20, 2014

Space Sunflower May Help Snap Pictures of Planets

A spacecraft that looks like a giant sunflower might one day be used to acquire images of Earth-like rocky planets around nearby stars.

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GLIMPSE the Galaxy All the Way Around

March 20, 2014

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Brings 360-Degree View of Galaxy to Our Fingertips

Touring the Milky Way now is as easy as clicking a button with NASA's new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic presented Thursday at the TEDActive 2014 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

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The BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole

March 17, 2014

NASA Technology Views Birth of the Universe

Using JPL-developed technology, astronomers have acquired the first direct evidence that gravitational waves rippled through our infant universe.

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A nearby star stands out in red in this image from the Second Generation Digitized Sky Survey.

March 7, 2014

NASA's WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No 'Planet X'

NASA's WISE has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X."

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Liftoff of the Delta II rocket carrying the Kepler spacecraft.

March 6, 2014

Kepler Team Marks Five Years in Space

Exactly five years ago, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to find planets around other stars, called exoplanets, in search of potentially habitable worlds.

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Asteroid 2014 EC Flyby of Earth on March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014

Small Asteroid Will Pass Earth Safely on Thursday

An asteroid about 25 feet (8 meters) across will safely pass Earth at about 1:21 p.m. PST (4:21 p.m. EST) today, March 6, approaching us six times closer than the moon.

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Loops of Gas and Dust Rise from Planetary Disks

March 6, 2014

Mystery of Planet-forming Disks Explained by Magnetism

Gigantic magnetic loops on planet-forming disks explain a mystery of too much infrared light.

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The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems

February 26, 2014

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza

NASA's Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets.

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The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades

February 26, 2014

Spitzer Stares into the Heart of New Supernova in M82

One of the closest supernovas to go off in the last few decades is putting on a good show for telescopes on the ground and in space.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope.

February 24, 2014

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discoveries

NASA will host a news teleconference at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST), Wednesday, Feb. 26, to announce new discoveries made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

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Speedster Star Shocks the Galaxy

February 20, 2014

The Shocking Behavior of a Speedy Star

The antics of a speeding star are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Untangling the Remains of Cassiopeia A

February 19, 2014

NASA's NuSTAR Untangles Mystery of How Stars Explode

One of the biggest mysteries in astronomy, how stars blow up in supernova explosions, is being unraveled with the help of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit.

February 13, 2014

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference About Supernovas

NASA will host a news teleconference at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST) Wednesday, Feb. 19, to announce new observations from its high-energy X-ray mission, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).

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Galaxy cluster Abell 2744

February 7, 2014

Looking Back to the Cradle of Our Universe

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes team up to find a small galaxy that appears to be lying at the observable edge of our universe.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

February 6, 2014

National Space Club Honors Kepler's Planet Hunters

NASA's Kepler space telescope mission will be honored with the National Space Club's preeminent award, the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, in March.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope.

February 4, 2014

Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat.

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Herbig-Haro 30 is the prototype of a gas-rich 'Young Stellar Object' disk around a star

January 30, 2014

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

NASA invites the public to help find young planetary systems in data from the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

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Development of Massive Elliptical Galaxies

January 29, 2014

NASA and ESA Space Telescopes Help Solve Mystery of Burned-Out Galaxies

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, and Europe's Herschel Space Observatory, have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in the history of the universe.

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Storm of Stars in the Trifid Nebula

January 29, 2014

Where the Wild Stars Are

A new view of the Trifid nebula from NASA's WISE mission shows a cloud being ripped to shreds by stellar radiation and winds.

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Artist's concept of Ceres

January 22, 2014

Herschel Telescope Detects Water on Dwarf Planet

Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres.

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High-Energy X-ray View of  'Hand of God'

January 9, 2014

Dead Star and Distant Black Holes Dazzle in X-Rays

New images from NASA's NuSTAR highlight a spinning, dead star and black holes blanketed in dust.

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Gemini Planet Imager¹s First Light Image of Beta Pictoris b

January 7, 2014

Powerful Planet Finder Turns Its Eye to the Sky

The Gemini Planet Imager opens a new era of planet discovery and characterization.

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Hubble Frontier Field Abell 2744

January 7, 2014

NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Team up to Probe Faraway Galaxies

NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes are providing a new perspective on the remote universe, including new views of young and distant galaxies bursting with stars.

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This Just In: Storms Expected on Brown Dwarfs

January 7, 2014

Stormy Stars? NASA's Spitzer Probes Weather on Brown Dwarfs

To the surprise of astronomers, most brown dwarfs may be roiled by massive storms.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

January 6, 2014

NASA's Kepler Provides Insights on Enigmatic Planets

More than three-quarters of the planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft have sizes ranging from that of Earth to that of Neptune.

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Galactic Metropolis

December 18, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Galactic Cities

How and when galactic metropolises cease their opulent ways is the subject of new research from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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A screen shot from the Milky Way Project illustrates how users are asked to catalog objects in our galaxy.

December 16, 2013

New Animals on Display at Spitzer's Citizen Science Zoo

Take a stroll through a zoo of cosmic objects in the new, more expansive Milky Way Project.

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This image shows a composite view of the Crab nebula, an iconic supernova remnant in our Milky Way galaxy, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope

December 12, 2013

Chemical Surprise Found in Crab Nebula

A "loner" gas called Argon has paired up to make molecules in the tattered remains of an exploded star.

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Two Black Holes on Way to Becoming One

December 3, 2013

Massive Black Hole Duo: Possible Sighting by NASA's WISE

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has found evidence for what might be a dancing duo of black holes, where one partner is causing the jet of the other to sway.

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Topsy Turvy Black Holes

November 26, 2013

Do Black Holes Come in Size Medium?

In the stockroom of our cosmos, black holes come in size small and large. NASA's NuSTAR is helping to find our more about why medium-sized black holes are missing.

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Warped Galaxies Quiz

November 26, 2013

Scientists Seek Other Scientists for Cosmology Problem

What do you do when a problem is too hard to solve? Ask others for help, as astronomers are doing in an innovative competition involving galaxy puzzles.

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Three-headed Galactic Blob

November 21, 2013

Infant Galaxies Merge Near 'Cosmic Dawn'

A rare coming-together of three young galaxies reveals new insight into the earliest stages of galaxy formation.

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AllWISE Brings Galaxies Out of Hiding

November 14, 2013

WISE Catalog Just Got Wiser

The WISE mission is releasing new and improved data on three-quarters of a billion stars and galaxies.

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Two Galaxies Masquerading as One

November 14, 2013

Nature Pulls a Fast One on Astronomers

Two galaxies have been caught masquerading as one, in a new image that includes data from NASA's Spitzer and WISE missions.

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Bubbly Newborn Star

November 11, 2013

Spitzer and ALMA Reveal a Star's Bubbly Birth

Supersonic jets burst out of a young star's cocoon in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

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Black Holes Make Waves in Ocean of Space-Time

November 6, 2013

Black Holes Don't Make a Big Splash

When black holes merge, they send gravitational waves rippling through space and time. By not detecting these waves, astronomers are learning about black hole evolution.

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Galaxies Grow from Inside Out

October 31, 2013

Galaxy Growth Examined Like Rings of a Tree

Astronomers can read the chapters of a galaxy's history by starting from the core and moving out.

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An infrared portrait of the Witch Head nebula from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

October 30, 2013

'Witch Head' Brews Baby Stars

Can you see the profile of a wicked witch in this new infrared image from the WISE mission?

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This illustration compares Earth with the newly confirmed scorched world of Kepler-78b.

October 30, 2013

Scientists Discover the First Earth-size Rocky Planet

Kepler-78b is rocky like Earth, but with an orbit of 8.5 hours, and it blisters under the heat of its star.

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This trio of ghostly images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of dying stars called planetary nebulas

October 28, 2013

A Ghostly Trio from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

Haunting images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show the disembodied remains of dying stars.

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The Boomerang nebula, called the

October 25, 2013

Ghostly Specter Haunts the 'Coldest Place in the Universe'

Raghvendra Sahai of JPL and his team expose the true nature of the Boomerang nebula.

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This artist's concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface

October 25, 2013

Carbon Worlds May be Waterless, Finds NASA Study

New theoretical research has so-called diamond planets coming up dry.

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Galaxy clusters

October 24, 2013

NASA's Great Observatories Begin Deepest-Ever Probe of the Universe

NASA's Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before.

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An artist's concept of Planck

October 23, 2013

Last Command Sent to Planck Space Telescope

After nearly 4.5 years of scanning the skies for the oldest light in the universe, the Planck telescope has been switched off.

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Artist's impression shows how photons from the early universe are deflected by the gravitational lensing effect of massive cosmic structures as they travel across the universe

October 21, 2013

Long-Sought Pattern of Ancient Light Detected

A twisted pattern of ancient light called B-modes has at last been detected with help from the Herschel space observatory.

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Partially Cloudy Skies on Kepler-7b

September 30, 2013

NASA Space Telescopes Find Patchy Clouds on Exotic World

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system.

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Spitzer Trains Its Eyes on Exoplanets

September 24, 2013

How Engineers Revamped Spitzer to Probe Exoplanets

Even though NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was never designed to study exoplanets, it has become one of the world's premier telescopes for probing these far-off worlds.

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Brown Dwarf Backyardigans

September 5, 2013

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Star, Planet Lines

Researchers are getting to know some of our sun's closest and smallest neighbors.

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Black Holes Shine for NuSTAR

September 5, 2013

Catching Black Holes on the Fly

NASA's black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has "bagged" its first 10 supermassive black holes.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit.

August 29, 2013

NuSTAR Delivers the X-Ray Goods

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is giving the wider astronomical community a first look at its unique X-ray images of the cosmos.

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A montage of images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope over the years.

August 23, 2013

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Celebrates 10 Years in Space

Ten years after launch, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.

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This image shows two of the galaxy clusters observed by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope missions

August 1, 2013

Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age

Lying at the heart of most clusters is a monster galaxy thought to grow in size by merging with neighboring galaxies, a process astronomers call galactic cannibalism.

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In this artist's impression, a disk of dusty material leftover from star formation girds two young stars like a hula hoop

July 31, 2013

Spitzer Discovers Young Stars with a 'Hula Hoop'

A pair of stars peeks out from a tilted disk twirling around them, allowing astronomers to monitor their "blinking" pattern.

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NEOWISE Eyes the Enigmatic Centaurs

July 25, 2013

NASA's WISE Finds Mysterious Centaurs May Be Comets

The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics.

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Spitzer Eyes Comet ISON

July 23, 2013

NASA's Spitzer Observes Gas Emission From Comet ISON

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON.

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Toxic Wasteland or Lush Paradise?

July 17, 2013

In the Zone: How Scientists Search for Habitable Planets

NASA's Kepler mission is helping in the quest for "Goldilocks planets," where conditions are "just right" for development of life.

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Disk Patterns Form Without Planets

July 12, 2013

Disks Don't Need Planets to Make Patterns

A NASA study shows that ring and spiral patterns in planet-forming disks form all on their own, without the need for planets.

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Parkes Telescope

July 8, 2013

Radio Bursts Discovered From Beyond our Galaxy

Astronomers have discovered bursts of radio waves originating from beyond our galaxy.

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This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) shows Messier 94, also known as NGC 4736, in ultraviolet light

June 28, 2013

NASA Decommissions Its Galaxy Hunter Spacecraft

NASA has turned off its Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) after a decade of operations in which the telescope used ultraviolet vision to study hundreds of millions of galaxies.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit.

June 17, 2013

The Turbulent, High-Energy Sky Is Keeping NuSTAR Busy

Like "things that go bump in the night," a few high-energy events in the universe have captured the attention of the NuSTAR telescope.

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This illustration shows a newfound reservoir of stellar fuel discovered by the Herschel space observatory (red)

June 11, 2013

Shining a Light on Cool Pools of Gas in the Galaxy

The stuff of stars is not always easy to see. Thanks to the Herschel Space Observatory, invisible pools of gas in our galaxy are being mapped better than before.

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The Sculptor galaxy is seen in a new light, in this composite image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Southern Observatory in Chile

June 11, 2013

Black Hole Naps Amidst Stellar Chaos

NASA's NuSTAR space telescope has found evidence of a slumbering massive black hole in a galaxy bursting with new stars.

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On the Road Toward a Star, Planets Halt Their Migration

June 6, 2013

Stars Don't Obliterate Their Planets (Very Often)

A new study using data from NASA's Kepler mission shows that migrating planets cease their travels before being consumed by their stars.

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Stars Shoot Jets in Cosmic Playground

June 5, 2013

NASA's Spitzer Sees Milky Way's Blooming Countryside

New views from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show blooming stars in our Milky Way galaxy's more barren territories, far from its crowded core.

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Asteroid Family's Shattered Past

May 29, 2013

NASA's WISE Mission Finds Lost Asteroid Family Members

Data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to a new and improved family tree for asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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simulation shows the formation of a massive galaxy

May 23, 2013

Galaxies Fed by Funnels of Fuel

Supercomputers have helped reveal that galaxies bulk up in mass by feeding off cosmic swirly straws of gas.

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The Making of a Giant Galaxy

May 22, 2013

Herschel Space Observatory Finds Galaxy Mega Merger

A massive and rare merging of two galaxies has been spotted in images taken by the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

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Galactic Wheels within Wheels

May 16, 2013

Galaxy's Ring of Fire

This ring of fire "burns, burns, burns" with young stars.

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Planetary Family Portrait

May 9, 2013

Sifting Through the Atmospheres of Far-off Worlds

Researchers have begun taking infrared pictures of planets posing near their stars in family portraits.

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This artist's concept illustrates the frenzied activity at the core of our Milky Way galaxy.

May 7, 2013

Milky Way Black Hole Snacks on Hot Gas

The supermassive black hole at the core of our Milky Way galaxy is gobbling up hot gas, according to a new study from the Herschel space observatory.

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An Astronomer's Fantasy: Planets in the Lab

May 6, 2013

NASA's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish

Astronomers are using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to dissect the atmospheres of an exotic class of planets called hot Jupiters.

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Cool Andromeda

April 29, 2013

Herschel Completes Its 'Cool' Journey in Space

The Herschel observatory, which NASA helped build instruments and process data, has stopped making observations after running out of liquid coolant as expected.

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Distribution of Water in Jupiter's Stratosphere

April 23, 2013

Herschel Links Water Around Jupiter to Comet Impact

Astronomers trace water in Jupiter's intermediate atmospheric layer back to the famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet impact of 19 years ago.

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Galaxy Packs Big Star-Making Punch

April 23, 2013

Galaxy Goes Green in Burning Stellar Fuel

Astronomers have spotted the most efficient maker of stars yet, a galaxy undergoing a rare phase of evolution.

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Kepler-62 and the Solar System

April 18, 2013

Kepler Discovers its Smallest Habitable Zone Planets

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone."

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On a new list of the 100 most influential people on Earth, three work at JPL

April 18, 2013

Three From JPL on Time Magazine 'Most Influential' List

On a new list of the 100 most influential people on Earth, three work at the same California address, where they've led projects to study things that are not on Earth.

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Artist's Impression of Starburst Galaxy

April 17, 2013

Astronomers Discover Massive Star Factory in Early Universe

Busy-bee galaxy seen churning out stars when our universe was just a baby.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 16, 2013

NASA Hosts Media Briefing on Kepler Planetary Discovery

NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT), Thursday, April 18, to announce new discoveries from the agency's Kepler mission.

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The 2013 Carl Sagan Fellows

April 9, 2013

NASA Selects 2013 Carl Sagan Fellows

NASA has announced recipients of the 2013 Sagan Exoplanet Fellowships, a program designed to encourage new talent in exoplanet research.

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This artist's concept depicts a dense, dead star called a white dwarf

April 4, 2013

Gravity-Bending Find Leads to Kepler Meeting Einstein

The light of a red star is warped and magnified by its dead-star companion, as detected by NASA's Kepler space telescope.

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Taken Under the 'Wing' of the Small Magellanic Cloud

April 3, 2013

A Confetti-Like Collection of Stars

Stars sparkle in this lively new view of the Small Magellanic Cloud from NASA's Great Observatories.

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Churning Out Stars

March 28, 2013

Hunting Massive Stars with Herschel

In a new view of a vast star-forming cloud called W3, the Herschel space observatory tells the story of how massive stars are born.

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Planck's Super-Duper Computer

March 21, 2013

Supercomputer Helps Planck Mission Expose Ancient Light

How do scientists extract ancient light from the sky? Like archeologists digging for fossils, they carefully sift through foreground material to reveal their prize.

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Best Map Ever of the Universe

March 21, 2013

Planck Mission Brings Universe Into Sharp Focus

The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, contents and origins.

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An artist's concept of the Planck spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

March 19, 2013

NASA News Telecon: Planck Cosmology Findings (Update)

NASA will host a news teleconference at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT), Thursday, March 21, to discuss the first cosmology results from Planck.

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Infant Stars Peek Out from Dusty Cradles

March 19, 2013

Herschel Discovers Some of the Youngest Stars Ever Seen

Astronomers have found some of the youngest stars ever seen, thanks to the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

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artist's concept of the Planck spacecraft.

March 15, 2013

NASA TV News Conference to Discuss Planck Cosmology Findings

NASA will host a news conference at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) Thursday, March 21, to discuss the first cosmology results from Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation.

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Two Brown Dwarfs in Our Backyard

March 11, 2013

Closest Star System Found in a Century

NASA's WISE mission has found the closest star system discovered since 1916 -- a pair of brown dwarfs right in our celestial backyard.

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Black Holes: Monsters in Space

February 27, 2013

NASA's NuSTAR Helps Solve Riddle of Black Hole Spin

Two X-ray space observatories have measured definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our sun.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit.

February 25, 2013

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference About Black Hole Studies

NASA will host a Feb. 27 news telecon about black hole observations by its NuSTAR telescope and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.

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NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system

February 20, 2013

NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System

NASA's Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun.

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This artist's concept shows the Euclid spacecraft.

February 12, 2013

JPL to Lead U.S. Science Team for Dark Energy Mission

The European Space Agency has selected three NASA-nominated science teams to participate in their planned Euclid mission, including one led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Artist's Impression of Pulsating Object LRLL 54361

February 7, 2013

NASA Telescopes Discover Strobe-Like Flashes in Young Stars

Two of NASA's great observatories, the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, have teamed up to uncover a mysterious infant star that behaves like a strobe light.

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Astronomers estimate that six percent of red dwarfs have a temperate Earth-size planet, as close as 13 light-years away.

February 6, 2013

Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in their habitable zones.

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The Cosmic Hearth

February 5, 2013

WISE Feels the Heat from Orion's Sword

The tangle of clouds and stars that lie in Orion's sword is showcased in a new, expansive view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

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This artist's illustration shows a planetary disk (left) that weighs the equivalent of 50 Jupiter-mass planets.

January 30, 2013

Herschel Finds Past-Prime Star May Be Making Planets

A star thought to have passed the age at which it can form planets may, in fact, be creating new worlds.

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Andromeda's Colorful Rings

January 28, 2013

Cool, New Views of Andromeda Galaxy

Two new eye-catching views from the Herschel space observatory are fit for a princess.

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Artist's concept of Euclid spacecraft.

January 24, 2013

NASA Officially Joins ESA's 'Dark Universe' Mission

NASA has joined the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

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Betelgeuse's Enigmatic Environment

January 22, 2013

Betelgeuse Star Braces for Crash with Strange Bar

Orion, the famous hunter presiding over northern winter skies, may experience a stellar crash in its future.

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This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 combines visible light

January 10, 2013

NASA's Galex Reveals the Largest-Known Spiral Galaxy

The spectacular barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has ranked among the biggest stellar systems for decades.

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Anatomy of Brown Dwarf's Atmosphere

January 8, 2013

NASA Telescopes See Weather Patterns in Brown Dwarf

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have probed the atmosphere of a brown dwarf, creating the most detailed 'weather map' yet for this class of cool, star-like orbs.

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Rocky Ring of Debris Around Vega

January 8, 2013

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega

Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a large asteroid belt around the star Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies.

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Blazing Black Holes Spotted in Spiral Beauty

January 7, 2013

NASA's NuSTAR Catches Black Holes in Galaxy Web

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, set its X-ray eyes on a spiral galaxy and caught the brilliant glow of two black holes lurking inside.

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2013 Henry Draper Medal

January 7, 2013

NASA Kepler Scientist Honored by National Academy of Sciences

William Borucki, science principal investigator for NASA's Kepler mission at the agency's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, is the recipient of the 2013 Henry Draper Medal awarded by the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Keck Interferometer

January 7, 2013

Kepler Gets a Little Help From Its Friends

More than 2,300 exoplanet candidate discoveries have made it the most prolific planet hunter in history.

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A compilation of artist's concepts depicting milestones from the Kepler mission

January 7, 2013

NASA's Kepler Discovers 461 New Planet Candidates

NASA's Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates.

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A new analysis of data from NASA's Kepler mission finds evidence for at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy.

January 3, 2013

Billions and Billions of Planets

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission estimate that at least 100 billion planets populate the galaxy.

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Citizens Capture Cosmic Clouds

December 19, 2012

Armchair Science: Bag and Tag Glowing Galactic Clouds

Citizen scientists are invited to help astronomers by tagging clouds and holes in cosmic images from the Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes.

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Massive Star Makes Waves

December 18, 2012

Shot Away from its Companion, Giant Star Makes Waves

A runaway star can be seen charging through the dust in an infrared portrait from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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WISE Finds a Galactic Metropolis

December 6, 2012

Little Telescope Spies Gigantic Galaxy Clusters

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is helping to find the rarest and largest of galaxy groupings in the universe.

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A Vast Disk of Comets

November 27, 2012

Herschel Serves up Solar Systems with Extra Comets

Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds.

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Bridging Cities of Galaxies

November 20, 2012

Planck Spots Colossal Intergalactic Bridge

The Planck space telescope has made the first conclusive detection of a bridge of hot gas connecting a pair of galaxy clusters across 10 million light-years of intergalactic space.

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In this image, astronomers use NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and a cosmic  zoom lens to uncover the farthest known galaxy in the universe.

November 15, 2012

NASA Observatories Find Most Distant Galaxy Candidate

By combining the power of NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and one of nature's own natural "zoom lenses" in space, astronomers have set a new record.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

November 14, 2012

NASA's Kepler Wraps Prime Mission, Begins Extension

NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has completed its mission and is starting an extended mission.

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This illustration shows three possible scenarios for the evolution of asteroid belts.

November 1, 2012

Asteroid Belts at Just the Right Place are Friendly to Life

Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a new study.

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Spitzer Sees Stray Starlight (Artist's Concept)

October 24, 2012

NASA's Spitzer Sees Light of Lonesome Stars

A new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests a cause for the mysterious glow of infrared light seen across the entire sky.

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Pointing X-ray Eyes at our Resident Supermassive Black Hole

October 23, 2012

NASA's NuSTAR Spots Flare From Milky Way's Black Hole

NASA's newest set of X-ray eyes in the sky, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), has caught its first look at the giant black hole parked at the center of our galaxy.

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Artist's concept of a four-star planet

October 15, 2012

Citizens Discover Four-Star Planet with NASA's Kepler

A joint effort of amateur astronomers and scientists has led to the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double star, orbited itself by a second distant pair of stars.

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Olivier Guyon, an astronomer at JPL, has been named one of the 2012 MacArthur Fellows

October 11, 2012

JPL 'Genius': NASA Astronomer Named MacArthur Fellow

JPL scientist Olivier Guyon has been named one of the 2012 MacArthur Fellows, a prestigious award popularly known as the "genius grant."

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The Helix Nebula: Unraveling at the Seams

October 3, 2012

The Helix Nebula: Bigger in Death than Life

What was once a fairly average star, not much different than our sun, can be seen unraveling at the seams in this new image from the Spitzer and GALEX space telescopes.

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Climbing the Cosmic Distance Ladder

October 3, 2012

NASA's Infrared Observatory Measures Expansion of Universe

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have announced the most precise measurement yet of the Hubble constant, or the rate at which our universe is stretching apart.

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100 Days, 100 Nights in Space

September 20, 2012

NuSTAR Celebrates First 100 Days

Tomorrow, Sept. 21, 2012, will mark 100 days since NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, launched into space from the L-1011 "Stargazer" aircraft.

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A Glimmer From a Dark Cosmic Era

September 19, 2012

NASA Telescopes Spy Ultra-Distant Galaxy

With the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, astronomers have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen.

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Ice from the Solar System's Edge

September 18, 2012

Researchers Brew Up Organics on Ice

JPL researchers are creating concoctions of organics, or carbon-bearing molecules, on ice in the lab, then zapping them with lasers.

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Starry Starry Skies (Artist's Concept)

September 14, 2012

First Planets Found Around Sun-Like Stars in a Cluster

NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars.

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A hypothetical planet is depicted here moving through the habitable zone and then further out into a long, cold winter.

September 11, 2012

Extreme Life Forms Might be Able to Survive on Eccentric Exoplanets

While the hunt continues for the elusive Earth-like "blue dot," astronomers have discovered a collection of odd exoplanets.

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A Sky Chock-Full of Black Holes

August 29, 2012

NASA's WISE Survey Uncovers Millions of Black Holes

NASA's WISE mission has led to a bonanza of newfound supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.

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Artist's concept of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

August 23, 2012

NASA Event to Discuss Black Holes and Extreme Objects

NASA will host a news teleconference at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT), Wednesday, Aug. 29, to announce new discoveries from its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

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Mike Ressler is the NASA project scientist for the MIRI instrument that will fly onboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

July 19, 2012

Meet a Face Behind the MIRI

Mike Ressler, the project scientist for the MIRI at JPL, has been involved in building infrared astronomical instruments for 30 years.

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Exoplanet is Extremely Hot and Incredibly Close (Artist's Concept)

July 18, 2012

Spitzer Finds Possible Exoplanet Smaller Than Earth

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have detected what they believe is a planet two-thirds the size of Earth.

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These two images show HD 157728, a nearby star 1.5 times larger than the sun.

July 9, 2012

New Instrument Sifts Starlight for New Worlds

"Dark holes" around stars will provide astronomers with windows for finding planets.

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This artist's concept illustrates a dusty planet-forming disk

July 5, 2012

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

Astronomers have discovered that vast amounts of planetary dust, enough to fill the inner portions of a solar system, have suddenly vanished.

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An image taken from one of NASA's two special

July 2, 2012

Two Cameras Offer View of Webb Telescope in Clean Room

A pair of "Webb-cams" provide a view inside a NASA clean room, where the Mid-Infrared instrument is being integrated into the James Webb Space Telescope.

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A Different View of the Flame Nebula

July 2, 2012

The 'Flame' Burns Bright in New WISE Image

A fiery image from NASA's WISE mission shows the Flame nebula "burning" a hole in the cosmic dust.

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NuSTAR's First View of High-Energy X-ray Universe

June 28, 2012

Space Telescope Opens Its X-Ray Eyes

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has snapped its first test images of the sizzling high-energy X-ray universe.

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Galaxy Cluster and Giant Arc

June 26, 2012

Astronomers Spot Rare Arc From Hefty Galaxy Cluster

Seeing is believing, except when you don't believe what you see.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

June 21, 2012

NuSTAR Mission Status Report: Observatory Unfurls its Unique Mast

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has successfully deployed its lengthy mast, giving it the ability to see the highest energy X-rays in our universe.

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An artist's concept of Kepler-36c

June 21, 2012

Astronomers Discover Planetary Odd Couple

NASA's Kepler mission finds odd planetary duo with the closest orbits between two planets ever confirmed.

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The Homes of Quasars

June 19, 2012

Most Quasars Live on Snacks, Not Large Meals

Black holes in the early universe needed a few snacks rather than one giant meal to fuel their quasars and help them grow, according to observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes.

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The MIRI Cleanroom Huddle: Although it appears that these six contamination control engineers are in a huddle around the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument (or MIRI)

June 14, 2012

First Flight Instrument Delivered for James Webb Space Telescope

The first of four instruments to fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) has been delivered to NASA.

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Formation of planets in a protoplanetary disk

June 13, 2012

Small Planets Don't Need 'Heavy Metal' Stars to Form

The formation of small worlds like Earth previously was thought to occur mostly around stars rich in heavy elements such as iron and silicon.

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NASA's NuSTAR and its rocket drop from the carrier

June 13, 2012

NASA's NuSTAR Mission Lifts Off

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched this morning over the central Pacific, beginning its mission to study black holes and other exotic objects.

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The Orbital Science Corporation's 'Stargazer' plane is shown releasing its Pegasus rocket.

June 11, 2012

NuSTAR to Drop From Plane and Rocket Into Space

The rocket carrying NASA's NuSTAR mission has launched from its carrier plane.

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Highlighting our Tiniest Neighbors

June 8, 2012

WISE Finds Few Brown Dwarfs Close to Home

Astronomers are getting to know the neighbors better. Our sun resides within a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy about two-thirds of the way out from the center.

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Hidden Patterns of Light Revealed by Spitzer

June 7, 2012

NASA's Spitzer Finds First Objects Burned Furiously

The faint, lumpy glow given off by the very first objects in the universe may have been detected with the best precision yet, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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NuSTAR Lands at Kwajalein Atoll

June 7, 2012

NuSTAR Arrives at Island Launch Site

NASA's NuSTAR mission is now at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, awaiting its June 13 airborne launch.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

June 6, 2012

NASA to Host News Teleconference About NuSTAR Launch

NASA will host a news teleconference at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) June 11 to discuss the upcoming launch of its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observatory, scheduled for no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT) June 13.

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Light curve of a planet transiting its star

June 5, 2012

Venus' Transit and the Search for Other Worlds

On June 5 or 6, 2012, depending on your location, catch your final opportunity this century to witness Venus slowly drift across the sun's golden disk.

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NuSTAR Hitches a Ride on the 'Stargazer'

June 4, 2012

NuSTAR Strapped to its Plane

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is strapped to the bottom of the plane that will carry it to launch on June 13.

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NuSTAR's Russian Doll-like Mirrors

May 30, 2012

NASA Preparing to Launch its Newest X-Ray Eyes

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is being prepared for the final journey to its launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit. NuSTAR has a 33-foot (10-meter) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

May 24, 2012

NASA to Hold News Conference About NuSTAR Launch

NASA will hold a news conference on Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).

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Artist's concept showing NASA's NuSTAR mission orbiting Earth.

May 22, 2012

NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch

Engineers are installing the "nose cone" around NASA's NuSTAR, a black hole hunter. The mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13.

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Possible Disintegrating Planet

May 21, 2012

NASA's Kepler Detects Potential Evaporating Planet

A planet with a tail? NASA's Kepler mission has found evidence for what may be a disintegrating planet.

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A Star-Bursting Filament

May 17, 2012

Herschel Sees Intergalactic Bridge Aglow With Stars

The Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars.

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The Galaxy Next Door

May 16, 2012

NASA Lends Galaxy Evolution Explorer to Caltech

NASA is lending the Galaxy Evolution Explorer to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where the spacecraft will continue its exploration of the cosmos.

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This artistically modified image of the local galaxy Arp 220, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, helps illustrate the Herschel results.

May 9, 2012

Overfed Black Holes Shut Down Galactic Star-Making

The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes.

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How to See a Super Earth

May 8, 2012

NASA's Spitzer Sees the Light of Alien 'Super Earth'

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected light emanating from a "super-Earth" planet beyond our solar system for the first time.

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Computer-simulated image shows gas from a tidally shredded star

May 2, 2012

Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide

Astronomers have gathered the most direct evidence yet of a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close.

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Dusty Star Stands Out From the Rest

April 26, 2012

NASA's WISE Catches Aging Star Erupting With Dust

Images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst, spraying the cosmos with dust.

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The Sombrero Galaxy's Split Personality

April 24, 2012

NASA's Spitzer Finds Galaxy With Split Personality

While some galaxies are rotund and others are slender disks like our spiral Milky Way, new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both.

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This artist's concept shows a 'feeding,' or active, supermassive black hole with a jet streaming outward at nearly the speed of light.

April 12, 2012

NASA's WISE Mission Sees Skies Ablaze With Blazars

Astronomers are hunting a class of supermassive black holes throughout the universe called blazars thanks to data collected by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.

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Comet Storm around Fomalhaut

April 12, 2012

Herschel Spots Comet Massacre Around Nearby Star

New data from the Herschel Space Observatory suggest comets are constantly smashing together around the star Fomalhaut.

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From left to right, artist's concepts of the Spitzer, Kepler and Planck space telescopes.

April 5, 2012

NASA Extends Spitzer, Planck, Kepler Missions

NASA is extending three missions affiliated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., as a result of the 2012 Senior Review of Astrophysics Missions.

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Centaurus A All Prettied Up in Infrared and X-Rays

April 4, 2012

Dark Heart of a Cosmic Collision

The cataclysmic history of a giant galaxy is on display in a new image that combines infrared and X-ray observations.

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The Beginning of the End of Star Formation

April 3, 2012

Cosmic 'Leaf Blower' Robs Galaxy of Star-Making Fuel

Supernova explosions and the jets of a monstrous black hole are scattering a galaxy's star-making gas like a cosmic leaf blower.

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NASA's SOFIA telescope and the FORCAST instrument captured this color-composite image of the planetary nebula Minkowski 2-9 (M2-9)

March 29, 2012

NASA's SOFIA Captures Image of Dying, Outflowing Star

The last exhalations of a dying star can be seen in a new image from NASA's SOFIA telescope.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR in orbit.

March 16, 2012

Launch of NASA's NuSTAR Mission Postponed

The planned launch of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been postponed after a March 15 launch status meeting.

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Quasar lenses imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope

March 15, 2012

Astronomers Find Cosmic Lenses with Feeding Black Holes

Observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal several galaxies containing feeding black holes, called quasars, which are distorting the appearance of galaxies behind them.

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This is a mosaic of the images covering the entire sky as observed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), part of its All-Sky Data Release

March 14, 2012

NASA Releases New WISE Mission Catalog of Entire Infrared Sky

NASA unveiled a new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky today showing more than a half billion stars, galaxies and other objects captured by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30') mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

March 12, 2012

NASA March 13 NuSTAR Media Briefing Postponed

The Tuesday, March 13, media briefing to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has been postponed.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30') mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

March 8, 2012

NASA to Hold Media Briefing About Upcoming NuSTAR Mission

NASA will hold a media briefing at 9 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, March 13, to discuss the upcoming launch of an innovative X-ray telescope called NuSTAR.

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Roger Hunter (left) Kepler project manager, and Jim Fanson (middle)

March 8, 2012

NASA's Kepler Mission Wins Aviation Week Award

NASA's Kepler mission has been named the winner of the 2012 Aviation Week Laureate Award in the Space category.

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A team of volunteers from the general public has pored over observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

March 7, 2012

Citizen Scientists Reveal a Bubbly Milky Way

Volunteers are helping astronomers find star-blown bubbles throughout our Milky Way galaxy.

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An Orbital Sciences technician completes final checks of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array

March 2, 2012

Engineers Tuck NuSTAR in its Nose Cone

NuSTAR is being encapsulated in its rocket nose cone, or fairing, which will protect it during launch, scheduled for no earlier than March 21.

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Orion nebula

February 29, 2012

Young Stars Flicker Amidst Clouds of Gas and Dust

Astronomers have spotted young stars in the Orion nebula changing right before their eyes, thanks to the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Building a Buckyball Particle in Space

February 22, 2012

NASA's Spitzer Finds Solid Buckyballs in Space

Astronomers using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space.

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Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30') mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left).

February 17, 2012

NuSTAR Mated to its Rocket

Mating of NASA's NuSTAR observatory to its Pegasus rocket is underway.

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All-sky image of molecular gas and three molecular cloud complexes seen by Planck

February 13, 2012

Planck All-Sky Images Show Cold Gas and Strange Haze

New images from the Planck mission show previously undiscovered islands of star formation and a mysterious haze of microwave emissions in our Milky Way galaxy.

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NASA's NuSTAR spacecraft, enclosed in an environmentally controlled shipping container, is delivered by tractor-trailer to processing facility 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

January 27, 2012

NuSTAR Spacecraft Arrives in California

NASA's NuSTAR mission has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California, where it will be mated to its Pegasus rocket.

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This artist's concept shows an overhead view of the orbital position of the planets in systems with multiple transiting planets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission.

January 26, 2012

NASA's Kepler Announces 11 New Planetary Systems

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered 11 new planetary systems with a combined total of 26 planets. The mission has discovered more than 60 planets and thousands of candidates.

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NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission is seen here being lowered into its shipping container at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va.

January 25, 2012

NASA's NuSTAR Ships to Vandenberg for March 14 Launch

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has been shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to be mated to its Pegasus launch vehicle.

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This Herschel image of the Eagle nebula shows the self-emission of the intensely cold nebula's gas and dust as never seen before.

January 18, 2012

Revisiting the 'Pillars of Creation'

The famous "Pillars of Creation" are seen in a new light by the Herschel Space Observatory.

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This is an artist's concept of the Planck spacecraft.

January 17, 2012

Planck Telescope Warms up as Planned

One of Planck's two instruments has warmed up as expected, completing its survey of the early universe.

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This artist's illustration gives an impression of how common planets are  around the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

January 11, 2012

Study Shows Our Galaxy Has at Least 100 Billion Planets

Our Milky Way galaxy contains, on average, a minimum of one planet for every star, according to a new statistical study.

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Artist's concept depicts an itsy bitsy planetary system

January 11, 2012

NASA's Kepler Mission Finds Three Smallest Exoplanets

Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission have discovered the three smallest planets yet detected orbiting a star beyond our sun.

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This enormous section of the Milky Way galaxy is a mosaic of images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

January 10, 2012

Stars Pop Onto the Scene in New WISE Image

A new, large mosaic from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showcases a vast stretch of cosmic clouds bubbling with new star birth.

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A bubbling cauldron of star birth is highlighted in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

January 10, 2012

Before They Were Stars: New Image Shows Space Nursery

The stars we see today weren't always as serene as they appear, floating alone in the dark of night.

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Dusty Space Cloud

January 10, 2012

Herschel and Spitzer See Nearby Galaxies' Stardust

The cold dust that builds blazing stars is revealed in new images that combine observations from the Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Distant Galaxy Bursts with Stars

December 21, 2011

NASA Telescopes Help Find Rare Galaxy at Dawn of Time

A remote, blob-shaped galaxy has been found bursting with stars by NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes.

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Earth-class Planets Line Up

December 20, 2011

NASA Discovers First Earth-Size Planets Beyond Our Solar System

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planets orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system.

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Ancient Supernova Revealed

December 9, 2011

Star Explosion Leaves Behind a Rose

What appears to be a giant red rose in space is all that's left of a star that exploded long ago.

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Closer to Finding an Earth

December 5, 2011

NASA's Kepler Confirms Its First Planet In Habitable Zone

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface.

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The Tarantula Nebula

November 10, 2011

The Tarantula Glows with X-rays and Infrared Light

The Tarantula nebula can be seen here in a web of dust and multimillion-degree gas.

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Cooking up the First Stars

November 10, 2011

New Study Shows Very First Stars Not Monstrous

The very first stars in our universe were not the behemoths scientists had once thought, according to new simulations performed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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In visible light, the star-forming cloud catalogued as NGC 281 in the constellation of Cassiopeia appears to be chomping through the cosmos

October 26, 2011

'Pacman' Nebula Gets Some Teeth

When viewed in infrared light by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the "Pacman" nebula looks hungrier than usual.

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All Eyes on Oldest Recorded Supernova

October 24, 2011

NASA Telescopes Help Solve Ancient Supernova Mystery

A mystery that began nearly 2,000 years ago, when Chinese astronomers witnessed what would turn out to be an exploding star in the sky, has been solved.

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This artist's concept illustrates an icy planet-forming disk around a young star called TW Hydrae

October 20, 2011

Herschel Finds Oceans of Water in Disk of Nearby Star

Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have detected for the first time cold water vapor enveloping a dusty disk around a young star.

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These two infrared images were taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in 2004 and 2009.

October 19, 2011

Spitzer Snaps a Picture of the Coolest of Companions

Astronomers find a star with a companion as cool as Earth.

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It's Raining Comets

October 19, 2011

NASA's Spitzer Detects Comet Storm in Nearby Solar System

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs of icy bodies raining down in an alien solar system.

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The left image shows the star HR 8799 as seen by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer in 1998.

October 6, 2011

Astronomers Find Elusive Planets in Decade-Old Hubble Data

Scientists are digging up planetary finds from old images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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New measurements from the Herschel Space Observatory have discovered water with the same chemical signature as our oceans in a comet called Hartley 2

October 5, 2011

Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth's Oceans

Astronomers have found a new cosmic source for the same kind of water that appeared on Earth billions of years ago and created the oceans.

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Survey Explorer (FINESSE), a proposed mission.

September 29, 2011

NASA Selects Science Investigations For Concept Studies

NASA has selected 11 science proposals, including one from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for evaluation as potential future science missions.

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Flaring Black Hole

September 20, 2011

NASA's WISE Mission Captures Black Hole's Wildly Flaring Jet

Astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have captured rare data of a flaring black hole, revealing new details about these powerful objects and their blazing jets.

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Where the Sun Sets Twice

September 15, 2011

NASA's Kepler Discovery Confirms First Planet Orbiting Two Stars

The existence of a world with a double sunset, as portrayed in the film Star Wars more than 30 years ago, is now scientific fact.

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Artist's concept of Kepler

September 14, 2011

NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery at Media Briefing

NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT), Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission.

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In this artist's conception, a galaxy accretes mass from rapid, narrow streams of cold gas.

September 13, 2011

Herschel Mission Finds Galactic Growth Slow and Steady

New findings from the Herschel Space Observatory paint a more tranquil picture of galaxy growth than previously thought.

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Y Dwarf Chillin' in Space

August 23, 2011

NASA's Wise Mission Discovers Coolest Class of Stars

Scientists using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have discovered the coldest class of star-like bodies, with temperatures as cool as the human body.

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Mid-Infrared Instrument inside a test chamber

August 18, 2011

Webb Telescope Instrument Completes Cryogenic Testing

An instrument designed to probe the early universe has undergone tests mimicking the harsh conditions of space.

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An artist's concept of graphene, buckyballs and C70 superimposed on an image of the Helix planetary nebula, a puffed-out cloud of material expelled by a dying star

August 15, 2011

Honeycomb Carbon Crystals Possibly Detected in Space

Flat flakes of carbon have been tentatively spotted in space.

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Weighing in on the Dumbbell Nebula

August 10, 2011

A Cosmic Inkblot Test

What do you see when you look at this strange mix of shapes from space?

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The inset is an artist's concept of a collection of oxygen molecules. The image of the Orion nebula was taken in infrared light

August 1, 2011

Herschel Telescope Detects Oxygen Molecules in Space

The Herschel Space Observatory's large telescope and state-of-the-art infrared detectors have provided the first confirmed finding of oxygen molecules in space.

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Quasar Drenched in Water Vapor

July 22, 2011

Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water

Astronomers, including a team led by Matt Bradford of JPL, found a feeding black hole soaking in water vapor.

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Spider Web of Stars in IC 342

July 20, 2011

Spitzer Sees Spider Web of Stars

Stars appear to be caught in a galactic web in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Milky Way galaxy

July 19, 2011

Twisted Tale of our Galaxy's Ring

New observations from the Herschel Space Observatory show a bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

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This layout compares two pictures of a supernova remnant called SN 1987A

July 7, 2011

Herschel Helps Solve Mystery of Cosmic Dust Origins

New observations from the infrared Herschel Space Observatory reveal that an exploding star expelled the equivalent of between 160,000 and 230,000 Earth masses of fresh dust.

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This split view shows how a normal spiral galaxy around our local universe

June 30, 2011

NASA's Spitzer Finds Distant Galaxies Grazed on Gas

Galaxies once thought of as voracious tigers are more like grazing cows, according to a new study using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Best known as Messier 78, the two round greenish nebulae are actually cavities carved out of the surrounding dark dust clouds.

June 29, 2011

Making a Spectacle of Star Formation in Orion

The universe sports a pair of infrared shades, as seen in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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This image combines visible light exposures of galaxy cluster Abell 2744

June 21, 2011

Astronomers Investigate Galactic Crash

A team of scientists, including Jason Rhodes and Leonidas Moustakas of JPL, has pieced together the violent history of a galactic pile-up.

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In the Blackest Night, a Green Ring Nebula

June 15, 2011

A Green Ring Fit for a Superhero

Has the comic book superhero Green Lantern lost his ring? In fact, this giant ring of glowing dust, imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, belongs to the cosmos.

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Bringing the Stars Down to Earth

May 31, 2011

A Night with the Stars...in a Conference Room

Astronomers no longer peer through telescopes up at the night sky. The wonders of the universe can now be accessed right from a laptop.

Read more

 
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected tiny green crystals

May 26, 2011

Spitzer Sees Crystal 'Rain' in Outer Clouds of Infant Star

Tiny crystals of a green mineral called olivine are falling down like rain on a burgeoning star, according to observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Galactic Train Wrecks

May 25, 2011

Teasing Apart Galaxy Collisions

Astronomers are picking through the wreckage of galactic collisions to better understand the destruction, and the creation of new stars.

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A new, colorful collection of galaxy specimens has been released by NASA's  WISE

May 25, 2011

NASA's WISE Mission Offers a Taste of Galaxies to Come

An assorted mix of colorful galaxies is being released today by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, or WISE.

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In this artist's conception, dark energy is represented by the purple grid above, and gravity by the green grid below

May 19, 2011

NASA Telescope Helps Confirm Nature of Dark Energy

A five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies has led to one of the best independent confirmations that dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds.

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Artist's concept of a free-floating planet

May 18, 2011

Free-Floating Planets May be More Common Than Stars

Astronomers, including a NASA-funded team member, have discovered a new class of Jupiter-sized planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star.

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Little Galaxies Pack a Big Punch

April 21, 2011

Ultraviolet Spotlight on Plump Stars in Tiny Galaxies

Astronomers using NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer may be closer to knowing why some of the most massive stellar explosions ever observed occur in the tiniest of galaxies.

Read more

 
The Hottest Photos from WISE

April 14, 2011

WISE Delivers Millions of Galaxies, Stars, Asteroids

Astronomers across the globe can now sift through hundreds of millions of galaxies, stars and asteroids collected in the first bundle of data from NASA's WISE mission.

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Star-Studded Strings around Cocoon Nebula

April 13, 2011

Do Cosmic Strings of Gas Come From Sonic Booms?

The Herschel Space Observatory has found evidence that tangled filaments in space may be shaped by sonic booms.

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Giant cluster of elliptical galaxies

April 12, 2011

NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed a mere 200 million years after the Big Bang.

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Planets Under a Red Sun

April 7, 2011

NASA Telescope Ferrets Out Planet-Hunting Targets

Astronomers have come up with a new way of identifying close, faint stars with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite.

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Undercover jet exposed

April 4, 2011

NASA's Spitzer Discovers Time-Delayed Jets Around Young Star

Astronomers have discovered that two symmetrical jets shooting away from opposite sides of a blossoming star are experiencing a time delay.

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WISE Unveils a Treasure Trove of Beauty

April 1, 2011

The Art of Making Stars

A swirling palette of star-forming clouds can be seen in this picturesque image from WISE.

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Carl Sagan

March 29, 2011

NASA Announces 2011 Carl Sagan Fellows

NASA announces the 2011 Carl Sagan Fellowships, created to inspire the next generation of explorers seeking to learn more about planets, and possibly life, around other stars.

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March 23, 2011

Stinky Origins to Life? New Analysis Yields Clues

The origins of life may have been smelly, according to a recent, NASA-funded analysis of residue from 1950s classic experiments performed by a researcher, Stanley Miller.

Read more

 
Infrared view of the frenzied scene at the center of our Milky Way

March 18, 2011

Stars Gather in 'Downtown' Milky Way

A view from the bustling center of our galactic metropolis. Spitzer Space Telescope offers us a fresh, infrared view of the frenzied scene at the center of our Milky Way, revealing what lies behind the dust.

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Speed Demon Creates a Shock

March 10, 2011

Speed Demon Creates a Shock

WISE has captured a star zipping through space like a race car driver.

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WISE, captured this image of a star-forming cloud of dust.

March 4, 2011

'Elephant Trunks' in Space

A new image from NASA's WISE mission shows a zoo of "elephant trunks" herded together in a star-forming region.

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Spitzer's Sunflower Galaxy

March 3, 2011

Spitzer Captures Infrared Rays From a Sunflower

A galactic sunflower shows off its infrared colors in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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A region of the sky called the

February 16, 2011

Herschel Measures Dark Matter for Star-Forming Galaxies

The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars.

Read more

 
An Extended Stellar Family

February 10, 2011

New View of Family Life in the North American Nebula

Stars at all stages of development, from dusty little tots to young adults, are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Kepler-11 Planetary System

February 2, 2011

Earth-Size Planet Candidates Found in Habitable Zone

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and candidates in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface.

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Multiple antennas of the LWA-1 station of the Long Wavelength Array in central New Mexico, photographed at sunset.

January 26, 2011

An Astronomer's Field of Dreams

A group of JPL researchers and their colleagues will hunt for new and exotic objects in the sky by using ceiling-fan-size antennas.

Read more

 
Runaway star plowing through space dust

January 24, 2011

Runaway Star Plows Through Space

Can you tell which way the central, bright blue star is traveling in this new image from WISE?

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WISE Beholds a Pair of Dancing Galaxies

January 13, 2011

Partner Galaxies Wildly Different In New WISE Image

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has captured a new view of two companion galaxies -- a somewhat tranquil spiral beauty and its rambunctious partner.

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Galactic City at the Edge of the Universe

January 12, 2011

NASA Telescopes Help Identify Most Distant Galaxy Cluster

Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today.

Read more

 
Standard Candle in the Wind

January 12, 2011

Cosmology Standard Candle not so Standard After All

Astronomers have turned up the first direct proof that "standard candles" used to illuminate the size of the universe, termed Cepheids, shrink in mass, making them not quite as standard as once thought.

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Clumps of Cold Stuff Across the Sky

January 11, 2011

Planck Mission Peels Back Layers of the Universe

The Planck mission released a new data catalogue Tuesday from initial maps of the entire sky.

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Artist's concept of the first rocky world discovered by NASA's Kepler mission. The planet, called Kepler 10-b, is shown in front of its host star.

January 10, 2011

NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Its First Rocky Planet

NASA's Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Measuring 1.4 times the size of Earth, it is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system.

Read more

 
Extreme planet makeover interactive feature. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

January 6, 2011

Extreme Planet Makeover

The new "Extreme Planet Makeover" on the NASA/JPL PlanetQuest site lets you roll up your sleeves and create your very own planet.

Read more

 
This mosaic of the Andromeda spiral galaxy highlights explosive stars in its interior, and cooler, dusty stars forming in its many rings

January 5, 2011

Andromeda is So Hot 'n' Cold

Cool, dusty arms spiral around an explosive center in this new image of the Andromeda galaxy from the Herschel and XMM-Newton telescopes.

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A Collage of Nearby Galaxies

December 16, 2010

A Galaxy for Everyone

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, celebrates its launch anniversary with a taste of four galaxy flavors.

Read more

 
An Explosion of Infrared Color

December 9, 2010

WISE Sees an Explosion of Infrared Light

NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has caught sight of an unusual display of infrared colors around a supernova remnant.

Read more

 
This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates the presence of molecules in the planet WASP-12b

December 8, 2010

NASA's Spitzer Reveals First Carbon-Rich Planet

Astronomers have discovered that a huge, searing-hot planet orbiting another star is loaded with an unusual amount of carbon.

Read more

 
This map shows the distribution of dark matter in a portion of our universe.

December 6, 2010

So You Think You Can Solve a Cosmology Puzzle?

Scientists challenge other scientists with a series of galaxy puzzles

Read more

 
The Large Binocular Telescope at Mt. Graham, Arizona.

December 2, 2010

Double Vision: New Instrument Casts Its Eyes to the Sky

The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer has taken its first images of the star Beta Peg in the constellation Pictor.

Read more

 
Super-Earth Exposed

December 1, 2010

NASA Aids in Characterizing Super-Earth Atmosphere

A team of astronomers, including two NASA Sagan Fellows, has made the first characterizations of a super-Earth's atmosphere, by using a ground-based telescope.

Read more

 
Diagram showing an unusual galaxy with bent jets

November 24, 2010

Astronomers Probe 'Sandbar' Between Islands of Galaxies

Astronomers have caught sight of an unusual galaxy that has illuminated new details about a celestial "sandbar" connecting two massive islands of galaxies.

Read more

 
LISA will be the first space-based mission to attempt the detection of gravitational waves. These are ripples in spacetime that are emitted by exotic objects such as black holes.

November 23, 2010

Tuning an 'Ear' to the Music of Gravitational Waves

A team of scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought the world one step closer to "hearing" gravitational waves.

Read more

 
 The collision of two spiral galaxies, has triggered this luminous starburst, the brightest ever seen taking place far away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging galaxies.

November 22, 2010

Spitzer Sees Shrouded Burst of Stars

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found a stunning burst of star formation that beams out as much infrared light as an entire galaxy.

Read more

 
NGC 1514. The view on the left is from a ground-based, visible-light telescope; the view on the right shows the object in infrared light

November 17, 2010

WISE Image Reveals Strange Specimen in Starry Sea

A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows what looks like a glowing jellyfish floating at the bottom of a dark, speckled sea.

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detailed map of dark matter in our universe

November 11, 2010

Shedding 'Bent' Light on Dark Matter

An astronomy team led by Dan Coe, formerly of JPL, has created one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe.

Read more

 
A cool brown dwarf discovered and imaged by NASA's WISE mission

November 9, 2010

Cool Star is a Gem of a Find

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has eyed its first cool brown dwarf: a tiny, ultra-cold star floating all alone in space.

Read more

 
This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory

November 4, 2010

Herschel's Hidden Talent: Digging Up Magnified Galaxies

It turns out the Herschel Space Observatory has a trick up its sleeve. The telescope has proven to be excellent at finding magnified, faraway galaxies.

Read more

 
A new survey, funded by NASA and the University of California, reveals that small planets are more common than large ones.

October 28, 2010

NASA Survey Suggests Earth-Sized Planets are Common

Nearly one in four stars similar to the sun may host planets as small as Earth, according to a new study funded by NASA and the University of California.

Read more

 
infrared photo of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by Spitzer

October 27, 2010

Space Buckyballs Thrive, Finds NASA Spitzer Telescope

Astronomers have discovered bucket loads of buckyballs in space.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of Kepler

October 26, 2010

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Takes Pulse of Distant Stars

The Kepler spacecraft is measuring "starquakes" to learn more about the evolution of stars.

Read more

 
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found that the hottest part of a distant planet

October 19, 2010

Astronomers Find Weird, Warm Spot on an Exoplanet

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal a distant planet with a warm spot in the wrong place.

Read more

 
Sculptor Galaxy Seen as Infrared Rainbow

October 13, 2010

The Many Infrared 'Personalities' of the Sculptor Galaxy

The Sculptor galaxy is seen in a rainbow of infrared colors by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Read more

 
NASA's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2

October 13, 2010

Camera That Saved Hubble Leaves Nest for Good

The historic space telescope camera leaves JPL, where it was developed and built, after a visit. The camera was the Hubble Space Telescope's most prolific instrument.

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WISE snapped this photo of comet Hartley 2

October 5, 2010

WISE Captures Key Images of Comet Mission's Destination

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, caught a glimpse of the comet that the agency's EPOXI mission will visit in November.

Read more

 
The Hottest Photos from WISE

October 4, 2010

NASA's WISE Mission Warms Up but Keeps Chugging Along

After completing its primary mission to map the infrared sky, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has reached the expected end of its onboard supply of frozen coolant.

Read more

 
This series of images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a dark mass of gas and dust, called a core, where new stars and planets will likely spring up.

September 23, 2010

Shining Starlight on the Dark Cocoons of Star Birth

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope data reveal a newly found phenomenon that offers insight into cores of star-forming regions.

Read more

 
a close-up view of Eros, an asteroid with an orbit that takes it somewhat close to Earth

September 2, 2010

Spitzer Finds a Flavorful Mix of Asteroids

New research from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals that asteroids somewhat near Earth, termed near-Earth objects, are a mixed bunch, with a surprisingly wide array of compositions.

Read more

 
This Herschel image shows IRC+10216, also known as CW Leonis -- a star rich in carbon where astronomers were surprised to find water.

September 1, 2010

Herschel Finds Water in a Cosmic Desert

How did water end up around an old, dying star? The Herschel space observatory has new clues.

Read more

 
This artist’s concept illustrates the two Saturn-sized planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission.

August 26, 2010

NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Two Planets Transiting Same Star

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star.

Read more

 
Rosette nebula

August 25, 2010

WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose

Unicorns and roses are usually the stuff of fairy tales, but a new cosmic image taken by NASA's WISE mission shows the Rosette nebula in the constellation Monoceros, or the Unicorn.

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This artist's concept illustrates an imminent planetary collision around a pair of double stars.

August 23, 2010

Pulverized Planet Dust May Lie Around Double Stars

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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This is the Hubble Space Telescope image of the inner region of Abell 1689.

August 19, 2010

Cosmic Lens Used to Probe Dark Energy for First Time

Astronomers have devised a new method for measuring perhaps the greatest puzzle of our universe -- dark energy.

Read more

 
local and distant galaxies

August 18, 2010

Galaxies' Glory Days Revealed

Astronomers have experienced the galactic equivalent of discovering pictures of a mild-mannered grandmother partying as a wild youth.

Read more

 
Rings and arcs of ultraviolet light around a selection of galaxies imaged by Hubble

August 11, 2010

Giant Ultraviolet Rings Found in Resurrected Galaxies

Astronomers have found mysterious, giant loops of ultraviolet light in aged, massive galaxies, which seem to have a second lease on life.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

August 10, 2010

WISE Spacecraft Warming Up

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is warming up. Team members say the spacecraft is running out of the frozen coolant needed to keep its heat-sensitive instrument chilled.

Read more

 
A new image of two tangled galaxies has been released by NASA's Great Observatories

August 5, 2010

NASA's Great Observatories Witness a Galactic Spectacle

A new image of two tangled galaxies has been released by NASA's Great Observatories.

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Space Balls

July 22, 2010

NASA Telescope Finds Elusive Buckyballs in Space for First Time

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as "buckyballs," in space for the first time.

Read more

 
Seven Sisters Get WISE

July 16, 2010

NASA's WISE Mission to Complete Extensive Sky Survey

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will complete its first survey of the entire sky on July 17, 2010.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of a disk encircling a massive baby star

July 14, 2010

Meet the Titans: Dust Disk Found Around Massive Star

A new discovery has the potential to answer the long-standing question of how massive stars are born -- and hints at the possibility that planets could form around the galaxy's biggest bodies.

Read more

 
The Invisible Dragon

July 7, 2010

Puff, the Magic Dragon?

A dragon-shaped cloud of dust seems to fly with the stars in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (bottom). In visible light (top), the creature disappears into the mist.

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This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by Planck.

July 6, 2010

Planck Takes It All In

A new image from the Planck mission shows what it's been up to for the past year -- surveying the entire sky for clues to our universal origins.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of the brown dwarfs WISE is expected to find

June 24, 2010

The Coolest Stars Come Out of the Dark

Astronomers have uncovered what appear to be 14 of the coldest stars known in our universe.

Read more

 
JPLers with the nulling interferometer testbed at JPL

June 23, 2010

Earth-like Planets May Be Ready for Their Close-Up

Many scientists speculate that our galaxy could be full of places like Pandora from the movie "Avatar" -- Earth-like worlds in solar systems besides our own.

Read more

 
A sphere of stellar innards, blown out from a humongous star

June 17, 2010

Jumbo Jellyfish or Massive Star?

Some might see a blood-red jellyfish, while others might see a pair of lips. In fact, the red-colored object in this new image from WISE is a sphere of stellar innards.

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A star-studded tail on a galaxy called IC 3418

June 17, 2010

Astronomers Discover Star-Studded Galaxy Tail

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has discovered a galaxy tail studded with bright knots of new stars.

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Artist's concept of Kepler

June 15, 2010

NASA Releases Kepler Data on Potential Extrasolar Planets

NASA's Kepler Mission has released 43 days of science data on more than 156,000 stars.

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artist's concept shows a galaxy with a supermassive black hole

June 1, 2010

Backwards Black Holes Might Make Bigger Jets

Going against the grain may turn out to be a powerful move for black holes.

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An artist's conception of our Milky Way galaxy

May 26, 2010

Astronomers Discover New Star-Forming Regions in Milky Way

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and radio telescopes are probing the structure of our Milky Way galaxy.

Read more

 
Heart and Soul nebulae

May 24, 2010

WISE Telescope has Heart and Soul

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured a huge mosaic of two bubbling clouds in space, known as the Heart and Soul nebulae.

Read more

 
A surprisingly large collection of galaxies (red dots in center) stands out at a remarkably large distance in this composite image combining infrared and visible-light observations.

May 20, 2010

Two Peas in an Irregular Pod

Our sun may be an only child, but most of the stars in the galaxy are actually twins.

Read more

 
Tadpole nebula

May 13, 2010

Asteroid Caught Marching Across Tadpole Nebula

A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, showcases the Tadpole nebula, and asteroids that just happened to be cruising by.

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A surprisingly large collections of galaxies (red dots in center) stands out at a remarkably large distance in this composite image combining infrared and visible-light observations.

May 11, 2010

Ancient City of Galaxies Looks Surprisingly Modern

In a recent deep excavation, courtesy of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers unearthed what may be the most distant, primitive cluster of galaxies ever found.

Read more

 

May 10, 2010

Herschel Finds a Hole in Space

The Herschel Space Observatory has made an unexpected discovery: a gaping hole in the clouds surrounding a batch of young stars.

Read more

 
The galactic bubble RCW 120

May 6, 2010

Herschel Gets Sneak Peak at Star Birth

The first scientific results from the Herschel infrared space observatory are revealing previously hidden details of star formation.

Read more

 
A low activity, star-formation region in the constellation Perseus, as seen by Planck.

April 26, 2010

Planck Sees a Cold and Stormy Orion

The big hunter in the sky is seen in a new light by Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of a methane-free planet

April 21, 2010

'This Planet Tastes Funny,' According to Spitzer

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered something odd about a distant planet -- it lacks methane, an ingredient common to many of the planets in our solar system.

Read more

 
This image shows the light from three planets orbiting a star 120 light-years away

April 14, 2010

Small, Ground-Based Telescope Images Three Exoplanets

Astronomers have snapped a picture of three planets orbiting a star beyond our own using a modest-sized telescope on the ground.

Read more

 
Video still of comet nearing the sun

April 13, 2010

Comets, the Solar System's Most Spectacular Nomads

An interactive web site provides an overview of comets - including details on their anatomy and information on comets that have been visited by spacecraft.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of Galaxy Evolution Explorer

April 12, 2010

Space Telescope Moves on with One Detector

Mission engineers and scientists with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer are no longer planning science observations around one of the space telescope's two ultraviolet detectors.

Read more

 
Big Babies in the Rosette Nebula

April 12, 2010

Herschel Reveals Ripening Stars Near Rosette Nebula

The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a cosmic garden of budding stars, each expected to grow to 10 times the mass of our sun.

Read more

 
IC 342 galaxy

April 7, 2010

Hiding Out Behind the Milky Way

A leggy cosmic creature comes out of hiding in this new infrared view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Read more

 
A colony of hot, young stars is stirring up the cosmic scene in this new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

April 1, 2010

Colony of Young Stars Shines in New Spitzer Image

Astronomers have their eyes on a hot group of young stars, watching their every move like the paparazzi.

Read more

 
A composite image from NASA's Chandra (blue) and Spitzer (green and red-yellow) space telescopes shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star

March 29, 2010

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Chandra/Spitzer Image

A new image from NASA's Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star.

Read more

 
This artist's conception illustrates one of the most primitive supermassive black holes known (central black dot) at the core of a young, star-rich galaxy.

March 17, 2010

NASA's Spitzer Unearths Primitive Black Holes

Astronomers have come across what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known.

Read more

 
Tendrils of cold dust

March 17, 2010

Planck Mission Images Galactic Web of Cold Dust

Tendrils of the coldest stuff in our galaxy can be seen in a new, large image from Planck, a mission surveying the whole sky to learn more about the birth of our universe.

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A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars.

March 16, 2010

WISE Captures a Cosmic Rose

A new infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows a cosmic rosebud blossoming with new stars.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope.

March 4, 2010

NASA's Kepler Mission Celebrates One Year in Space

One year ago this week, NASA's Kepler mission soared into the dark night sky, leaving a bright glow in its wake as it began to search for other worlds like Earth.

Read more

 
Data, called a spectrum, showing water and organics in the Orion nebula

March 4, 2010

Herschel Finds Possible Life-Enabling Molecules in Space

The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed the chemical fingerprints of potentially life-enabling organic molecules in the Orion nebula.

Read more

 
Carl Sagan

February 26, 2010

NASA Announces 2010 Carl Sagan Fellows

NASA has selected seven scientists as recipients of Carl Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships in exoplanet exploration for 2010.

Read more

 
Jurassic Space: Telescopes Probe Ancient Galaxies Near Us

February 18, 2010

Jurassic Space: Telescopes Probe Ancient Galaxies Near Us

Four NASA space telescopes -- Hubble, Spitzer, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer and Swift— help probe a dinosaur-like find of galactic proportions.

Read more

 
The Andromeda galaxy

February 17, 2010

NASA's WISE Mission Releases Medley of First Images

A diverse cast of cosmic characters is showcased in the first survey images NASA released Wednesday from its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Read more

 
First Comet Seen by WISE

February 11, 2010

WISE Spies a Comet with its Powerful Infrared Eye

WISE has discovered its first comet, one of many objects the mission is expected to find during its ongoing infrared survey of the sky.

Read more

 
This colorful cosmic view is part of a Spitzer Space Telescope art project 2010 Winter Olympics cultural festival in Vancouver.

February 9, 2010

Spitzer Goes to the Olympics

Artwork inspired by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is making an appearance at this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Read more

 
NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility

February 3, 2010

A Little Telescope Goes a Long Way

NASA astronomers have successfully demonstrated that a David of a telescope can tackle Goliath-size questions in the quest to study Earth-like planets around other stars.

Read more

 
This artist's concept shows a pair of cool brown dwarfs.

January 29, 2010

The Coolest of Orbs

Astronomers using several telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, have discovered what appears to be the coolest star-like body known.

Read more

 
near-Earth asteroid discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer

January 25, 2010

NASA's WISE Eye Spies Near-Earth Asteroid

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of WISE mapping the infrared sky

January 14, 2010

Infrared Hunt Begins: WISE Starts All-Sky Survey

NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) began its survey of the infrared sky today.

Read more

 
Infrared snapshot of a region in the constellation Carina near the Milky Way taken shortly after NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) ejected its cover.

January 6, 2010

NASA's WISE Eye Spies First Glimpse of the Starry Sky

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured its first look at the starry sky that it will soon begin surveying in infrared light.

Read more

 

January 6, 2010

Latest Astronomy Conference Update

Thousands of astronomers have amassed at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

Read more

 
This artist's conception shows a Jupiter-sized planet forming from a disk of dust and gas surrounding a young, massive star.

January 6, 2010

Planets Can Form Around Hefty Stars

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping scientists find evidence for planets around massive stars.

Read more

 
infrared portrait of the Small Magellanic Cloud

January 5, 2010

Galaxy Exposes Its Dusty Inner Workings in New Spitzer Image

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an action-packed picture of the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that looks like a wispy cloud when seen from Earth.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of Epsilon Aurigae.

January 5, 2010

Centuries-Old Star Mystery Coming to a Close

For almost two centuries, humans have looked up at a bright star called Epsilon Aurigae and watched with their own eyes as it seemed to disappear into the night sky.

Read more

 
Planet Size

January 4, 2010

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Five Exoplanets

NASA's Kepler space telescope, designed to find Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of sun-like stars, has discovered its first five new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system.

Read more

 
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Artist's Concept)

December 29, 2009

NASA's WISE Space Telescope Jettisons Its Cover

NASA's recently launched Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer opened its eyes to the starry sky today, after ejecting its protective cover.

Read more

 
Planets form around a young star in this artist's concept. Using the Keck Interferometer in Hawaii, astronomers have probed the structure of a dust disk around MWC 419 to within 50 million miles of the star. Credit: David A. Hardy/www.astroart.org

December 23, 2009

Keck Telescopes Gaze into Young Star's 'Life Zone.'

An astronomy team that includes JPL scientists has probed the inner structure of a dust disk around a star using the Keck Interferometer.

Read more

 
Infrared image of WISE launch

December 22, 2009

Prepping WISE to Pop Its Lens Cap

Engineers are getting ready to eject the cover on NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which launched from Vandengerg Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 14.

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The constellation Aquila

December 17, 2009

Dark Heart of the Eagle

The Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA/JPL participation, has revealed a surprising amount of activity in the Eagle nebula.

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WISE launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base

December 14, 2009

NASA's WISE Eye on the Universe Begins All-Sky Survey Mission

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, lifted off over the Pacific Ocean this morning on its way to map the entire sky in infrared light.

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The tower around the Delta II rocket carrying WISE has been rolled back

December 14, 2009

WISE has launched!

WISE has launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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WISE in the fairing mate

December 10, 2009

WISE Launch Rescheduled for December 14

The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is now rescheduled for Dec. 14.

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WISE in the fairing mate

December 9, 2009

WISE Launch Delayed 24 Hours

Liftoff of a Delta II rocket and its NASA payload, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has been delayed 24 hours.

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Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Artist's Concept)

December 9, 2009

NASA's WISE Set to Blast Off and Map the Skies

The countdown clock is ticking, with just days to go before the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, rockets into space on a mission to map the entire sky in infrared light.

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WISE in the fairing mate

December 4, 2009

WISE Launch Scheduled for Dec. 11

Launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is scheduled for Dec. 11.

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The world's largest image of our Milky Way galaxy

December 3, 2009

Spitzer Unveils Biggest Milky Way View at Adler Planetarium

The world's largest image of our Milky Way galaxy, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, went on display this week in Chicago.

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WISE in the fairing mate

November 30, 2009

WISE Snug in Its Nose Cone

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has been wrapped in the outer nose cone, or "fairing," that will protect it during its scheduled Dec. 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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Cassini Captures Ghostly Dance of Saturn's Northern Lights

November 24, 2009

Cassini Captures Ghostly Dance Of Saturn's Northern Lights

In the first video showing the auroras above the northern latitudes of Saturn, Cassini has spotted the tallest known "northern lights" in the solar system, flickering in shape and brightness high above the ringed planet.

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two young brown dwarfs

November 23, 2009

Spitzer Telescope Observes Baby Brown Dwarf

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has contributed to the discovery of the youngest brown dwarf ever observed -- a finding that, if confirmed, may solve an astronomical mystery about how these cosmic misfits are formed.

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Wise at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

November 23, 2009

WISE a Bit Closer to the Sky

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is now perched atop its rocket in preparations for a Dec. 9 liftoff.

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Artist's concept of NASA's Kepler space telescope.

November 20, 2009

Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazines Honor Kepler

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope has earned the 2009 Best of What's New Grand Award from Popular Science and a 2009 Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics.

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WFPC-2 on display at the Smithsonian

November 18, 2009

NASA Provides Venerable Hubble Hardware to Smithsonian

Two key instruments from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have a new home in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington after being returned to Earth aboard space shuttle Atlantis last May.

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Artist's concept of WISE mapping the infrared sky

November 17, 2009

NASA's WISE Gets Ready to Survey the Whole Sky

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is chilled out, sporting a sunshade and getting ready to roll.

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WISE surrounded in scaffolding in preparation for freezing its hydrogen

November 11, 2009

WISE Is Chilling Out

Engineers are busy cooling the science instrument on NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

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NASA's Great Observatories Examine the Galactic Center Region

November 10, 2009

NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate International Year of Astronomy

A never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way galaxy is being unveiled by NASA today. This event will commemorate the 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1609.

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An infrared image of the young star HR 8799

November 4, 2009

Unsettled Youth: Spitzer Observes a Chaotic Planetary System

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a young star with evidence of the same kind of orbital hyperactivity that our planets had before they found their way to the stable orbits they circle in today.

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This artist's concept shows a cloudy Jupiter-like planet that orbits very close to its fiery hot star.

October 20, 2009

Astronomers Do It Again: Find Organic Molecules Around Gas Planet

Peering far beyond our solar system, NASA researchers have detected the basic chemistry for life in a second hot gas planet, advancing astronomers toward the goal of being able to characterize planets where life could exist.

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Space dust as viewed from the Herschel Observatory

October 2, 2009

Herschel's Multi-Hued View of the Sky

A new image from the Herschel Observatory shows off the observatory's talents for seeing multiple wavelengths of light.

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Artist's concept showing a lump of material in a swirling, planet-forming disk

September 23, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Spots Clump of Swirling Planetary Material

Astronomers have witnessed odd behavior around a young star. Something, perhaps another star or a planet, appears to be pushing a clump of planet-forming material around.

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Artist's concept of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

September 18, 2009

In Search of Dark Asteroids (and Other Sneaky Things)

Ninjas knew how to be stealthy: Be dark. Emit very little light. Move in the shadows between bright places.

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Planck's first glimpse at the universe

September 17, 2009

Planck Snaps its First Images of Ancient Cosmic Light

The Planck mission has captured its first rough images of the sky, demonstrating the observatory is working and ready to measure light from the dawn of time.

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Centaurus A galaxy

September 4, 2009

NASA Approves X-ray Space Mission

NASA recently confirmed that the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission will launch in August 2011.

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Images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

August 19, 2009

Galaxies Demand a Stellar Recount

For decades, astronomers have gone about their business of studying the cosmos with the assumption that stars of certain sizes form in certain quantities.

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WISE arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base

August 17, 2009

NASA's WISE Mission Arrives at Launch Site

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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An artist's conception of Planck.

August 13, 2009

Planck Sees Light Billions of Years Old

The Planck space telescope has begun to collect light left over from the Big Bang explosion that created our universe.

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image combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the star-forming cloud Cepheus B

August 12, 2009

Space Telescopes Find Trigger-Happy Star Formation

A new study from two of NASA's Great Observatories provides fresh insight into how some stars are born, along with a beautiful new image of a stellar nursery in our Milky Way galaxy.

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This artist's concept shows a celestial body about the size of our moon slamming at great speed into a body the size of Mercury.

August 10, 2009

Planet Smash-Up Sends Vaporized Rock, Hot Lava Flying

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found evidence of a high-speed collision between two burgeoning planets around a young star.

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These images are some of the first to be taken during Spitzer's warm mission, a new phase that began after the telescope

August 5, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Sees The Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is starting a second career and taking its first shots of the cosmos since warming up.

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Swan nebula

July 27, 2009

Warmed Up and Ready to Go

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has put its infrared eyes back on the sky to observe the cold and dusty universe.

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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center.

July 23, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Images Out-of-This-World Galaxy

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a wild creature of the dark -- a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center.

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Gentry Lee

July 14, 2009

JPL Engineer Narrates 'Are We Alone?'

Gentry Lee, a chief engineer for JPL's solar system missions, narrates a two-hour documentary that explores the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

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galaxy called M74 at three different wavelengths

July 10, 2009

Herschel Instruments Get First Peek at Cosmos

All three of Herschel's instruments have now opened their eyes and collected their first astronomy data.

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Three-colour far-infrared image of M51, the 'whirlpool galaxy'.

June 26, 2009

Herschel Opens Its Infrared Eyes

The Herschel Space Observatory has snapped its first picture since blasting into space on May 14, 2009.

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artist's concept of Herschel in space

June 15, 2009

Herschel's Cover Flips Open

The Herschel observatory has flipped its lid -- the cover protecting the telescope's instruments was successfully removed on June 14, 2009.

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artist's concept of extrasolar planet

June 12, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Five 'Holy Grails' of Distant Solar Systems

Fridays@5, a new series bringing you five cool ideas from a scientist or engineer, debuts today. First up, JPL and Caltech 's Angelle Tanner lists goals in extrasolar planet research.

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June 12, 2009

Planck Chills Out

A JPL-developed and -built cooler on the Planck spacecraft has chilled the mission's low-frequency instrument down to its operating temperature.

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WISE Project Scientist Peter Eisenhardt stands next to the fully assembled WISE satellite

June 10, 2009

WISE Mission Assembled and Preparing for Launch

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been assembled and is undergoing final preparations for a planned Nov. 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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three baby stars in the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy

June 10, 2009

Baby Stars Finally Found in Jumbled Galactic Center

Astronomers have at last uncovered newborn stars at the frenzied center of our Milky Way galaxy.

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This artist's concept shows the smallest star known to host a planet.

May 28, 2009

Planet-Hunting Method Succeeds at Last

A long-proposed tool for hunting planets has netted its first catch -- a Jupiter-like planet orbiting one of the smallest stars known.

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Space Shuttle Atlantis lands

May 26, 2009

'Camera That Saved Hubble' Returns To Earth

The JPL-built Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 returned to Earth aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis Sunday (5/24/09). The camera was the Hubble Space Telescope's longest serving instrument.

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 artist's concept of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

May 19, 2009

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Coming Together

The science instrument for NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has been shipped to Boulder, Colo.

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Artist's concept of Spitzer Space Telescope

May 15, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Begins Warm Mission

After more than five-and-a-half years of probing the cool cosmos, Spitzer has run out of the coolant that kept its infrared instruments chilled.

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launch of Herschel/Planck

May 14, 2009

Herschel and Planck on Way to Study Our Cosmic Roots

The Herschel and Planck spacecraft successfully blasted into space on May 14 from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

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astronauts remove Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2f rom Hubble

May 14, 2009

'Camera That Saved Hubble' - Didn't Want to Leave

After struggling with a frozen bolt, spacewalking astronauts removed the JPL-built Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope today (Thurs.).

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Artist concept of Kepler

May 13, 2009

Let the Planet Hunt Begin

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has begun its search for other Earth-like worlds.

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A young sun-like star encircled by its planet-forming disk of gas and dust.

May 13, 2009

Spitzer Catches Star Cooking Up Comet Crystals

Scientists have long wondered how tiny silicate crystals, which need sizzling high temperatures to form, have found their way into frozen comets, born in the deep freeze of the solar system's outer edges.

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montage of Hubble and astronauts

May 13, 2009

Astronauts to Lift JPL-Built Camera Out of Hubble

Spacewalking astronauts will remove the JPL-built Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope tomorrow (Thurs.).

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Artist concept of the rocket carrying Herschel and Planck

May 12, 2009

Herschel and Planck Almost Ready for Liftoff

Two missions to study our cosmic roots, Herschel and Planck, are stacked atop the same Ariane 5 rocket, waiting to blast into space on Thurs., May 14.

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shuttle launch

May 11, 2009

Mission to Return JPL-Built Hubble Camera Underway

Space Shuttle Atlantis has lifted on a mission whose goals include extracting and returning the JPL-built Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

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planetary nebula known as Kohoutek 4-55

May 10, 2009

Hubble Photographs a Planetary Nebula to Commemorate Decommissioning of Super Camera

The Hubble Space Telescope photographed a planetary nebula to commemorate the decommissioning of a super camera.

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M100 Galactic Nucleus

May 10, 2009

The Camera That Saved Hubble... Twice: JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2

The story and the people behind Hubble's imaging workhorse.

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Helix Nebula

May 6, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Warms Up To New Career

The primary mission of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is about to end after more than five-and-a-half years of probing the cosmos with its keen infrared eye.

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artist concept of Herschel and Planck

May 5, 2009

Herschel and Planck Share Ride to Space

Two missions to study the cosmos are scheduled to blast into space May 14 aboard the same rocket from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

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Hourglass Nebula

May 5, 2009

A Universal Art Form: NASA's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2

Throughout history, humanity has been moved by the work of the great artists of their age.

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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Interview

May 4, 2009

If Spitzer Could Talk: An Interview with NASA's Coolest Space Telescope

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is about to use its last drop of the coolant that has chilled it for the past five-and-a-half years.

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Hubble Deep Field

May 4, 2009

Top Five Breakthroughs From Hubble's Workhorse Camera

Here are five things you should know about JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, which is the oldest and longest working instrument aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

April 30, 2009

Why Are Galaxies So Smooth?

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal how stars are dispersed in spiral galaxies.

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NASA's Galaxy Mission Celebrates Sixth Anniversary

April 28, 2009

NASA's Galaxy-Exploring Mission Celebrates Sixth Anniversary

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Mission marks its sixth anniversary studying galaxies beyond our Milky Way through its sensitive ultraviolet telescope.

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blob of gas named Himiko

April 22, 2009

Spitzer Teams up With Other Telescopes to Find Big Blob

A suite of telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, has discovered a giant blob of gas in the very distant universe.

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NASA's Hubble Space telescope captured an image of gas, dust, and stars

April 21, 2009

Hubble Captures 'Fountain of Youth'

A "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas and dust was photographed with the JPL-built and -developed Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on Hubble.

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artist concept of white dwarf

April 20, 2009

Solar Systems Around Dead Suns?

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers has found that at least one in 100 white dwarf stars shows evidence of orbiting asteroids and rocky planets.

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Kepler's full field of view

April 16, 2009

NASA's Kepler Captures First Views of Planet-Hunting Territory

NASA's Kepler mission has taken its first images of the star-rich sky where it will soon begin hunting for planets like Earth.

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Blast experiment

April 8, 2009

Balloon Experiment Catches Half the Universe's Starlight

Jamie Bock of JPL is part of a team that used a balloon-borne experiment called Blast and NASA's Spitzer telescope to hunt for faraway galaxies.

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artist concept of Kepler dust cover coming off

April 7, 2009

Dust Cover Jettisoned From NASA's Kepler Telescope

Engineers have successfully ejected the dust cover from NASA's Kepler telescope, a spaceborne mission soon to begin searching for worlds like Earth.

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This artist's conception shows a young, hypothetical planet around a cool star.

April 7, 2009

Cool Stars Have Different Mix of Life-Forming Chemicals

Life on Earth is thought to have arisen from a hot soup of chemicals. Does this same soup exist on planets around other stars?

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artist concept of Kepler dust cover coming off

April 7, 2009

Kepler Dust Cover Poised for Removal

The dust cover on NASA's Kepler spacecraft is scheduled to be ejected tonight.

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M33, Jupiter's Ghost and Arp 274

April 3, 2009

Deep-Space Images Released for Astronomy Webcast

New NASA/JPL images from two missions and a Hubble camera are being released today as part of an International Year of Astronomy event.

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Cartwheel Galaxy

April 2, 2009

NASA Joins 'Around the World in 80 Telescopes'

A collection of NASA missions will be involved in a live event Friday, April 3, that will allow the public to get an inside look at how these missions are run.

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This artist's conception shows a hypothetical twin Earth orbiting a Sun-like star.

March 19, 2009

JPL Astronomer Assesses Challenges of Finding Life Elsewhere

New research co-led by JPL's Wes Traub discusses how and where NASA's James Webb Space Telescope might look for signs of life.

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This image of a pair of colliding galaxies called NGC 6240

March 16, 2009

Hearts of Galaxies Close in for Cosmic Train Wreck

A new image from Spitzer offers a rare view of an imminent collision between the cores of two galaxies, each powered by a black hole with millions of times the mass of the sun.

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'Cat's Eye' Planetary Nebula

March 12, 2009

Galactic Dust Bunnies Found to Contain Carbon After All

Galactic Dust Bunnies Found to Contain Carbon After All Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers have found evidence suggesting that stars rich in carbon complex molecules may form at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

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United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket

March 6, 2009

NASA's Kepler Mission Rockets to Space in Search of Other Earths

NASA's Kepler mission successfully launched into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II at 10:49 p.m. EST (7:49 p.m. PST), Friday, March 6.

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March 5, 2009

NASA's Kepler Mission Set for Launch

NASA's Kepler mission to seek other Earth-like planets is undergoing final preparations for liftoff Friday, March 6.

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artist concept of Kepler in space

March 5, 2009

Five Things About Kepler

Here are some quick facts about the Kepler mission, scheduled to launch March 6, 2009.

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Planck coming off plane

March 3, 2009

Planck Arrives at Launch Pad

The Planck spacecraft has arrived at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana, where it is scheduled to be launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket on April 16.

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Kepler on launch pad

March 3, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Almost There

JPL systems engineer Tracy Drain blogs about the upcoming launch of NASA's Kepler mission, which will look for Earth-like planets.

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Carl Sagan

February 25, 2009

NASA Announces 2009 Astronomy and Astrophysics Fellows

NASA has selected fellows in three areas of astronomy and astrophysics for its Einstein, Hubble, and Sagan Fellowships.

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Mobile service tower at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

February 24, 2009

Kepler One Step Closer to Launch

NASA's Kepler spacecraft was successfully mated to its rocket in preparation for a March 5 launch.

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artist concept of Kepler in space

February 19, 2009

NASA's Kepler Mission to Seek Other Earths

NASA's Kepler spacecraft is ready to be moved to the launch pad today and will soon begin a journey to search for worlds that could potentially host life.

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dwarf galaxies forming

February 18, 2009

New Recipe for Dwarf Galaxies: Start With Leftover Gas

There is more than one way to make a dwarf galaxy, and NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has found a new recipe.

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Herschel arriving at launch site

February 17, 2009

Herschel Arrives at Launch Site

The Herschel observatory has arrived at its launch pad at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana.

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spiral galaxy Messier 101

February 10, 2009

NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate International Year of Astronomy

Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1609, marking the dawn of modern astronomy.

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galaxy cluster Abell

February 3, 2009

JPL Blog: How We See Dark Matter

Astronomer Dan Coe ponders one of the most elusive components of the universe, dark matter.

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computer-generated images chart the development of severe weather patterns on the exoplanet

January 28, 2009

Astronomers Observe Planet With Wild Temperature Swings

The "hot-headed" planet, observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, is a gas giant that orbits a star 190 light-years from Earth.

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dust forming around a dying star

January 15, 2009

Spitzer Finds Dust Around Primitive Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has observed dust forming around a dying star in a nearby galaxy, enlivening a debate about the origins of all cosmic dust.

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runaway stars

January 7, 2009

Hubble Finds Stars That 'Go Ballistic'

JPLer Raghvendra Sahai and colleagues found several runaway stars, racing through space like bullets.

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January 7, 2009

Latest Astronomy Conference Update: Balloon Mission

News from the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Long Beach, Calif.

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Kepler arriving in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

January 7, 2009

Planet-Finding Mission Arrives in Florida

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, scheduled to launch in March on a journey to search for other Earths, arrived in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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artist concept of white dwarf

January 5, 2009

Dead Stars Tell Story of Planet Birth

Observations made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal six dead "white dwarf" stars littered with the remains of shredded asteroids.

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Ali Vanderveld

December 22, 2008

What Can Swiss Cheese Teach us About Dark Energy?

About 10 years ago, scientists reached the astonishing conclusion that our universe is accelerating apart at ever-increasing speeds, stretching space and time itself like melted cheese.

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Kepler spacecraft

December 18, 2008

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Ready to Ship to Florida

Engineers are getting ready to pack NASA's Kepler spacecraft into a container and ship it off to its launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

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Jupiter and Ganymede

December 18, 2008

Hubble Eyes Jupiter-Ganymede Combo

The JPL-developed and -built Wide Field and Planetary 2 camera on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a view of Jupiter with its moon Ganymede.

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 nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars

December 16, 2008

Planets Living on the Edge

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows one unlucky lot of stars, born into a dangerous neighborhood.

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This artist's concept shows the dimmest star-like bodies currently known

December 10, 2008

Astronomers Find the Two Dimmest Stellar Bulbs

It's a tie! The new record-holder for dimmest known star-like object in the universe goes to twin "failed" stars, each of which shines feebly with only one millionth the light of our sun.

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Artist view of Exoplanet

December 9, 2008

Hubble Telescope Finds Carbon Dioxide on an Extrasolar Planet

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star.

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Swan nebula

December 8, 2008

Rivers of Gas Flow Around Stars in New Space Image

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a turbulent star-forming region, where rivers of gas and stellar winds are eroding thickets of dusty material.

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Tycho supernova remnant

December 3, 2008

Vivid Death of a Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope contributed to this view of the remains of a star whose death was witnessed on Earth centuries ago.

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galaxies

November 20, 2008

JPL's Hubble Camera Chips In To Galactic Core Portrait

JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 contributed to a new portrait of one of the universe's most brilliant star-making galaxies.

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artist concept of NuSTAR

November 20, 2008

Magazine Honors a Star of NuSTAR

Principal investigators for two JPL-managed missions -- Fiona Harrison of Caltech, with the NuSTAR mission, and Maria Zuber of MIT, with the Grail moon mission -- are honored by U.S. News & World Report as two of "America's Best Leaders."

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planet Fomalhaut b orbiting its parent star, Fomalhaut

November 13, 2008

Hubble Directly Observes a Planet Orbiting Another Star

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star.

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cristobalite

November 11, 2008

Dusty Shock Waves Generate Planet Ingredients

Shock waves around dusty, young stars might be creating the raw materials for planets, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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visible light and ultraviolet view of Ghost of Mirach

October 31, 2008

'Ghost of Mirach' Materializes in Space Telescope Image

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has lifted the veil off a ghost known to haunt the local universe, providing new insight into the formation and evolution of galaxies.

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pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies

October 30, 2008

JPL's Hubble Camera Keeps on Clicking

The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, designed and built by JPL, is back in the image business. It has been a workhorse on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope since 1993.

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Einstein ring

October 28, 2008

The Great Cosmology Challenge

Cosmologists at JPL and other institutions are challenging researchers to come up with better statistical tools for probing dark matter and dark energy.

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Artist concept of a dual asteroid belt

October 27, 2008

Closest Planetary System Hosts Two Asteroid Belts

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicate that the nearest planetary system to our own has two asteroid belts. Our own solar system has just one.

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comet Holmes

October 13, 2008

NASA's Spitzer Gets Sneak Peek Inside Comet Holmes

When comet Holmes unexpectedly erupted in 2007, professional and amateur astronomers around the world turned their telescopes toward the spectacular event.

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star-forming region

October 8, 2008

Splashy Portrait Helps Explain How Stars Form

Different wavelengths of light swirl together like watercolors in a new, ethereal portrait of a bright, star-forming region.

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artist works on installation

October 7, 2008

Artists and Astronomers 'Observe' the Universe Together

A new exhibition opening in Pasadena brings artists and astronomers together to create original pieces of art. The project is a collaboration between the Art Center College of Design and NASA's Spitzer Science Center.

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star-forming region

October 2, 2008

Stellar Landscape for 10 Years of Hubble Heritage

This landscape-like picture of a star-forming region contains data taken earlier this year with JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

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Cassiopeia A

October 1, 2008

Infrared Echoes Give NASA's Spitzer a Supernova Flashback

Hot spots near the shattered remains of an exploded star are echoing the blast's first moments, say scientists using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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NASA's Kepler spacecraft

September 23, 2008

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Baked and Ready for More Tests

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler mission, scheduled to launch in 2009, has survived an extreme temperature test.

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jet of gas firing out of a very young star

September 18, 2008

Water Hit With Young Star's Best Shot

Water is being blasted to pieces by a young star's laser-like jets, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Mid-Infrared Instrument

September 17, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll: James Webb Telescope Components Pass Tests

You might think that shaking and freezing a state-of-the-art, meticulously crafted machine is a bad idea.

Read more

 
Carl Sagan

September 3, 2008

NASA's Carl Sagan Fellows to Study Extraterrestrial Worlds

NASA announced Wednesday the new Carl Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships in Exoplanet Exploration, created to inspire the next generation of explorers seeking to learn more about planets, and possibly life, around other stars.

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star-forming region, called W5

August 22, 2008

Generations of Stars Pose for Family Portrait

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells a tale of life and death amidst a rich family history.

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cluster brimming with millions of stars

August 20, 2008

Most Black Holes Might Come in Only Small and Large

Black holes are sometimes huge cosmic beasts, billions of times the mass of our sun, and sometimes petite with just a few times the sun's mass.

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nebula 170,000 light-years away

August 11, 2008

JPL Camera Marks Hubble's 100,000th Orbit

To commemorate Hubble's 100,000th orbit on Aug. 10, scientists used a JPL-designed and -built camera onboard the space telescope snapped this dazzling region of a nebula 170,000 light-years away.

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Messier 101

July 21, 2008

Spitzer Reveals 'No Organics' Zone Around Pinwheel Galaxy

The Pinwheel galaxy is gussied up in infrared light in a new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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second brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy

July 15, 2008

Brightest Star in the Galaxy Has New Competition

A contender for the title of brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy has been unearthed in the dusty metropolis of the galaxy's center.

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most active star-making galaxy in the very distant universe

July 10, 2008

Rare 'Star-Making Machine' Found in Distant Universe

Astronomers have uncovered an extreme stellar machine -- a galaxy in the very remote universe pumping out stars at a surprising rate of up to 4,000 per year.

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Giovanni Fazio

July 7, 2008

Spitzer Team Member Wins Gold Medal

Spitzer science team member Giovanni Fazio has won a prestigious award for his outstanding contributions to space science.

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section of a supernova remnant

July 1, 2008

Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks

Observations from JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 contributed to this image showing a delicate ribbon of gas floating eerily in space.

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infrared view of dust and stars radiating in the inner Milky Way

June 3, 2008

Spitzer Captures Stellar Coming of Age in Our Galaxy

More than 800,000 snapshots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have been stitched together to create a new "coming of age" portrait of stars in our inner Milky Way galaxy.

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artist concept of Milky Way

June 3, 2008

Two of the Milky Way's Spiral Arms Go Missing

New images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are shedding light on the true structure of the Milky Way, revealing that it has just two major arms of stars instead of the four it was previously thought to possess.

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remnant of a star that exploded and its surrounding light echoes

May 29, 2008

Scientists Hold Seance for Supernova

Astronomers have unearthed secrets from the grave of a star that blasted apart in a supernova explosion long ago.

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 ghostly ring extending seven light-years across around the corpse of a massive star

May 28, 2008

Strange Ring Found Circling Dead Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a bizarre ring of material around the magnetic remains of a star that blasted to smithereens.

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artist concept of exoplanet

May 27, 2008

Experts Discuss How to Find Another Earth

On May 29 and 30, astronomers and scientists from all around the world will gather in Pasadena to discuss how we might find another Earth, and how we might detect possible life on it.

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artist concept of Kepler

May 5, 2008

NASA Kepler Mission Offers Opportunity to Send Names Into Space

Here's your chance to have your name on board the spacecraft that could discover the first known Earth-like planet beyond our solar system.

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ultraviolet view of galaxy M106

April 28, 2008

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Celebrates Five Years in Space

Since its launch five years ago, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer has photographed hundreds of millions of galaxies in ultraviolet light.

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Arp 148

April 24, 2008

Wild Galaxies Collide

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 18th anniversary with a new collection of images showcasing colliding galaxies, including some captured by JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

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M83 galaxy

April 16, 2008

Stellar Birth in the Galactic Wilderness

A new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows baby stars sprouting in the backwoods of a galaxy.

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cluster brimming with millions of stars

April 10, 2008

Spitzer Sees Shining Stellar Sphere

Millions of clustered stars glisten like an iridescent opal in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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powerful gamma ray burst

April 10, 2008

Hubble Pinpoints Record-Breaking Explosion

JPL's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured an optical image of what was a titanic gamma-ray blast.

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artist concept of extrasolar planet HD 189733b

March 19, 2008

Astronomers Detect First Organic Molecule on an Exoplanet

A team of astronomers, led by JPL's Mark Swain, has made the first detection ever of an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting another star.

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Mark Swain

March 19, 2008

JPL's Mark Swain: Expert on Exoplanets and Espresso

Coffee is one of the tools that Mark Swain, a JPL research scientist, uses to stay sharp when he studies exoplanets, or planets around other stars.

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Artist concept ofyoung star encircled by a disk of gas and dust.

March 13, 2008

Spitzer Finds Organics and Water Where New Planets May Grow

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there.

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artist concept of planet circling star

March 3, 2008

JPL Helps Shoot for the Moon, Stars, Planets and More

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.

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This artist's concept shows a multitude of tiny diamonds next to a hot star.

February 26, 2008

Spitzer's Eyes Perfect for Spotting Diamonds in the Sky

Diamonds may be rare on Earth, but surprisingly common in space -- and the super-sensitive infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are perfect for scouting them.

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artist concept of Kepler

February 20, 2008

Tests Underway for Kepler Mission Image Detectors

Sensitive detectors that may help find habitable planets orbiting distant stars as part of NASA's Kepler Mission are undergoing tests at NASA Ames Research Center in Northern California.

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artist concept shows montage rocky, terrestrial worlds

February 17, 2008

Many, Perhaps Most, Nearby Sun-Like Stars May Form Rocky Planets

Astronomers have discovered that terrestrial planets might form around many, if not most, of the nearby sun-like stars in our galaxy.

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artist concept of infrared view showing what star and its planet may look like

February 15, 2008

NASA Sponsors Studies of Next Generation Astronomy Missions

JPL is involved in 15 of 19 science teams selected by NASA to conduct yearlong studies of new concepts for its next generation of major observatories.

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cluster of yellowish galaxies

February 12, 2008

Astronomers Eye Ultra-Young, Bright Galaxy in Early Universe

NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, with a boost from a natural "zoom lens," have uncovered what may be one of the youngest and brightest galaxies ever seen in the middle of the cosmic "dark ages."

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Young Stars in Their Baby Blanket of Dust

February 11, 2008

Spitzer Catches Young Stars in Their Baby Blanket of Dust

Newborn stars peek out from beneath their natal blanket of dust in this dynamic image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Mission control room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

January 31, 2008

NASA and the Beatles Celebrate Anniversaries by Beaming Song 'Across the Universe' Into Deep Space

For the first time ever, NASA will beam a song - The Beatles "Across the Universe" -- directly into deep space at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, Feb. 4.

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Keck telescopes

January 28, 2008

Linked Hawaiian Telescopes Catch a Nova Surprise

First results from NASA's Keck Interferometer in Hawaii are helping scientists overturn long-standing assumptions about powerful nova explosions.

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representation of galaxies in and surrounding a galaxy cluster

January 25, 2008

Cosmic Suburbia Is a Better Breeding Ground for Stars

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that galaxies prefer to raise stars in cosmic suburbia rather than in "big cities."

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stellar debris in Large Magellanic Cloud

January 15, 2008

NASA Unveils Cosmic Images Book in Braille for Blind Readers

NASA unveiled a new book that brings majestic images taken by its Great Observatories to the fingertips of the blind.

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This artist's concept illustrates the two types of spiral galaxies that populate our universe

January 10, 2008

Even Thin Galaxies Can Grow Fat Black Holes

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected plump black holes where least expected -- skinny galaxies.

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blown-out remains of a stellar explosion

December 20, 2007

10,000 Earths' Worth of Fresh Dust Found Near Star Explosion

Astronomers have at last found definitive evidence that the universe's first dust -- the celestial stuff that seeded future generations of stars and planets -- was forged in the explosions of massive stars.

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black hole jet at the center of a galaxy strikes the edge of another galaxy

December 17, 2007

Black Hole Fires at Neighboring Galaxy

A powerful jet from a supermassive black hole is blasting another galaxy, according to new results from NASA telescopes, including Spitzer.

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diagram or MIRI instrument

December 6, 2007

James Webb Space Telescope Instrument Gets Vision Test

A model of the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-InfraRed Instrument, currently being co-developed by JPL, will be tested in England to ensure the final instrument can see infrared light.

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Keck Interferometer

December 5, 2007

NASA Mega-Telescope Gears Up to Study Cosmos

NASA has selected three teams of scientists to begin studying disks of dust around nearby stars starting in February 2008, using the Keck Interferometer in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

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PlanetQuest website

November 29, 2007

Keep Track of New Worlds: PlanetQuest 2.0

More than 260 planets have already been discovered orbiting other stars, and new ones are found almost every month

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infrared view of a developing star and its flaring jets

November 29, 2007

Embryonic Star Captured With Jets Flaring

A developing star wrapped in a black cocoon of dust is seen sprouting giant jets in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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artist's rendition of a one-million-year-old star system

November 28, 2007

Youthful Star Sprouts Planets Early

A stellar prodigy has been spotted about 450 light-years away in a system called UX Tau A by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Earth and moon

November 20, 2007

Astronomers Say Moons Like Ours Are Uncommon

The next time you take a moonlit stroll, or admire a full, bright-white moon looming in the night sky, you might count yourself lucky.

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Pleiades star cluster

November 15, 2007

Planets Forming in Pleiades Star Cluster

Rocky planets might have formed or might still be forming around a star in the Pleiades star cluster, according to evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and a ground-based telescope.

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This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 300.

November 14, 2007

Watching Galaxies Grow Old Gracefully

In the early 1900s, Edwin Hubble made the startling discovery that our Milky Way galaxy is not alone.

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Bubbly Little Star

November 8, 2007

Spitzer Spies a Stellar Bubble Blower

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a baby star 1,140 light-years away from Earth blowing two massive "bubbles." But instead of bubble gum, this youngster, called HH 46/47, is using powerful jets of gas to make bubbles in outer space.

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artist concept of exoplanet

November 6, 2007

Scientists Discover Record Fifth Planet Orbiting Nearby Star

Astronomers have announced the discovery of a fifth planet circling 55 Cancri, a star beyond our solar system.

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Interacting Galaxy Pair Arp 87

October 30, 2007

Dancing with the Stars Takes on a Whole New Twist

Two galaxies perform an intricate dance in this new picture taken by the JPL-built and designed Wide Field and Planetary 2 Camera, onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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A growing black hole, called a quasar, can be seen at the center of a faraway galaxy in this artist's concept.

October 25, 2007

Missing Black Hole Report: Hundreds Found!

Astronomers have unmasked hundreds of black holes hiding deep inside dusty galaxies billions of light-years away.

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two galaxies

October 22, 2007

To Catch a Galactic Thief

On Earth, thieves steal everything from diamonds to art to bags full of money. In space, gas - fuel for making stars - is a commodity worth the price of theft.

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Artist concept of dusty grains

October 9, 2007

Astronomers Find Dust in the Wind of Black Holes

The hit song that proclaimed, "All we are is dust in the wind," may have some cosmic truth to it.

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tiny galaxy, nearly halfway across the universe

October 4, 2007

Astronomers Map Itsy Bitsy Galaxy Halfway Across Universe

An international team of scientists has used a trick of nature to measure a tiny galaxy halfway across the universe.

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infrared image of a mini-quasar in the act of being created some

October 3, 2007

Google Sky Sees Many Wavelengths

New "far out" views of the distant universe from Spitzer, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer and other telescopes were released to Google Sky. Peter Eisenhardt and Leonidas Moustakas of JPL helped capture some of the images.

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artist's conception shows a binary-star, or two-star, system, called HD 113766

October 3, 2007

Star System 'Just Right' for Building an Earth

An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Judith Pipher

September 25, 2007

Women's Hall of Fame Pick Spitzer Astronomer

National Women's Hall of Fame has selected a Spitzer Space Telescope astronomer to join its ranks. Judith Pipher of the University of Rochester, N.Y., helped develop Spitzer's infrared array camera, which continues to unveil the cosmos.

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jet near a black hole

September 21, 2007

NASA Restarts Telescope Mission to Detect Black Holes

NASA has made a decision to restart an astronomy mission that will have greater capability than any existing instrument for detecting black holes in the local universe.

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A Star-Formation Neighbor

September 13, 2007

A Star-Formation Neighbor

While perhaps not quite as well known as its star-formation cousin Orion, the Corona Australis region (containing, at its heart, the Coronet cluster) is one of the nearest and most active regions of ongoing star formation.

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two gaseous clouds, or planetary nebulae

September 12, 2007

Stars Go Out in Style

New snapshots from space illustrate the colorful evolution of dying sun-like stars. The images were captured by the JPL-built and designed Wide Field and Planetary 2 Camera, onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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Hubble Ultra Deep Field, with several objects identified as faintest, most compact

September 6, 2007

NASA Space Telescopes Find 'Lego-Block' Galaxies in Early Universe

NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have joined forces to discover nine of the smallest, faintest, most compact galaxies ever observed in the distant universe.

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artist concept of fledgling solar system

August 29, 2007

Water Vapor Seen 'Raining Down' On Young Star System

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected enough water vapor to fill the oceans on Earth five times inside the collapsing nest of a forming star system.

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Helix nebula

August 24, 2007

Spitzer Celebrates Fourth Anniversary with Celestial Fireworks

A newly expanded image of the Helix nebula lends a festive touch to the fourth anniversary of the launch of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Mira and its tail

August 15, 2007

Speeding-Bullet Star Leaves Enormous Streak Across Sky

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has spotted an amazingly long comet-like tail behind a star streaking through space at supersonic speeds.

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large galaxies that have begun to merge

August 6, 2007

NASA'S Spitzer Spies Monster Galaxy Pileup

Four galaxies are slamming into each other and kicking up billions of stars in one of the largest cosmic smash-ups ever observed.

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artist's concept of 4-star system

July 24, 2007

Spitzer Finds Evidence for Planets with Four Parents

How many stars does it take to "raise" a planet? New research from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows that planets might be forming in systems with as many as four stars.

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artist's concept shows a gas-giant exoplanet transiting across the face of its star

July 11, 2007

NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor on Hot, Alien Planet

A scorching-hot gas planet beyond our solar system is steaming up with water vapor, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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globular star cluster NGC 362

June 20, 2007

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Spies Band of Stars

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer's ultraviolet eyes have captured a globular star cluster, called NGC 362, in our own Milky Way galaxy.

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diagram of MIRI

June 19, 2007

NASA/European Space Agency Sign for JPL-Managed Projects

JPL manages the U.S. portion of projects covered in new NASA-European Space Agency agreements ­James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument, and LISA Pathfinder mission's Disturbance Reduction System Package. JPL is a partner on the full LISA mission.

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This false-color composite from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the remnant of one such explosion.

June 13, 2007

Spitzer Searches for the Origins of Life

Astronomers suspect the early Earth was a very harsh place. Temperatures were extreme, and the planet was constantly bombarded by cosmic debris.

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10 intriguing stars of 2007

June 7, 2007

Meet the 10 Most Intriguing Stars of 2007

They don't have official fan clubs, but some stars in the sky have a huge following among astronomers. Meet "2007'S 10 Most Intriguing Stars" in a new slide show.

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June 4, 2007

M81 Galaxy is Pretty in Pink

The perfectly picturesque spiral galaxy known as Messier 81, or M81, looks sharp in this new composite from Spitzer, Hubble and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

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artist concept illustrates how Spitzer and a depth-perceiving trick called parallax allowed astronomers to determine the distance to an invisible Milky Way object

May 30, 2007

NASA Space Telescope Gives Scientists Depth Perception

Astronomers now have a new "eye" for determining the distance to certain mysterious bodies in and around our Milky Way galaxy.

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dwarf galaxies in Coma cluster

May 29, 2007

Spitzer Nets Thousands of Galaxies in a Giant Cluster

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has bagged more than a thousand previously unknown dwarf galaxies in a giant cluster of galaxies.

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This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars

May 17, 2007

Baby Stars Hatching in Orion's Head

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars "hatching" in the head of Orion, the famous hunter constellation visible from northern hemispheres during winter nights.

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The Enterprise orbiting planet Vulcan. (Star Trek images courtesy STARTREK.COM, Copyright 2007 CBS Studios Inc.)

May 10, 2007

Mission Could Seek Out Spock's Home Planet

Astronomers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have concluded that the SIM PlanetQuest mission would be able to detect an Earth-like planet around 40 Eridani, a star familiar to "Star Trek" fans as the location of planet Vulcan.

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Composite radio/optical/ultraviolet image of NGC 5291

May 10, 2007

Recycled Dwarf Galaxies Have 'Missing Mass'

Astronomers have found that dwarf galaxies made of debris from colliding galaxies are surprisingly massive. This might reveal much previously undetected "missing mass." Images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescopes formed a foundation for the research.

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Temperature Map of an Exoplanet

May 9, 2007

NASA Finds Extremely Hot Planet, Makes First Exoplanet Weather Map

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have learned what the weather is like on two distant, exotic worlds.

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ultraviolet image of M81

May 1, 2007

Galaxy Mission Completes Four Star-Studded Years in Space

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer celebrates its fourth anniversary with some of the "hottest stars" in the M81 spiral galaxy. The mission, which launched April 28, 2003, studies the universe with its ultraviolet eyes.

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infrared view of cosmic cloud BHR 71

May 1, 2007

Spitzer Spies Jet-Setting Stars

Rainbow-colored jets in the cosmic cloud BHR 71 point to a celestial smash occurring 600 light-years away from Earth.

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Rosette nebula with danger zones highlighted

April 18, 2007

Astronomers Map Out Planetary Danger Zone

Astronomers have laid down the cosmic equivalent of yellow "caution" tape around super hot stars, marking the zones where cooler stars are in danger of having their developing planets blasted away.

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infrared view of Pleiades

April 12, 2007

The Seven Sisters Pose for Spitzer - and for You!

The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades, seem to float on a bed of feathers in a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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3 simulated planets distinguished from background light

April 11, 2007

NASA Shows Future Space Telescopes Could Detect Earth Twin

For the first time ever, NASA researchers have successfully demonstrated in the laboratory that a space telescope rigged with special masks and mirrors could snap a photo of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star.

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artist concept of planet with red plants

April 11, 2007

Do Faraway Worlds Have Red Trees?

Research by scientists, including David Crisp of JPL, indicates foliage on other Earth-sized worlds could be mainly yellow, orange or red.

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spiral galaxy M106

April 10, 2007

Mystery Spiral Arms Explained?

A quartet of space observatories, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, may have cracked a mystery surrounding ghostly galactic arms.

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March 29, 2007

NASA Telescope Finds Planets Thrive Around Stellar Twins

The double sunset that Luke Skywalker gazed upon in the film "Star Wars" might not be a fantasy.

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March 12, 2007

New Panorama Reveals More Than 1,000 Black Holes

Astronomers have created a black hole panorama using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes.

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drawing of kiosk

March 9, 2007

Planet Hunting Lands in L.A. Library

An out-of-this-world exhibit has landed smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles -- in a library, of all places.

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Z Camelopardalis, a double-star system featuring a collapsed, dead star, and a companion star, as well as a ghostly shell around the system

March 7, 2007

NASA Mission Finds Link Between Big and Small Stellar Blasts

Proof that certain double star systems can erupt in full-blown explosions and then continue to flare up with smaller bursts has been spotted by the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

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artist concept of extrasolar planet

February 21, 2007

NASA's Spitzer First to Crack Open Light of Faraway Worlds

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured for the first time enough light from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to identify molecules in their atmospheres.

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demise of sun-like star

February 13, 2007

The Colorful Demise of a Sun-Like Star

A new image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows the colorful "last hurrah" of a star like our sun. The picture was taken on Feb. 6, 2007, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, which was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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infrared view of Helix nebula

February 12, 2007

Comets Clash at Heart of Helix Nebula

A bunch of rowdy comets are colliding and kicking up dust around a dead star, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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astronomer Beth Biller

February 6, 2007

Finding Beauty in the Universe

Beth Biller overcame her fear of math to pursue her career as a serious astronomer.

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Maffei 2 galaxy

January 22, 2007

Science Foundation Honors Two Telescope Scientists

A National Science Foundation medal goes to two scientists whose work on NASA's Two Micron All-Sky Survey enabled "a thrilling variety of explorations in astronomy and astrophysics."

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interacting galaxies

January 10, 2007

Older Galaxy Pair Has Surprisingly Youthful Glow

A pair of interacting galaxies might be experiencing the galactic equivalent of a mid-life crisis, according to new evidence from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and a ground-based observatory.

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Infrared view of the Eagle nebula

January 9, 2007

Famous Space Pillars Feel the Heat of Star's Explosion

The three iconic space pillars photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 might have met their demise, according to new evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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illustration showing three-dimensional distrution of dark matter in the universe

January 8, 2007

Astronomers Map 'Clumpy' Dark Matter in 3-D

An international team of astronomers, including JPLer Jason Rhodes, used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to create the first three-dimensional map of dark matter in the universe.

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Hubble Space Telescope image of an encounter between the galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163

January 5, 2007

Planet-Finding Mission to Predict Date of Cosmic Collision

Scientists with NASA's planned SIM PlanetQuest expect to pin down the date of a galactic collision billions of years in our future by first reaching back to the Big Bang.

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right side shows stars and galaxies in the Ursa Major constellation, left side is the same image after stars, galaxies and other sources were masked out

December 18, 2006

NASA Telescope Picks Up Glow of Universe's First Objects

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope strongly suggest that infrared light detected in a prior study originated from clumps of the very first objects of the universe.

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artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star

December 5, 2006

NASA Telescope Sees Black Hole Munch on a Star

A giant black hole has been caught red-handed dipping into a cosmic cookie jar of stars by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

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Orion

November 7, 2006

Spitzer and Hubble Create Colorful Masterpiece

A new image from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes looks more like an abstract painting than a cosmic snapshot.

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Time lapse image of the 2003 Mercury transit as observed by NASA's SOHO spacecraft

November 6, 2006

Mercury Transit Foreshadows Future Planet Hunt

On Wednesday, the planet Mercury will cover part of the sun, a phenomenon that demonstrates the method that a future mission will use to find planets around other stars.

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Earth, seen as a pale blue dot from Saturn

November 2, 2006

Earth: The Lone Pale Blue Dot?

A recent photo from the Cassini spacecraft shows the mighty planet Saturn, and if you look very closely between its wing-like rings, a faint pinprick of light. That tiny dot is Earth bustling with life as we know it.

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Halloween snake

October 27, 2006

Snake on a Galactic Plane!

Something scary appears to be slithering across the plane of our Milky Way galaxy in this new Halloween image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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scattered remains of an exploded star named Cassiopeia A

October 26, 2006

NASA's Spitzer Peels Back Layers of Star's Explosion

Astronomers using NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered that an exploded star, named Cassiopeia A, blew up in a somewhat orderly fashion, retaining much of its original onion-like layering.

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artist concept showing planet more than three times more massive than Earth

October 18, 2006

Planet-Finding by Numbers

Scientists with NASA's SIM PlanetQuest mission, scheduled to launch in the next decade, have calculated how many potentially habitable planets the mission might detect around other stars.

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Andromeda galaxy

October 18, 2006

Busted! Spitzer Nabs Culprit in Galactic Hit-and-Run

Our neighboring Andromeda galaxy appears tranquil, but there's new evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that it collided head-on with a dwarf galaxy more than 200 million years ago.

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October 13, 2006

NASA Says: 'Build It and Infrared Surprises Will Come'

Engineers are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for building a telescope that will find the nearest star-like objects and the brightest galaxies.

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JPL's Wes Traub

October 13, 2006

On the Trail of Other Earths

Where are other Earths? According to JPL's Dr. Wes Traub, answering that question is the first step in NASA's long-range quest for life around stars beyond our solar system.

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artist's concept shows a Jupiter-like planet

October 12, 2006

NASA'S Spitzer Sees Day and Night on Exotic World

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has made the first measurements of the day and night temperatures of a planet outside our solar system.

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artist concept shows asteroid belt filled with rocks and dusty debris orbiting a star

October 10, 2006

Asteroids, Comets, Planets: Cut From Same Cloth?

Could all of the asteroids, comets, and planets in our Milky Way galaxy be made of a similar mix of dusty components?

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Andromeda galaxy

October 3, 2006

Amazing Andromeda Galaxy

The many "personalities" of our great galactic neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, are exposed in this new composite image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

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boomerang test

September 21, 2006

Balloon Researchers Receive International Honor

Two researchers who led the Boomerang Antarctic balloon experiment, using JPL-developed detectors, have been awarded the 2006 Balzan Prize in Astrophysics. The balloon mission captured the first resolved images of the early universe.
+ Larger view

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artist concept of newly discovered world HAT-P-1

September 14, 2006

Puffed-Up Planet Spied at Double Star

Using a network of small, automated telescopes, NASA-funded astronomers have found an odd, bloated planet orbiting one member of a pair of distant stars.

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artist concept of early Earth

September 14, 2006

New Roadmap in Hunt for Alien Life

NASA-funded researchers, including JPL's Wes Traub, have outlined six stages of Earth's life history, which might help identify life elsewhere in the universe.

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artist concept of extrasolar planet

September 12, 2006

'Sleuth' Telescope Snags a Rare Planet Type

A rare planet circling a star 500-light years away has been spotted by astronomers using a telescope whose development was funded by NASA.

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a star-forming region located 21,000 light-years away in the Cepheus constellation

September 8, 2006

Story of Stellar Birth

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals the complex life cycle of young stars

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infrared view of Large Magellanic Cloud

August 31, 2006

The Eternal Life of Stardust Portrayed in New NASA Image

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping astronomers understand how stardust is recycled in galaxies.

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artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy

August 23, 2006

NASA Galaxy Hunter: Huge Black Holes Stifle Star Formation

Supermassive black holes in some giant galaxies create such a hostile environment, they shut down the formation of new stars, according to NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer findings published in the August 24 issue of Nature.

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artist concept of Cosmic Background Explorer

August 18, 2006

JPL Science Team Members Win Top Cosmology Prize

The 2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize has been awarded to Dr. John Mather and the Cosmic Background Explorer science team, which includes two scientists from JPL. The team is being honored for their groundbreaking studies confirming that our universe was born in a hot Big Bang.

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infrared view of Orion nebula

August 14, 2006

Spitzer Digs Up Troves of Possible Solar Systems in Orion

Astronomers have long scrutinized the vast and layered clouds of the Orion nebula, an industrious star-making factory visible to the naked eye in the sword of the famous hunter constellation. Yet, Orion is still full of secrets.

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Kerry Erickson, mission manager

August 1, 2006

Man of Many Hats Not Ready to Hang Any Up

Kerry Erickson is mission operations and project manager for the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, which is on a mission to do a nearly complete sky survey.

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galaxy in ultraviolet

July 31, 2006

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Scoops Up Galactic Goodies

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer dishes up a feast of cool cosmic treats from its first three years in orbit.

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artist's concept shows a dusty planet-forming disk in orbit around a whirling young star

July 24, 2006

Planet-Forming Disks Might Put the Brakes on Stars

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found evidence that dusty disks of planet-forming material tug on and slow down the young, whirling stars they surround.

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false-color image of quasar

July 21, 2006

Black Hole Spills Kaleidoscope of Color

A new false-colored image from NASA's Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes shows a giant jet of particles that has been shot out from a quasar.

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Tadpole galaxy

June 15, 2006

How to Bake a Galaxy

Start with lots and lots of dark matter, then stir in gas. Let the mixture sit for a while, and a galaxy should rise up out of the batter.

Read more

 
M74 Galaxy May House A Dust Factory

June 8, 2006

Spitzer Helps Solve Mystery of Space Dust

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and other telescopes think they've found the source of the dust that permeates the universe. New observations indicate the dust comes from supernovas, violent explosions of massive stars.

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Dr. Mark Brodwin of JPL presents his findings on newly-discovered distant galaxy clusters at the American Astronomical Society conference in Calgary, Canada.

June 5, 2006

Astronomers Find Ancient 'Cities' of Galaxies

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a grand total of nearly 300 clusters of galaxies, with close to one-third of them as far as 8 to 10 billion light-years away.

Read more

 
infrared view of Andromeda galaxy

June 5, 2006

Andromeda Adrift in Sea of Dust in New NASA Image

The Andromeda galaxy, named for the mythological princess who almost fell prey to a sea monster, appears tranquil in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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May 22, 2006

Pursuing the Invisible With Einstein's Lens

Using NASA's future Space Interferometry Mission PlanetQuest space telescope, scientists will use a gravitational effect predicted by Albert Einstein to attempt the first real "sighting" of dark matter. This mysterious stuff is thought to constitute 90 percent of the galaxy.

Read more

 

May 22, 2006

Astronomy Honor for Twin Telescopes

The Two Micron All-Sky Survey, twin ground-based telescopes that completed the first high-resolution digital survey of the infrared sky, is being honored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The survey was primarily funded by NASA.
+ Image caption

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The almost invisible aftermath of a massive star's death

May 12, 2006

Spitzer Spies Remnants of a Shy Star

Big stars usually aren't shy about anything, not even death. At the end of their lives, they throw explosive tantrums, called supernovae, flinging abundant amounts of hot gas and radiation into space.

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Dr. Michael Werner

May 9, 2006

Spitzer Scientist to Give Prestigious Darwin Lecture

Dr. Michael Werner, project scientist of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, has been selected to give the Royal Astronomical Society's distinguished 2006 George Darwin Lecture.

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galaxies  NGC 2207 and IC 2163

April 26, 2006

Galaxies Don Mask of Stars in New Spitzer Image

A pair of dancing galaxies appears dressed for a cosmic masquerade in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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artist's concept of James Webb Space Telescope

April 6, 2006

NASA Picks Contractor to Chill Space Telescope Instrument

NASA has awarded a subcontract to Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., to develop an ultra-cold mechanical helium cryocooler for the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope.

Read more

 
artist's concept depicts a type of dead star called a pulsar and the surrounding disk of rubble

April 5, 2006

NASA's Spitzer Finds Hints of Planet Birth Around Dead Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered new evidence that planets might rise up out of a dead star's ashes.

Read more

 
this false color image shows most distant galactic cluster detected in red

March 21, 2006

Spitzer Goes on a Cosmic Safari

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have conducted a cosmic safari to seek out a rare galactic species. Ultimately, the expedition resulted in quite a catch - the most distant galaxy cluster ever seen, located 9 billion light-years away.

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infrared view of Messier 82

March 16, 2006

Galaxy on Fire! NASA's Spitzer Reveals Stellar Smoke

Where there's smoke, there's fire - even in outer space.

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infrared view from Spitzer of double helix nebula

March 15, 2006

Odd Twist Near Milky Way Center

Astronomers report an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, using observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The part of the nebula the astronomers observed stretches 80 light years in length.
+ Full release from UCLA

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artist's concept of Milky Way galaxy

February 22, 2006

Future Space Telescope Will Build a Better Guide to the Galaxy

How big is our galaxy? Where, exactly, are we located? NASA's future SIM PlanetQuest space telescope will help answer these and other fundamental questions, laying the foundation for a real-life guide to the galaxy.
+ New interactive: 3D Guide to the Galaxy
+ PlanetQuest podcast

Read more

 
artist's concept showing infrared view of star and its planet

February 22, 2006

Closest Alien World to Be Directly Detected

Astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect a strong flow of heat radiation from a toasty planet orbiting a nearby star.

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artist's concept showing crystals sprinkled throughout pair of colliding galaxies

February 15, 2006

NASA's Spitzer Finds Violent Galaxies Smothered in 'Crushed Glass'

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has observed a rare population of colliding galaxies whose entangled hearts are wrapped in tiny crystals resembling crushed glass.

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artist's concept compares, top, gargantuan star, and ,bottom, our solar system

February 8, 2006

NASA's Spitzer Uncovers Hints of Mega Solar Systems

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has identified two huge "hypergiant" stars circled by monstrous disks of what might be planet-forming dust.

Read more

 
artist's concept of extrasolar planet

January 25, 2006

New Technique, New Body Found

Using a relatively new planet-hunting technique, researchers have discovered a potentially rocky, icy body that may be the smallest planet yet found orbiting a star other than our sun.

Read more

 
artist's concept of a comet being torn to shreds around a dead star

January 11, 2006

NASA's Spitzer Finds Possible Comet Dust Around Dead Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted what may be comet dust sprinkled around the white dwarf star G29-38, which died approximately 500 million years ago.

Read more

 
false-color view of Cartwheel galaxy

January 11, 2006

Cartwheel Galaxy Makes Waves in New NASA Image

A new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer completes a multi-wavelength, neon-colored portrait of the enormous Cartwheel galaxy after a smaller galaxy plunged through it, triggering ripples of sudden, brief star formation.

Read more

 
infrared view of core of Milky Way galaxy

January 10, 2006

Spitzer Captures Our Galaxy's Bustling Center

A new infrared mosaic from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a stunning view of the stellar hustle and bustle that takes place at our Milky Way galaxy's center.

Read more

 
collection of galaxies seen in ultraviolet

January 9, 2006

Local Galactic Treasures

From sparkling blue rings to dazzling golden disks, Galaxy Evolution Explorer scientists have gathered a collection of their finest galactic treasures. Mined from the mission's Survey of Nearby Galaxies data, these cosmic gems were collected with the telescope's sensitive ultraviolet instruments.

Read more

 
artist's concept illustrates a solar system that is a much younger version of our own

December 20, 2005

Partial Ingredients for DNA and Protein Found Around Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered some of life's most basic ingredients in the dust swirling around a young star.

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panoramic, infrared image of a plethora of stellar activity in the Milky Way's galactic plane

December 13, 2005

Spitzer Exposes Our Galaxy's Deepest Secrets

Astronomers used Spitzer's heat-seeking infrared eyes to gaze at the dust-drenched plane of our galaxy.

Read more

 
artist's concept compares a hypothetical  solar system centered around a tiny sun (top) to a known solar system centered around a star, called 55 Cancri, which is about the same size as our sun

November 29, 2005

A Planet With Planets? Spitzer Finds Cosmic Oddball

Planets are everywhere these days. They have been spotted around more than 150 stars, and evidence is growing that they also circle "failed," or miniature, stars called brown dwarfs.

Read more

 
Einstein rings

November 17, 2005

Astronomers Assemble Fine Collection of 'Einstein Rings'

You can look but you can't touch the new rings discovered by JPLer Dr. Leonidas Moustakas and his colleagues. The team used data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to locate, among other objects, galaxies whose light has been warped into circles called "Einstein rings."

Read more

 
nebula NGC 1333

November 16, 2005

A View of Chaotic Star Birth

Located 1,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, a reflection nebula called NGC 1333 epitomizes the beautiful chaos of stars being born. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can detect the infrared light from these objects, allowing us to peer inside their dusty cradles.

Read more

 
false-color image showing towering pillars of cool gas and dust that are illuminated at their tips with light from warm embryonic stars

November 9, 2005

Spitzer Captures Cosmic Mountains of Creation

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals billowing mountains of dust ablaze with the fires of stellar youth.

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infrared image of Black Widow nebula

November 1, 2005

Black Widow Nebula Hiding in the Dust

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope's dust-piercing eyes spied a big "Black Widow Nebula" teeming with clusters of massive young stars. The two opposing bubbles are being formed in opposite directions by the powerful outflows from massive groups of forming stars.

Read more

 
Tadpole galaxy

October 27, 2005

A Picture is Worth Billions of Years

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope snapped this false-color image of the Tadpole galaxy, which is the result of a recent galactic interaction.
+ Full image and caption
+ Spitzer podcast: Tale of the Tadpole Galaxy
+ Piecing Together Universe's History

Read more

 
artist's concept showing crystals in dusky planetary disk

October 20, 2005

NASA's Spitzer Finds Failed Stars May Succeed in Planet Business

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted the very beginnings of what might become planets around the puniest of celestial orbs - brown dwarfs, or "failed stars."

Read more

 
infrared image of Andromeda galaxy

October 13, 2005

Lady in Red: Andromeda Galaxy Shines in Spitzer's Eyes

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a stunning infrared view of Messier 31, the famous spiral galaxy also known as Andromeda.

Read more

 
Hawaii's Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea

September 29, 2005

NASA Takes Giant Step Toward Finding Earth-Like Planets

Are we alone in the universe? Are there planets like Earth around other "suns" that might harbor life?

Read more

 
combined visible and infrared view of galaxy HUDF-JD2

September 27, 2005

NASA Finds 'Big Baby' Galaxies in Newborn Universe

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have teamed up to "weigh" the stars in several distant galaxies.

Read more

 
artist's concept illustrates one interpretation of the data, which attributes the disk gap to planet formation

September 12, 2005

Cultivating a Planetary Garden: How Long Does it Take?

According to the most popular theory of planet formation, planets are akin to redwood trees, growing in size very gradually.

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Similar ingredients that were excavated from comet Tempel 1

September 7, 2005

NASA's Spitzer and Deep Impact Build Recipe for Comet Soup

When Deep Impact smashed into comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, it released the ingredients of our solar system's primordial "soup."

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infrared image of galaxy NGC 4725, which has only one spiral arm

August 25, 2005

Spitzer Turns Two

Two years ago today, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope blasted into the same dark skies it now better understands.

Read more

 
artist's concept of SIM PlanetQuest

August 22, 2005

The Story Before the Story of Extrasolar Planets

A JPL scientist and his team are preparing to bring to the study of extrasolar planets what George Lucas brought to "Star Wars": the prequel.

Read more

 
False-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope showing a distant galaxy that houses a quasar

August 3, 2005

NASA's Spitzer Finds Hidden, Hungry Black Holes

Most of the biggest black holes in the universe have been eating cosmic meals behind closed doors – until now.

Read more

 
Artist concept of an extrasolar planet

August 2, 2005

NASA's Planet Hunt Website En Espanol

Spanish-speaking space aficionados can track the latest news in the hunt for planets around other stars, thanks to a new NASA website.

Read more

 
artist's concept representing complex organic molecules seen in early universe

July 28, 2005

Spitzer Finds Life Components in Young Universe

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found the ingredients for life all the way back to a time when the universe was a mere youngster.

Read more

 
image highlighting hidden spiral arms of nearby galaxy

July 25, 2005

NASA Telescope Reveals Nearby Galaxy's Invisible Arms

A new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows that a galaxy once thought to be rather plain and old is actually endowed with a gorgeous set of young spiral arms.

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artist's concept showing the view from a hypothetical moon in orbit around the first known planet to reside in a tight-knit triple-star system

July 13, 2005

NASA Scientist Finds World With Triple Sunsets

A NASA-funded astronomer has discovered a world where the sun sets over the horizon, followed by a second sun and then a third.

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deep impacts camera took a picture of Tempel

July 6, 2005

Deep Impact

A picture of Tempel 1(left) taken by Deep Impact's medium-resolution camera is shown next to data of the comet taken by the spacecraft's infrared spectrometer.

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June 20, 2005

Cool Star Shows for Hot Summer Nights

As the mercury shoots upward and lazy summer days stretch into balmy evenings, NASA is teaming with amateur astronomy clubs across the country to share the wonders of the nighttime skies with the public.

Read more

 
still from movie of star eruption

May 31, 2005

NASA Telescope Catches Surprise Ultraviolet Light Show

At 2 p.m. Pacific time on 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.

Read more

 
false-color image of the Carina Nebula

May 31, 2005

Spitzer Captures Fruits of Massive Stars' Labors

The saga of how a few monstrous stars spawned a diverse community of additional stars is told in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Read more

 
Sombrero galaxy, seen in a combined image of visible and infrared

May 4, 2005

Hats Off to Space Day From NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

NASA salutes Space Day, observed this year on May 5, with a new dramatic image of the Sombrero galaxy.

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artist's concept of asteroid belt around a star

April 20, 2005

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Sees Signs of Alien Asteroid Belt

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted what may be the dusty spray of asteroids banging together in a belt that orbits a star like our Sun.

Read more

 
artist's concept showing what an infrared view of star and its planetary companion might look like

March 22, 2005

NASA's Spitzer Marks Beginning of New Age of Planetary Science

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has for the first time captured the light from two known planets orbiting stars other than our Sun.

Read more

 
artist's concept showing what a dusty and bright galaxy located billions of light-years away might look like close up if seen in infrared

March 1, 2005

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Exposes Dusty Galactic Hideouts

How do you hide something as big and bright as a galaxy? You smother it in cosmic dust.

Read more

 
montage of Spitzer images

February 22, 2005

Spitzer Space Telescope Provides Visual Feast Online

The magic of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope comes alive in an online interactive presentation.

Read more

 
Artist concept of swilring system

February 7, 2005

Astronomers Discover Beginnings of 'Mini' Solar System

Moons circle planets, and planets circle stars. Now, astronomers have learned that planets may also circle celestial bodies almost as small as planets.

Read more

 

January 25, 2005

New Technique, New Body Found

Using a relatively new planet-hunting technique, researchers have discovered a potentially rocky, icy body that may be the smallest planet yet found orbiting a star other than our sun.

Read more

 
Images of the Trifid Nebula

January 12, 2005

Spitzer Finds Stellar Incubators with Massive Star Emryos

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered a hatchery for massive stars.

Read more

 
Spitzer reveals three monstrously bright galaxies, trillions of times brighter than the Sun, in the process of merging together

January 11, 2005

New Clues Found in Ongoing Mystery of Giant Galactic Blobs

Astronomers have numerous technical terms and numbering systems for describing the universe, but one type of mysterious object has yet to be classified.

Read more

 
artist concept illustrating how a massive collision of objects smashed together to create the dust ring around the nearby star Vega

January 10, 2005

Spitzer Sees Dusty Aftermath of Pluto-Sized Collision

Astronomers say a dusty disc swirling around the nearby star Vega is bigger than earlier thought.

Read more

 
artist concept of galaxy formation

December 21, 2004

Aging Universe May Still be Spawning Massive Galaxies

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has spotted what appear to be massive "baby" galaxies in our corner of the universe. Previously, astronomers thought the universe's birth rate had dramatically declined and only small galaxies were forming.

Read more

 
Artist's concept depicting a distant hypothetical solar system

December 9, 2004

Spitzer and Hubble Capture Evolving Planetary Systems

Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, have provided astronomers an unprecedented look at dusty planetary debris around stars the size of our Sun.

Read more

 
infrared image of starless core

November 9, 2004

Spitzer Sees Ice and Warm Glows in Dark and Dusty Places

Two new results from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope released today are helping astronomers better understand how stars form out of thick clouds of gas and dust, and how the molecules in those clouds ultimately become planets.

Read more

 
Exozodiacal Dust

October 21, 2004

Keck Team to Make Stars 'Disappear'

The technological magicians at JPL and the Keck Observatory are a step closer to performing a vanishing act on a cosmic scale.

Read more

 
massive bodies, before they collide

October 18, 2004

Astronomers Discover Planet Building is Big Mess

Planets are built over a long period of massive collisions between rocky bodies as big as mountain ranges, astronomers announced today.

Read more

 
Spitzer observes never-before-seen globular cluster

October 12, 2004

Newfound Star Cluster May Be Final Milky Way 'Fossil'

Just when astronomers thought they might have dug up the last of our galaxy's "fossils," they've discovered a new one in the galactic equivalent of our own backyard.

Read more

 
Artist's Concept

October 6, 2004

NASA Approves Mission to Seek Nearest Stars, Brightest Galaxies

A new NASA mission will scan the entire sky in infrared light in search of nearby cool stars, planetary construction zones and the brightest galaxies in the universe.

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composite image

October 6, 2004

Great Observatories May Unravel 400-Year-Old Supernova Mystery

Four hundred years ago, sky watchers, including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler, best known as the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, were startled by the sudden appearance of a "new star" in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of the nearby planets.

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Johannes Kepler

October 6, 2004

The History of Johannes Kepler

Four centuries ago, an evening's entertainment was as simple as stepping out to gaze at the night sky. But among the world's many star watchers, one man stood apart. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a mathematician and physicist who not only observed, but also sought to explain the celestial dance above.

Read more

 
False-color image

September 7, 2004

Spitzer Arrives at Scene of Galactic Collision

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has set its infrared sight on a major galactic collision and witnessed not death, but a teeming nest of life.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Neptune-sized extrasolar planet.

August 31, 2004

Scientists Discover First of a New Class of Extrasolar Planets

Astronomers announced today the first discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system about 10 to 20 times the size of Earth - far smaller than any previously detected.

Read more

 
The star and its cloud halo constitute a

August 9, 2004

Dying Star Goes Out With a Ring

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the shimmering embers of a dying star, and in their midst a mysterious doughnut-shaped ring.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Space Interferometry Mission

August 6, 2004

Planet Survey: Knocking on Heaven's Door

The Milky Way is a big, diverse neighborhood. And if you're hoping to find Earthlike planets that may harbor life, you'll need to figure out a way to narrow the search.

Read more

 
Chris Martin

July 30, 2004

Notes from the Galaxies

Chris Martin is a physicist. It might have been otherwise. As a life passion, music has always been a close second. Now, as principal investigator for the Galaxy Evolution Explorer project which studies the universe in ultraviolet light, Martin is a scientist and manager by day, classical pianist by night.

Read more

 
spiral galaxy NGC 7331

July 29, 2004

NASA Selects Future Mission Concepts for Study

NASA has selected nine studies, including one from JPL, to investigate new ideas for future mission concepts within its Astronomical Search for Origins Program.

Read more

 
Spiral galaxy called NGC 7331

June 28, 2004

Seeing Double: Spitzer Captures Our Galaxy's Twin

What would our Milky Way galaxy look like if we could travel outside it and snap a picture? It might look a lot like a new image by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a spiral galaxy called NGC 7331 - a virtual twin of our Milky Way.

Read more

 
Galaxy Centaurus A's last big meal

June 1, 2004

Spitzer Spies Parallelogram-Shaped Galactic Meal

Peering into the "gut" of the galaxy Centaurus A, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured in unprecedented detail this massive galaxy's last big meal: a spiral galaxy twisted into a parallelogram-shaped structure of dust.

Read more

 
infrared image of patch of sky in Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey

June 1, 2004

Spitzer Leads NASA's Great Observatories to Uncover Black Holes, Other Hidden Objects

Astronomers unveiled the deepest images from NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope today and announced the detection of distant objects -- including several supermassive black holes -- that are nearly invisible in even the deepest images from telescopes operating at other wavelengths.

Read more

 
galaxy Centaurus A

June 1, 2004

Spitzer Spies Parallelogram-Shaped Galactic Meal

Peering into the "gut" of the galaxy Centaurus A, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured in unprecedented detail this massive galaxy's last big meal: a spiral galaxy twisted into a parallelogram-shaped structure of dust.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Spitzer Space Telescope

May 31, 2004

Spitzer Space Telescope Sets Infrared Eyes on Dark Matter

Ten years ago, a group of astronomers set out to find invisible, or dark, matter in the outer fringes of our galaxy.

Read more

 
Artist's concept showing a possible newfound planet spinning

May 27, 2004

Raw Ingredients for Life Detected in Planetary Construction Zones

NASA has announced new findings from the Spitzer Space Telescope, including the discovery of significant amounts of icy organic materials sprinkled throughout several "planetary construction zones," or dusty planet-forming discs, which circle infant stars.

Read more

 
The massive, buried stars of the cloudy region called Sharpless 140

May 11, 2004

NASA Spitzer Shares The Wealth

Like a philanthropist donating a prized collection to a museum, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has opened a virtual vault rich with scientific data.

Read more

 
Artist’s concepts of TPF-I

May 10, 2004

Two Architectures Chosen for Terrestrial Planet Finder

Included in the nation's new vision for space is a plan for NASA to "conduct advanced telescope searches for Earth-like planets and habitable environments around other stars."

Read more

 
depiction of double pulsar

April 28, 2004

Published Paper Probes Pulsar Pair

The only known gravitationally bound pair of pulsars -- extremely dense, spinning stars that beam radio waves -- may be pirouetting around each other in an intricate dance.

Read more

 
part of series depicting atoms at ultra-cold temperatures

April 27, 2004

Proof of New State of Matter Is in the Jelly

In the community of very tiny particles that make up all matter in the universe, there are two main citizens: bosons and fermions.

Read more

 
part of data used to discover planet orbiting another star

April 15, 2004

Cosmic Magnifying Glass: Distant Star Reveals Planet

Like Sherlock Holmes holding a magnifying glass to unveil hidden clues, modern day astronomers used cosmic magnifying effects to reveal a planet orbiting a distant star.

Read more

 
stellar nursery DR21

April 13, 2004

Invisible Giants Exposed in New Spitzer Image

Hidden behind a curtain of dusty darkness lurks one of the most violent pockets of star birth in our galaxy.

Read more

 
Henize 206

March 8, 2004

NASA Creates Portrait of Life and Death in the Universe

In a small nearby galaxy lies a luminous cloud of gas and dust, called a nebula, which houses a family of newborn stars.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Spitzer Space Telescope

February 24, 2004

'And the Laurel Goes to... the Spitzer Space Telescope'

Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine has honored the teams that built NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope with a 2003 Aerospace Laurel award.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Rosetta

February 19, 2004

Spacecraft to Launch, Designed to Harpoon Cosmic 'Moby Dick'

Like the massive white whale in Herman Melville's 1851 classic "Moby Dick," comets have long been considered swift, elusive harbingers of change.

Read more

 
nebula that resembles a rosebud

February 12, 2004

Spitzer Telescope Sends a Rose for Valentine's Day

Out of the dark and dusty cosmos comes an unusual valentine — a stellar nursery resembling a shimmering pink rosebud.

Read more

 
Pleiades

January 21, 2004

Astronomers Measure Distance to Well-Known Star

The cluster of stars known as the Pleiades is one of the most recognizable objects in the night sky, and for millennia has been celebrated in literature and legend.

Read more

 
Tarantula Nebula

January 13, 2004

Stormy Cloud of Star Birth Glows in New Spitzer Image

A dusty stellar nursery shines brightly in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility.

Read more

 
Professor Lyman Spitzer, Jr.

December 18, 2003

NASA Announces New Name for Space Infrared Telescope Facility

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced that NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility has been renamed the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Read more

 
This image, captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope's highly sensitive infrared detectors, shows a dark cloud of gas and dust in the nearby emission nebula IC1396 brilliantly lit up for the first time.

December 18, 2003

NASA Releases Dazzling Images From New Space Telescope

A new window to the universe has opened with today's release of the first dazzling images from NASA's newly named Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility.

Read more

 
Image of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 31

December 10, 2003

Mission Captures Galaxies Galore

The most sensitive and comprehensive ultraviolet image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest large neighbor galaxy, has been captured by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

Read more

 
The Hourglass Nebula

November 21, 2003

Final Death Throes of Nearby Star Witnessed First-Hand

It takes only a few hundred to a thousand years for a dying Sun-like star, many billions of years old, to transform into a dazzling, glowing cloud called a planetary nebula.

Read more

 
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in orbit

November 21, 2003

Our Amazing Universe: Vote for Your Favorite Image

You're invited to help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate 10 years of dazzling imagery of the universe from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 onboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of the Large Binocular Telescope

November 18, 2003

Largest pair of 'eyes' ever built to aid search for planets

Fully assembled, the Large Binocular Telescope resembles a face, gazing skyward with a pair of enormous saucer eyes.

Read more

 
Artists's concept of Space Infrared Telescope Facility

November 7, 2003

Two Cosmic Explorers Named ‘Best of What's New'

Two recently launched NASA missions won "Best of What's New" awards from Popular Science magazine.

Read more

 
montage of fundamental physics images

October 28, 2003

JPL Scientists Receive NASA Fundamental Physics Grants

Four scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif, along with 11 other researchers, have been awarded NASA grants totaling more than $6.4 million over four years, to conduct space fundamental physics research.

Read more

 
images/technology/lightdetector-80.jpg

October 23, 2003

JPL Researchers Unveil Superconductor-Based Light Detector

A new and improved way to measure light has been unveiled by physicists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, both in Pasadena, Calif.

Read more

 
A Hubble Space Telescope image of circumstellar disc surrounding a young star.

October 20, 2003

Missing Link Sought in Planetary Evolution

Just as anthropologists sought "the missing link" between apes and humans, astronomers are embarking on a quest for a missing link in planetary evolution.

Read more

 
Cosmic Jets Whoosh into Free Public Lectures

October 14, 2003

Cosmic Jets Whoosh into Free Public Lectures

Cosmic jets -- a common but mysterious phenomenon in the universe -- will be the topic of two free lectures to be held on Thurs., October 16 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, and Fri., October 17 at Pasadena City College.

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Space Infrared Telescope Facility Mission Status

October 13, 2003

Space Infrared Telescope Facility Mission Status

The Space Infrared Telescope Facility, NASA's fourth and final Great Observatory, has been successfully focused.

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A Galaxy Far, Far Away Eyed by Linked Hawaiian Telescopes

October 1, 2003

A Galaxy Far, Far Away Eyed by Linked Hawaiian Telescopes

A galaxy far beyond our own Milky Way, with a monstrous, churning black hole in its center, has been observed by two optical telescopes working in unison as an interferometer.

Read more

 
Lab Research Yields the Biggest Chill

September 11, 2003

Lab Research Yields the Biggest Chill

NASA-funded researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge have cooled sodium gas to the lowest temperature ever recorded -- one-half-billionth degree above absolute zero.

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September 3, 2003

Space Infrared Telescope Facility Mission Status

NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility has switched on two of its onboard instruments and captured some preliminary star-studded images.

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Space Infrared Telescope Facility Mission Status

August 25, 2003

Space Infrared Telescope Facility Mission Status

Following last night's picture-perfect launch, NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility is positioned exactly where ground controllers want it to be, trailing behind Earth as it orbits the Sun.

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Space Infrared Telescope Facility Lifts Off

August 25, 2003

Space Infrared Telescope Facility Lifts Off

NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility successfully launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:35:39 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (10:35:39 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, August 24) aboard a Delta II launch vehicle.

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Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser, in visible and infrared (right) light.

August 19, 2003

Infrared -- Catch the Wave

When you pick up that TV remote to switch to your favorite channel, you''re riding a wave--an infrared wave.

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galaxy Centaurus A

July 25, 2003

Intriguing Celestial Images Arrive from Galaxy Mission

NASA/'s Galaxy Evolution Explorer has beamed back revealing images of hundreds of galaxies to expectant astronomers, providing the first batch of data on star formation that they had hoped for.

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Jupiter  and Earth

July 22, 2003

Tiny Measurement Gives Big Boost to Planet Hunt

To detect the stellar wobble caused by a planet as small as Earth, scientists need an instrument of almost unbelievable sensitivity.

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Dr. Gary Blackwood

July 11, 2003

Dr. Gary Blackwood, Interferometer Systems Manager

In this video profile, Dr. Gary Blackwood explains how this future mission will look for signs of other worlds like ours.

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artist's concept of Space Infrared Telescope Facility

June 9, 2003

Scope Out NASA's Space Observatory Finale

An upcoming mission that will study the darkest and dustiest regions in the cosmos will be explored in two free lectures to be held on Thursday, June 12, at JPL, and Friday, June 13, at Pasadena City College.

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Theatre in the Rectangle

May 27, 2003

Theatre in the Rectangle

The great sculptor gravity ensures that larger, denser objects in the universe -- like stars, planets and moons -- take on the familiar spherical shape.

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This artist's concept shows a vacuum-sealed chamber with a cloud of ultra-cold sodium atoms suspended electromagnetically.

May 21, 2003

Frozen Light: Cool NASA Research Holds Promise

NASA-funded research at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., that literally stops light in its tracks, may someday lead to breakneck-speed computers that shelter enormous amounts of data from hackers.

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Newly Discovered Star May Be Third-Closest

May 20, 2003

Newly Discovered Star May Be Third-Closest

The local celestial neighborhood just got more crowded with a discovery of a star that may be the third closest to the Sun.

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Artist's concept of Galaxy Evolution Explorer

May 6, 2003

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Mission Status

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer successfully opened its telescope cover this morning at 4:32 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1:32 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time).

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The L-1011 carrier aircraft takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the Pegasus XL rocket/Galaxy Evolution Explorer under its belly.

April 28, 2003

Galaxy Evolution Explorer On Its Way

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft was successfully launched today from a Pegasus XL rocket released by an L-1011 aircraft off the coast of Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Station at 7:59:57 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (4:59:57 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time).

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Galaxy Evolution Explorer Looks Back in Time

April 22, 2003

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Looks Back in Time

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer will carry a telescope into Earth orbit that will observe a million galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic history to help astronomers determine when the stars we see today had their origins.

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This series of images represent the center of the Milky Way galaxy, as seen in different wavelengths. Above, in gamma rays.

April 21, 2003

Shedding Light on the Universe

The universe has been described as a symphony of light. And just as any piece of music is comprised of individual notes up and down the musical scale, the dazzling display of light from celestial sources is made up of photons, or "packets" of light, scaled by energy along the electromagnetic spectrum.

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artist's concept of 'entanglement

April 2, 2003

NASA Researchers Put New Spin on Einstein's Relativity Theory

Albert Einstein might be astonished to learn that NASA physicists have applied his relativity theory to a concept he introduced but later disliked namely that two particles that interact could maintain a connection even if separated by a vast distance.

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The Sky''s the Limit: Grand Finale for Twin-Telescope Survey

March 27, 2003

The Sky's the Limit: Grand Finale for Twin-Telescope Survey

The celestial harvest from astronomy's most thorough high-resolution digital survey of the entire sky, completed by twin infrared telescopes, is now online for scientists to scrutinize and the entire world to savor.

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Orion Nebula

March 27, 2003

Cosmic Objects -- Something Old and Something New

When the French astronomer Charles Messier was trying to discover new comets in the mid-18th century, he compiled a list of about 100 diffuse objects that, to his eye, could be confused with comets.

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Space Observatory to Study the Old, the Cold and the Dusty (Artist's concept).

March 25, 2003

Space Observatory to Study the Old, the Cold and the Dusty

A NASA observatory will soon open a new window to the universe.

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Artist's concept of Space Infrared Telescope Facility

March 17, 2003

Observatory Boldly Goes Where the Human Eye Cannot

Equipped with advanced infrared technology, NASA will peer into unknown territories of the universe with the long-anticipated Space Infrared Telescope Facility.

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Space Infrared Telescope Facility Arrives at KSC

March 6, 2003

Space Infrared Telescope Facility Arrives at KSC

The Space Infrared Telescope Facility arrived today at the Kennedy Space Center to begin final preparations for its launch next month aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.

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White dwarf stars

January 27, 2003

The Keys to the Stellar Kingdom

The Space Interferometry Mission will provide the breakthrough technology needed to pinpoint these two extremes of stellar evolution.

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Artist's concept of platypus and brown dwarf

January 21, 2003

A Cosmic Identity Crisis

Nature defies categorization. Think of the platypus, a curious creature that lays eggs like a bird but suckles its young like a mammal.

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Dr. Steven Ostro

December 3, 2002

Kuiper Prize Going to JPL Pioneer in Radar Study of Asteroids

Ostro studies asteroids as a senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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November 20, 2002

NASA Prepares for 'Last Chance' Meteor Shower

Dr. James Breckinridge has returned to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. to serve as the Origins Theme Technologist for NASA's Origins Program.

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Dr. Michelle Thaller

November 15, 2002

Dr. Michelle Thaller, Astrophysicist

In this video profile 'First Person,' Caltech astrophysicist Dr. Michelle Thaller discusses methods astronomers use to study stars and galaxies.

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2001 Leonid meteor shower; image copyright: Jim Bryan

November 14, 2002

NASA Prepares for 'Last Chance' Meteor Shower

The early morning hours of Nov. 19 may be your last chance to see the spectacular Leonid meteor shower in its full glory, according to astronomers.

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asteroid Annefrank, imaged by Stardust

November 4, 2002

NASA's Stardust Comet-Chaser Passes Asteroid Test

All systems on NASA's Stardust spacecraft performed successfully when tested in a flyby of asteroid Annefrank on Friday

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Artist's concept of Virtual Planetary Laboratory

November 4, 2002

Building Planets in Cyberspace

Recipe: Take a rocky mass [about 12.8 thousand kilometers (nearly 8 thousand miles) wide], add carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane. Place in stable, circular orbit, the same distance from a sunlike star as the distance between Earth and the Sun.

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Artist's concept of Stardust spacecraft

November 2, 2002

Stardust Mission Status

Images and information from the flyby period are being transmitted from the spacecraft today and through the coming week.

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Artist's concept of Stardust

October 16, 2002

Stardust Mission Status

"This is an engineering test," said Thomas Duxbury, project manager for Stardust at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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Artist's concept of Earthlike planet.

July 30, 2002

Planet-hunting Among the Stars

NASA scientists are trying to answer that age-old question 'Are we alone?' by looking at other celestial bodies that might have life, with much of their search concentrated on finding Earthlike planets orbiting other stars.

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X-band antenna that will track space observatory in launch phase over South African skies

June 10, 2002

Space Observatory Phones Home with South African Center

Immediately after the Space Infrared Telescope Facility launches in January 2003, mission planners anticipate a four-hour communication gap when their tracking system won't be able to talk to the observatory.

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Center of Milky Way Galaxy, seen in infrared

May 28, 2002

The Infrared Sky Goes Digital

Would it be possible to see the entire sky without ever stepping outside? Well, if you have access to a computer, the answer would be yes, thanks to the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), the most detailed digital map of the heavens ever made.

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Illustration of a binary black hole system

May 13, 2002

Peering into the Heart of Galaxies

New technologies are helping astronomers unlock the mysteries of our Milky Way galaxy and the billions of other galaxies in our universe.

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Artist's concept of black hole

April 1, 2002

A Mission Brings Black Holes to Light

Space exploration requires a great deal of imagination. With the international Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry mission, supported by NASA until last month, a global team of scientists and engineers not only imagined a telescope larger than Earth.

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Black hole imaged by Hubble Space Telescope

March 5, 2002

Shedding Light on Black Holes

If there were monsters in space, they might appear as black holes - bottomless pits of gravity that rip holes in the fabric of time and space, swallowing up entire stars. Nothing - not even light - can escape.

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Horsehead nebula seen by Hubble Space Telescope

November 26, 2001

A Star is Born

Vast clouds of gas and dust are swirling throughout our Milky Way galaxy. Some of these clouds are stellar nurseries, places where thousands of stars like our Sun are being born right now.

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The twin Keck Telescopes atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

October 8, 2001

A Close-Up View of Planetary Birth

Early next year, scientists hope to gain insight into conditions that precede planet birth by deploying a powerful new instrument: the Keck Interferometer.

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Rotten Egg Nebula, full of sulfur

September 10, 2001

JPL's Eye on the Universe

Our eyes have feasted on a steady stream of dazzling celestial pictures over the past seven years, thanks to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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Artist's concept of Earthlike planet

January 28, 2001

Looking for Life's Imprint -- Light Years Away

The discovery of more than 70 planets outside our solar system within less than a decade has brought a new sense of immediacy to the search for life.

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Using near-infrared, disk is seen around a star (Hubble Space Telescope)

January 14, 2001

When the Dust Settles, Solar Systems Emerge

If video technology had been around when our solar system formed nearly five billion years ago, here's what would have been caught on tape.

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