News Articles for 2006

Hyperion

December 29, 2006

Year-End Greetings From Saturn

To cap off this past year at the Saturnian frontier, the Cassini imaging team is releasing a smorgasbord of imagery showing heavenly bodies big and small, in motion, and in 3D.

Read more

 
Rover Spirit as viewed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

December 28, 2006

NASA Mars Team Teaches Old Rovers New Tricks to Kick Off Year Four

NASA's twin Mars rovers, nearing the third anniversary of their landings, are getting smarter as they get older.

Read more

 
Jim Erickson

December 22, 2006

NASA Names New Manager for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has a new project manager.

Read more

 

December 20, 2006

Cassini at Saturn: A Photo Contest

Cast your vote for one of many breathtaking views captured by the Cassini spacecraft of Saturn, its rings and its moons.

Read more

 
Radar observation of 1999 JM8

December 19, 2006

Radar Love: Asteroid Detection and Science

They are the celestial equivalent of sonograms. But their hazy outlines and ghostly features do not document the in-vivo development of a future taxpayer.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
average amount of ozone produced from biomass, burning in South America, sub-equatorial Africa and Indonesia/Australia

December 14, 2006

NASA Tropical Ozone Studies Yield Surprises

Two new NASA-funded studies of ozone in the tropics using NASA satellite data not previously available are giving scientists a fuller understanding of the processes driving ozone chemistry and its impacts on pollution and climate change.

Read more

 
compter monitor shows  the glass needle performing the first series of cuts into a piece of aerogel

December 14, 2006

NASA Study Finds New Kind of Organics in Stardust Mission

A team of scientists found a new class of organics in comet dust captured from Comet Wild 2 in 2004 by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

Read more

 
researcher studies aerogel sample

December 14, 2006

Comets as Toolkits for Jump-Starting Life

Just as kits of little plastic bricks can be used to make everything from models of the space shuttle to the statue of liberty, comets are looking more and more like one of nature's toolkits for creating life.

Read more

 
close-up view of Stardust aerogel

December 14, 2006

Stardust Findings Suggest Comets More Complex Than Thought

Comets may be more than just simple conglomerations of ice, dust and gases. Some may be important windows on the early solar system.

Read more

 
Echoes of a Buried Basin in Amazonis Planitia

December 13, 2006

Geologists Finding a Different Mars Underneath

Mars is showing scientists its older, craggier face buried beneath the surface, thanks to a pioneering sounding radar co-sponsored by NASA aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter.

Read more

 
Layers Exposed at Polar Canyon

December 13, 2006

NASA Spacecraft Read Layered Clues to Changes on Mars

Layers on Mars are yielding history lessons revealed by instruments flying overhead and rolling across the surface.

Read more

 
mountain range running just south of Titan's equator

December 12, 2006

Massive Mountain Range Imaged on Saturn's Moon Titan

The tallest mountains ever seen on Titan -- coated with layers of organic material and blanketed by clouds -- have been imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Read more

 
Grace measurement of Mississippi River basin

December 12, 2006

NASA Outlines Recent Changes in Earth's Freshwater Distribution

Recent space observations of freshwater storage by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment are providing a new picture of how Earth's most precious natural resource is distributed globally and how it is changing.

Read more

 
Alberto Behar stands by opening of a moulin

December 11, 2006

Moulin 'Blanc': NASA Expedition Probes Deep Within a Greenland Glacier

JPL Research scientist Dr. Alberto Behar took in the "show" at the moulin this summer. But unlike Paris' famous Moulin Rouge, the star of this moulin was Mother Nature herself, presenting a dazzling display of moving water and ice.

Read more

 

December 7, 2006

Jason Ocean Mapping Mission Turns Five

Five years after launch, the joint NASA/French space agency Jason mission continues precisely measuring the hills and valleys of the ocean surface, expanding our knowledge of ocean circulation, monitoring global sea level variations, improving weather and climate predictions and much more.

Read more

 
data showing earthquake clusters

December 7, 2006

NASA Study Suggests Quake Forecasts May Be on the Horizon

A new university study funded in part by NASA's QuakeSim project finds that large earthquakes in California tend to cluster in time and could potentially be forecast within a window of two to three years.

Read more

 
new gully deposit on Mars

December 6, 2006

NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars

NASA photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years.

Read more

 
La Canada High School group

December 6, 2006

Tennis Meets High Tech at JPL

Unique contraptions replaced traditional rackets during JPL's 'Launch a Tennis Ball' Invention Challenge on Friday, Dec. 1. Teams of engineers and middle and high school students, including this winning La Canada High School group, used their creations to launch tennis balls into a trash can more than 16 feet away.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Spirit at Gusev Crater

December 4, 2006

NASA Mars Orbiter Photographs Spirit and Vikings on the Ground

New images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show three additional NASA spacecraft that have landed on Mars: the Spirit rover active on the surface since January 2004 and the two Viking landers that successfully reached the surface in 1976.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate.

November 30, 2006

Purveyors of the Cosmic 'Occult'

To a non-scientist, the words 'radio occultation' might sound a little spooky. But this relatively simple NASA-developed technology at the heart of a new satellite network named Cosmic is proving to be a powerful new tool for weather and climate forecasting.

Read more

 
Opportunity lander platform inside 'Eagle Crater'

November 29, 2006

New Images From Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Some new, high-resolution images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show channels in a fossil delta, troughs in sand dunes and hardware from the landing of the rover Opportunity.

Read more

 
Saturn

November 29, 2006

Saturn Mission Takes Starring Role

The science highlights and dazzling images of the Cassini-Huygens mission are featured in the December issue of National Geographic Magazine on the cover and in a 20-page story.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Mars Global Surveyor

November 21, 2006

NASA's Mars Global Surveyor May be at Mission's End

Pasadena, Calif. - NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has likely finished its operating career. The spacecraft has served the longest and been the most productive of any mission ever sent to the red planet.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Genesis spacecraft

November 20, 2006

Genesis Findings Solve Apollo Lunar Soil Mystery

Ever since astronauts returned from another world, scientists have been mystified by some of the moon rocks they brought back. Now one of the mysteries has been solved.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Ulysses at sun's pole

November 17, 2006

Ulysses Starts New Journey Around the Sun's Poles

NASA's Ulysses spacecraft has begun its third voyage around the sun's poles, in a quest to learn how the sun affects weather in space, plus cellphones, satellites and electricity on Earth. Hear more from the Ulysses project scientist.

Read more

 
artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

November 17, 2006

NASA's Newest Mars Orbiter Passes Communications Relay Test

An orbiting NASA spacecraft just starting to study Mars with six science instruments has successfully tested another key part of its payload, a versatile radio for relaying communications with robots on the surface of Mars.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Stardust near comet Wild 2

November 15, 2006

Comet-Chaser Mission Honored

NASA's Stardust mission received the 2006 Aviation Week and Space Technology Program Excellence Award. In January, Stardust successfully completed a seven-year, 2.8 billion mile journey to fly by a comet and return samples to Earth.

Read more

 
a swirling hurricane-like vortex at Saturn's south pole

November 9, 2006

NASA Sees into the Eye of a Monster Storm on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has seen something never before seen on another planet -- a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's south pole with a well-developed eye, ringed by towering clouds.

Read more

 

November 9, 2006

Esperanza Fire Near Palm Springs

The Esperanza fire started on October 26 in the dry brush near Palm Springs, Calif. By the time it was contained 6 days later, the fire had consumed 40,200 acres, and destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings. Five firefighters died trying to protect homes.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Mars Global Surveyor

November 7, 2006

Ground Team Stays Busy on 10th Anniversary of NASA Mars Launch

Engineers are striving to restore full communications with NASA's Mars Global Surveyor on the 10th anniversary of the spacecraft's Nov. 7, 1996, launch.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Explorer 1 model being held up

October 31, 2006

New JPL Site Takes a Step Back in Time

JPL's new history site spans 70 years of exploration, from early rocket motor tests and the first U.S. satellite to present-day space exploration pursuits.

Read more

 
Artist's concept of Dawn spacecraft

October 30, 2006

Last Chance for Your Name to Rise With the Dawn

NASA's campaign to send the nom de plumes of people from around the world into the heart of the asteroid belt ends Sat., Nov. 4.

Read more

 
Moon

October 30, 2006

Discovery Program Selections

NASA has selected several mission concepts for further study. The selections include a JPL-managed mission to study our moon and new mission concepts for the Deep Impact and Stardust spacecraft.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
McMurdo panorama from Spirit

October 25, 2006

NASA Posts Panorama to Celebrate Rover's 1,000th Martian Day

NASA's long-lived Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will finish its 1,000th Martian day Thursday, continuing a successful mission originally planned for 90 Martian days.

Read more

 
Earth

October 25, 2006

JPL and UCLA Team to Study Southern California's Weather, Climate, Environment

A new JPL-UCLA Joint Institute will strive to better understand and predict regional environmental and climate change and support future space missions.

Read more

 
early rocket motor test

October 25, 2006

The Spark of a New Era

Seventy years ago this Halloween, a group of young men clambered out of a truck and carried their cumbersome test equipment into the dirt and scruffy brush of Pasadena's Arroyo Seco.

Read more

 
Dr. Charles Elachi

October 23, 2006

JPL Director Named One of 'America's Best Leaders'

Dr. Charles Elachi, director of JPL, is being honored as one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Read more

 
artist's drawing of sun

October 23, 2006

During Solar Conjunction, Mars Spacecraft on Autopilot

For a brief time, the sun will get in the way of communications between Earth and Mars spacecraft, but mission teams are well prepared for this natural event called solar conjunction.

Read more

 
JPL

October 20, 2006

JPL Innovation Honored

JPL has been honored for a research and development innovation -- an untethered, self-powered robotic system to visually inspect gas pipelines.

Read more

 
South Pole maps, measuring ozone hole chemistry

October 19, 2006

2006 Antarctic Ozone Hole Largest On Record

New NASA and NOAA data, including chemical maps from JPL's Microwave Limb Sounder, confirm that this year's Antarctic ozone hole is the largest on record.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
diverse materials and morphologies in the region south of Mawrth Vallis on Mars

October 16, 2006

NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details of Mars, Young and Old

During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's newest Mars spacecraft is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the red planet.

Read more

 

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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Hurricane Katrina, seen from Terra satellite

October 12, 2006

Does Your Ocean Have a Fever?

A new NASA website provides up-to-date information on global sea surface temperatures, used to monitor ocean currents, climate change and hurricane development.

Read more

 
Saturn's D-ring

October 11, 2006

Saturn's Rings Show Evidence of a Modern-Day Collision

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spied a new, continuously changing feature that provides circumstantial evidence that a comet or asteroid recently collided with Saturn's innermost ring, the faint D ring.

Read more

 
Saturn shelters the sun, creating a view that illuminates planet and its rings

October 11, 2006

NASA Finds Saturn's Moons May be Creating New Rings

Cassini scientists are on the trail of the missing moons of Saturn. A recent observation by the spacecraft leads them to believe that they will find the moons near newly discovered rings around the planet.

Read more

 
infrared image of Saturn

October 11, 2006

Cassini Image Shows Saturn Draped in a String of Pearls

Saturn appears dressed to the nines, "wearing" a strand of "pearls" in a stunning infrared image from the Cassini spacecraft that showcases a meteorological phenomenon.

Read more

 
Gentry Lee

October 10, 2006

JPL's Gentry Lee Honored With Masursky Award

Gentry Lee, Chief Engineer for the Planetary Flight Systems Directorate of JPL has been awarded the prestigious Harold Masursky Award, presented by the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.

Read more

 
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?

Read more

 
Tom Duxbury receives award

October 9, 2006

Stardust Wins 'Popular Mechanics' Award

NASA's Stardust mission received Popular Mechanics' Breakthrough Award 2006 for innovative spacecraft design, mission planning and execution, and scientific achievement. JPL's Tom Duxbury, Stardust project manager, was on hand to receive the award.

Read more

 
Reconnaissance Orbiter view of Opportunity

October 6, 2006

NASA's Mars Rover and Orbiter Team Examines Victoria Crater

NASA's long-lived robotic rover Opportunity is beginning to explore layered rocks in cliffs ringing the massive Victoria crater on Mars.

Read more

 
Antenna for the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program

October 5, 2006

Student Telescope Program at Goldstone Turns 10

The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program in California's Mojave Desert celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

Read more

 
false-color view of Saturn

October 5, 2006

'Chinese Lantern' Technique Helps Track Clouds at Saturn

A new image of Saturn demonstrates a technique that creates a 'Chinese lantern' effect, showing Saturn's deep clouds silhouetted against the planet's warm, glowing interior.

Read more

 

October 5, 2006

In the Pacific, 'The Child' Awakens

El Nino, a cyclical warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that can profoundly affect weather worldwide, appears to be in its early stages of development, according to scientists at NASA and NOAA.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Day fire

October 3, 2006

JPL Instrument Sees 'Day' Fire

This infrared image of the Day fire burning in Southern California was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA's Terra satellite at 10 p.m. Pacific Time, Sept. 28.

Read more

 
first image from high resolution camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

September 29, 2006

NASA's New Mars Camera Gives Dramatic View of Planet

Mars is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars is returning low-altitude images to Earth from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Read more

 
one of the first regions of Mars measured after instrument's cover was opened

September 29, 2006

New Spectrometer Begins Its Global Map of Mars

The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, a mineral mapping instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, began observing Mars after its lens cover was opened on Sept. 27, 2006.

Read more

 
Opportunity view at rim of Victoria Crater

September 27, 2006

NASA Mars Rover Arrives at Dramatic Vista on Red Planet

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity has arrived at the rim of a crater approximately five times wider than a previous stadium-sized one it studied for half a year.

Read more

 
artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

September 27, 2006

Mars Mineral Mapper Ready for Action

The mineral-mapping instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully removed its lens cover and is ready to start observing the planet. The cover protected the lens of the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars while the spacecraft was shrinking its orbit by repeatedly dipping into Mars' atmosphere.

Read more

 

September 25, 2006

NASA Mars Spacecraft Gear Up for Extra Work

NASA's Mars robotic missions are performing so well, they are being prepared for additional overtime work.

Read more

 
artist concept of Aura spacecraft

September 25, 2006

NASA Study Tracks Global Sources, Transport of Air Pollution

A NASA and university study of ozone and carbon monoxide pollution in Earth's atmosphere is providing unique insights into the sources of these pollutants and how they are transported around the world.

Read more

 
Titan

September 25, 2006

Cassini Aimed High During Titan Flyby

Cassini successful flew by Titan on Saturday, Sept. 23. Data collected will help scientists study the composition at the very highest levels of Titan's atmosphere.

Read more

 
Tom May

September 22, 2006

JPL Presents Workshop to Assist Small Businesses

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will host a workshop to assist small businesses on Oct. 10 at the Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego's Mission Valley.

Read more

 
Titan

September 22, 2006

Cassini Aims High in Upcoming Titan Flyby

Cassini's next close flyby of Titan will be on Saturday, Sept. 23. This will be one of Cassini's closest flybys yet of Titan, at just 960 kilometers (600 miles) above the surface. Scientists will use the observations to study the composition at the very highest levels of Titan's atmosphere.

Read more

 
Argo float shortly before recovery by Japanese Coast Guard

September 21, 2006

Short-Term Ocean Cooling Suggests Global Warming 'Speed Bump'

The average temperature of the water near the top of Earth's oceans has significantly cooled since 2003. New research suggests global warming trends are not always steady in their effects on ocean temperatures.

Read more

 
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

Read more

 
From left: JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi, La Canada-Flintridge Mayor Greg Brown, and Dr. Baltimore

September 20, 2006

JPL Says Thanks and Farewell to Baltimore

JPLers turned out Monday to give a sendoff to Nobel laureate Dr. David Baltimore, who retired this month as president of the California Institute of Technology, the Laboratory's parent institution, after nine years in that post. 

Read more

 
new ring at Saturn

September 19, 2006

Scientists Discover New Ring and Other Features at Saturn

Saturn sports a new ring in an image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sunday, Sept. 17, during a one-of-a-kind observation.

Read more

 
Opportunity view of Victoria Crater

September 19, 2006

NASA Rover Opportunity Takes First Peek Into Victoria Crater

On Monday, NASA's Mars rover Opportunity got to within about 160 feet of the rim of the half-mile-wide Victoria Crater, the rover's destination since late 2004.

Read more

 
artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with radar deployed

September 19, 2006

Ground-Piercing Radar on NASA Mars Orbiter Ready for Work

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has extended the long-armed antenna of its radar, preparing the instrument to begin probing for underground layers of Mars.

Read more

 
Athlete rover

September 15, 2006

JPL Rover Stretches Its Legs

JPL engineers test Athlete, an All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer vehicle, in the Arizona desert. The robotic vehicle is capable of "walking" over extremely rough or steep terrain.
+ Larger view
+ Related feature

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Eris

September 14, 2006

Hotly-Debated Solar System Object Gets a Name

A new name has been bestowed on the "dwarf planet" whose discovery in 2005 rocked the solar system.

Read more

 

September 14, 2006

Cassini Detects Vast Ethane Cloud on Titan

Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer has detected what appears to be a massive ethane cloud surrounding Titan's north pole.

Read more

 
comparison views of Arctic sea ice, Dec. 21, 2004 and Dec. 21, 2005

September 13, 2006

NASA Sees Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice

NASA data show that Arctic perennial sea ice, which normally survives the summer melt season and remains year-round, shrunk abruptly by 14 percent between 2004 and 2005.

Read more

 
artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

September 12, 2006

NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Planned Flight Path

NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has completed the challenging half-year task of shaping its orbit to the nearly circular, low-altitude pattern from which it will scrutinize the planet.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Titan

September 11, 2006

Titan Comes Under Cassini's Watchful Gaze

Cassini flew by Saturn's moon Titan on Sept. 7, 2006, studying its atmosphere and surface.

Read more

 
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

Read more

 
Sulfur-rich stains

September 8, 2006

Exploring Europa by Way of the Arctic

This summer, a science team set out on a two-week expedition of Earth's own little version of Jupiter's moon Europa

Read more

 
Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater'

September 8, 2006

Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater'

After driving more than 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from the site where it landed in January 2004, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity approached "Victoria Crater" in September 2006.

Read more

 
Opportunity's path towards Victoria Crater

September 6, 2006

NASA Rover Nears Martian Bowl Goal

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is closing in on what may be the grandest overlook and richest science trove of its long mission.

Read more

 
Map of the path of the plume of pollution from the World Trade Center

September 6, 2006

Smoke Plume Dispersal from the World Trade Center Disaster

The collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the fires that followed produced a noxious smoke plume, a complex mixture of tiny airborne particles and gases.

Read more

 
Titan, backlit by sun

September 5, 2006

Cassini to Fly by Titan

After revealing a land of bountiful lakes on Cassini's last flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, the journey continues during a flyby on Sept. 7, 2006.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Earth, with scale showing amount of ozone

August 30, 2006

NASA, NOAA Data Indicate Ozone Layer is Recovering

A new study using NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data finds consistent evidence that Earth's ozone layer is on the mend.

Read more

 
eye of Hurricane Ileana

August 25, 2006

CloudSat Catches Eye of Ileana

These two images are from two different satellites, giving a top-down and sideways view of Hurricane Ileana as she spins in the eastern Pacific on Aug. 23, 2006. The bottom view is from the JPL-managed CloudSat mission.

Read more

 
montage of planets

August 24, 2006

Honey, I Shrunk the Solar System

If you woke up Thursday morning and sensed something was different about the world around you, you're absolutely right. Pluto is no longer a planet.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
drawing of planets in sky

August 18, 2006

Rise and Shine With the Planets

Step outside 45 minutes before sunrise Aug. 20 to 22. The celestial view is well worth an early wake up.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
JPL educator escorts students on visit

August 18, 2006

Back to School With JPL

Do you know someone who is into science and math? JPL's Education Office has a "backpack" full of resources to encourage students to pursue these interests -- so they may one day come to work for NASA and JPL.

Read more

 
artist concept showing jets shooting into  martian polar sky

August 16, 2006

NASA Findings Suggest Jets Bursting From Martian Ice Cap

Every spring brings violent eruptions to the south polar ice cap of Mars, according to researchers interpreting new observations by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Read more

 
artist concept of solar system montage

August 16, 2006

Cosmic Debate: What's Up With the Planets?

When kids head back to school this fall, they might have some brand new planets to memorize. The International Astronomical Union, currently meeting in Prague, is expected to vote on the definition of a planet.

Read more

 
artist concept of Voyager near interstellar space

August 15, 2006

Voyager 1: 'The Spacecraft That Could' Hits New Milestone

Voyager 1, already the most distant human-made object in the cosmos, reaches 100 astronomical units from the sun on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:13 p.m. Eastern time (2:13 p.m. Pacific time).

Read more

 
JPL student intern Kelly Wills

August 14, 2006

Blind JPL Student Intern Works on Mars-Bound Instrument

Not many teenagers can say they've worked on an instrument that will fly in space.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
infrared image of Typhoon Saomai

August 11, 2006

Typhoon Saomai Seen by Atmospheric Infrared Sounder

This is an infrared image of Typhoon Saomai taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite on August 10, 2006. This image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions.

Read more

 
Dr. James Van Allen; image credit Univ. of Iowa

August 9, 2006

U.S. Space Pioneer Dies

Dr. James Van Allen, who helped usher in the space age as the scientist in charge of the instrument on JPL's Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, died Wednesday, August 9, at the age of 91. On the left, Dr. Van Allen (image courtesy Univ. of Iowa); on the right, a model of Explorer 1, held by JPL's Director William Pickering, scientist James Van Allen and rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun.
+ Larger image
+ Univ. of Iowa release

Read more

 
NASA Astronauts Visit JPL

August 9, 2006

NASA Astronauts Visit JPL

Mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Piers Sellers spoke at JPL about their recent shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
probable lakes on Titan

July 27, 2006

Cassini Finds Lakes on Titan's Arctic Region

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found lakes on Saturn's moon Titan. The lakes are most likely the source of hydrocarbon smog in the frigid moon's atmosphere.

Read more

 
thunderstorms over Africa

July 26, 2006

NASA Africa Mission Investigates Origin, Development of Hurricanes

Scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, universities and international agencies will study how winds and dust conditions from Africa influence the birth of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more

 
Tom May

July 25, 2006

JPL Business Opportunities Manager Receives Minority Award

Thomas H. May, manager of the Business Opportunities Office and Supplier Diversity Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has been selected as one of this year's 50 influential minorities in business by the Minority Business and Professional Network, Incorporated.

Read more

 
views of Hurricane Daniel

July 25, 2006

NASA's CloudSat Captures Hurricane Daniel's Transformation

Hurricane Daniel intensified between July 18 and July 23rd. NASA's new CloudSat satellite was able to capture and confirm this transformation in its side-view images of Hurricane Daniel as seen in this series of images.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
possible lakes on Titan

July 24, 2006

Cassini's Radar Spots 'Great Lakes' on Titan

Cassini's radar instrument has discovered patches of lakes scattered over the high latitudes near Titan's north pole. These lakes appear to be filled with hydrocarbon liquids, possibly making Titan the only place other than Earth known to contain lakes.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
radar view of Titan

July 19, 2006

Cassini Reveals Titan's Xanadu Region to Be an Earth-Like Land

New radar images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed geological features similar to Earth on Xanadu, an Australia-sized, bright region on Saturn's moon Titan.

Read more

 
Dr. Jeff Sakamoto holds nerve guidance device

July 19, 2006

JPL and Partners Study Device to Help Spinal Cord Injuries

Technology developed to help build better batteries for space missions is also being used to create a device that might one day help people living with spinal cord injuries.

Read more

 
Viking 2 on Mars

July 14, 2006

NASA Marks 30th Anniversary of Mars Viking Mission

Thirty years after the first successful landing on Mars by NASA's Viking spacecraft, the ambitious mission continues to evoke pride and enthusiasm for future space exploration.

Read more

 
CloudSat image of Hurricane Bud

July 14, 2006

CloudSat Gets Acquainted With Bud

Hurricane Bud, churning in the Pacific off the western coast of Mexico, was captured in this July 12 image from NASA's CloudSat satellite (lower panel). The top image is from a geostationary imager. The red and purple areas in the CloudSat image indicate the presence of large amounts of cloud water or precipitation.

Read more

 
possible meteorite on Mars

July 10, 2006

Spirit Finds Possible Meteorites in the Martian Hills

The two larger, light-colored rocks seen by the Spirit rover at "Low Ridge" have unusual morphologies. Miniature thermal emission spectrometer signatures of the rocks resemble those of a rock explored by Spirit's twin, Opportunity. The rock analysed by Opportunity revealed it to be an iron meteorite.

Read more

 
map of South America using Grace data

July 5, 2006

NASA Satellites Find Balance in South America's Water Cycle

For the first time, NASA scientists using space-based measurements have directly monitored and measured the complete cycle of water movement for an entire continent.

Read more

 
surface view of Titan from Jul. 2, 2006. flyby

July 5, 2006

Cassini Flies by Titan: Looks In, Out and Over

The Cassini mission marked its second anniversary at Saturn on June 30th and celebrated with a successful flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on July 2. During this halfway point event, Cassini focused on the interactions between Titan's atmosphere and the big bubble that surrounds Saturn, called the magnetosphere.

Read more

 
Thomas Valdez, Jaime Escalante and Sergio Valdez pose for a photo

June 30, 2006

To Inspire, Be Inspired

If you want to be an inspirational teacher, it's not hard: You have to be inspired yourself.

Read more

 
graphic illustrating atmosphere around Enceladus

June 29, 2006

Enceladus Exudes an Air of Mystery

Just as perfume lingering in the air of an empty room offers hints about a previous occupant, the cloud of oxygen the Cassini spacecraft encountered as it first approached Saturn turned out to be a calling card from another celestial presence, the tiny moon Enceladus.

Read more

 
map showing time elapsed after Sumatra earthquake, December 2004, with an inset of GPS data

June 28, 2006

NASA Satellite Positioning Software May Aid in Tsunami Warnings

University scientists using Global Positioning System (GPS) software developed by JPL have shown that GPS can determine, within minutes, whether an earthquake is big enough to generate an ocean-wide tsunami.

Read more

 
Saturn and its rings

June 27, 2006

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Marks Mission Halfway Point

As the Cassini spacecraft reaches the halfway mark in its four-year tour of the Saturn system, discoveries made during the first half of the mission have scientists revved up to find out what’s in store for the second act.

Read more

 
shadow of Rhea in front of Saturn

June 21, 2006

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet

The cold, icy orbs of the Saturn system come to life in a slew of new movie clips from the Cassini spacecraft showing the ringed planet's moons in motion.

Read more

 
Dr. Daniel McCleese

June 19, 2006

Mars Atmosphere Researcher McCleese Named JPL Chief Scientist

The director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has appointed Dr. Daniel J. McCleese as the laboratory's chief scientist.

Read more

 
artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter during aerobraking

June 19, 2006

Pace Quickens for NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mars

NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has already cut the size and duration of each orbit by more than half, just 11 weeks into a 23-week process of shrinking its orbit.

Read more

 
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

 
waves crashing on rocks. image courtesy Franklin O'Donnell

June 14, 2006

NASA Missions Help Dissect Sea Level Rise

Sea level isn't, well, level. Nor is the rate by which sea level has been rising over the past few decades, but the trend is clearly up.

Read more

 
possible meteorite on Mars

June 12, 2006

Spirit Rover Spies Possible Meteorite on Mars

The large rock in the center foreground of this picture is suspected of being an iron meteorite. The rock, informally named "Allan Hills," has a smoother texture and lighter tone than other rocks in the area.

Read more

 
CloudSat image of tropical storm Alberto

June 12, 2006

CloudSat Peers Inside Tropical Storm Alberto

Tropical Storm Alberto is dissected in this June 12 image (top) from NASA's new CloudSat satellite. In comparison to two views from National Weather Service tools (lower images), CloudSat saw a broader and more vertical view of the the storm. Heavy rainfall is seen where the horizontal green line at the bottom of the CloudSat image disappears.

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.

Read more

 
Cloudsat image of storm over central Alaska

June 6, 2006

First Images From NASA'S Cloudsat Have Scientists Sky-High

The first images from NASA's new CloudSat satellite are already revealing never-before-seen 3-D details about clouds.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Dr. Bob Pappalardo

June 5, 2006

Collaboration Finds a Rolling Moon

Bob Pappalardo gets by with a little help from his friends. Pappalardo is a newly hired JPL planetary scientist who credits a collaborative effort with colleagues for a recent unusual discovery based on images from Cassini.

Read more

 
Jason data showing Pacific Ocean

June 1, 2006

Jason Satellite Shows Calm Pacific

The latest remote sensing data from the NASA/French Jason satellite show near normal conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. As we enter the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, there are currently no visible signs in sea surface height of either El Niño or La Niña.

Read more

 
graphic illustrating the interior of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

May 31, 2006

NASA-Funded Study Says Saturn's Moon Enceladus Rolled Over

Saturn's moon Enceladus - an active, icy world with an unusually warm south pole - may have performed an unusual trick for a planetary body. New research shows Enceladus rolled over, literally, explaining why the moon's hottest spot is at the south pole.

Read more

 
parital view of Titan and Saturn's rings

May 30, 2006

Cassini Spacecraft Snaps Titan and Saturn's Rings

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, peaks out from under the planet's rings of ice in this natural-color view taken by the Cassini spacecraft. This view looks toward Titan from slightly beneath the ringplane.

Read more

 
JPL educator and class discuss science at Explorer School activity

May 25, 2006

JPL Announces New Explorer School Partnerships

Students from two San Diego schools will expand their knowledge of science and space, thanks to a new partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Read more

 

May 23, 2006

Voyager: Living on the Edge of the Solar System

NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft are beaming back new information about the final frontier of our solar system, including evidence of "potholes" in the turbulent zone near the edge. New findings are being presented this week at the American Geophysical Union conference in Baltimore.
+ Podcast
+ Audio clips for media
+ Slide show: Planetary tour

Read more

 
extensive pattern of rain water deposited by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on land surfaces over several states in the southern and eastern United States

May 22, 2006

NASA Instrument Provides New Data on Floods and Droughts

A NASA instrument designed primarily to measure winds on the ocean surface is turning out to have other abilities over land that may help in both flood and drought situations.

Read more

 

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

Read more

 

May 18, 2006

JPL to Hold Small Business Symposium in Nation's Capital

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will host the 9th Space Science Symposium for Small Business on Monday, June 5, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Read more

 

May 18, 2006

JPL Instrument Tracks Dust From China Dust Storm

Large dust storms emanating from northwestern China's Inner Mongolia region traveled eastward and caused the worst period of air pollution in six years in Beijing. JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder aboard NASA's Aqua satellite helped track the dust.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Lemur has the abilities of an octopus, a crab and a primate into a six-limbed robot with Swiss army knife tendencies.

May 11, 2006

Limber Robot Might Hitchhike to Space

Lemurs, those wide-eyed, active, monkey-like animals running around the island in the movie "Madagascar," are known for their ability to leap. A robotic lemur being tested at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory moves more slowly, but might someday take its own giant leap - by going into space with astronauts.

Read more

 
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the broken Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 skimming along a trail of debris.

May 10, 2006

Spitzer Telescope Sees Trail of Comet Crumbs

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has snapped a picture of the bits and pieces making up Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, which is continuing to break apart on its periodic journey around the sun.

Read more

 
Artist concept of earth observing spacecrafts

May 9, 2006

Tibet Provides Passage for Chemicals to Reach the Stratosphere

NASA and university researchers have found that thunderstorms over Tibet provide a main pathway for water vapor and chemicals to travel from the lower atmosphere, where human activity directly affects atmospheric composition, into the stratosphere, where the protective ozone layer resides.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
JPL employee Alice Wessen and daughter Raina

May 9, 2006

JPL Open House: A Kid's Perspective

My name is Raina Wessen and I'm a 12-year-old who has been to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Open House at least six times so I'm an expert on all the cool stuff that happens at the lab on those two days.

Read more

 
JPL openhouse event in 2005

May 8, 2006

JPL Open House: An Invitation to Explore New Worlds

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., invites the public to "Explore New Worlds" without leaving Southern California.

Read more

 
Saturn

May 4, 2006

Cassini Offers New Hints on Length of Saturn Day

We all know Earth rotates every 24 hours, but scientists have long had difficulty pinpointing how long the day is on Saturn.

Read more

 
Titan

May 4, 2006

NASA and Partners Release New Movies Of Titan

New views of the most distant touchdown ever made by a spacecraft are being released today by NASA, the European Space Agency and the University of Arizona.

Read more

 
graphic showing cold water from La Nina and trade winds that blow them

May 4, 2006

La Niña Not Expected To Affect 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season

NASA oceanographers concur that the recent La Niñ a in the Pacific Ocean is not expected to have an effect on the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1. Normally, a La Niña tends to increase Atlantic hurricane activity and decrease Pacific Ocean hurricanes.

Read more

 
impact crater or a cryovolcanic caldera

May 3, 2006

Cassini Flies by Titan, Sees More Craters

Saturn's moon Titan continued to surprise scientists during a flyby that took Cassini into regions previously unexplored by radar.

Read more

 
Mars

May 1, 2006

Rolling Ripple

NASA's Opportunity rover continues to cut southward across a plain marked by large sand ripples and a pavement of outcrop rock.

Read more

 
launch of CloudSat/Calipso

April 28, 2006

NASA Launches Satellites for Weather, Climate, Air Quality Studies

Two NASA satellites were launched Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on missions to reveal the inner secrets of clouds and aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the air.

Read more

 
Susan Braunheim-Kalogerakos and Jacob Kalogerakos

April 28, 2006

Take Our Child to Work Day

More than 600 children accompanied their parents to work today during JPL's annual event. Children tagged along for an on-the-job perspective of robotics labs, science and mission planning, web publishing and more. Kids also created their own constellations and saw a demonstration of the Mars rovers.

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad

April 27, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled for Friday

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has been rescheduled for Friday morning, April 28, at 3:02 a.m. PDT. Weather is not expected to be a concern for Friday's launch.

Read more

 
Phoenix spacecraft artist's concept

April 26, 2006

Pieces of NASA's Next Mars Mission are Coming Together

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, the next mission to the surface of Mars, is beginning a new phase in preparation for a launch in August 2007.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad, Apr. 25, 2006

April 25, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Postponed

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., was scrubbed Tuesday shortly before 3 a.m. PDT due to higher than allowable upper level wind conditions. The next launch attempt is tentatively set for Wednesday, April 26, at 3:02 a.m. PDT. Weather is a concern for Wednesday's launch attempt. The forecast calls for a 40 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions.

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad, Apr. 22, 2006. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

April 23, 2006

CloudSat and Calipso Sunday Morning Launch Postponed

The Sunday morning launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has been postponed. Mission managers are reviewing the next available launch opportunity. The refueling aircraft required to maintain the radar tracking plane was unavailable to support a launch attempt on Sunday. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
+ Larger view of image

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad

April 23, 2006

CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled for April 25

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 25. Launch is set for 3:02 a.m. Pacific, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The current weather forecast calls for a 90 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
+ Larger view

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad

April 21, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Postponed to Sunday

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso spacecraft has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 23, at 3:02 a.m. PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The current weather forecast calls for an 80 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions.

Read more

 
CloudSat on launch pad

April 21, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso satellites is rescheduled for Saturday, April 22. Launch is set for 3:02 a.m. PDT. Today's launch was scrubbed at T-48 seconds due to loss of the primary and backup phone communications between the Mission Directors' Center at Vandenberg and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Space Command in Toulouse, France. The communications loss is being evaluated.

Read more

 

April 19, 2006

Saturn's Storms Run Rings Around Earth's

On Saturn, it may be a very long wait for the calm after a storm. As big and destructive as hurricanes on Earth can be, at least they don't last long.

Read more

 
CloudSat preps for launch

April 19, 2006

Cloud-Observing Missions Prep for April 21 Launch

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso spacecraft prepare for launch on Apr. 21, 3:02 a.m. Pacific, aboard the same Boeing Delta rocket. After achieving orbit, the two craft will separate. CloudSat, managed by JPL, and Calipso will study the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality.

Read more

 
1906 San Francisco earthquake damage

April 17, 2006

A Century of Quake Research

In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, a violent earthquake shook San Francisco and the surrounding area. A new interactive Flash feature, video and podcast explore the impact this quake has had on current earthquake research.

Read more

 
launch of Cosmic

April 15, 2006

U.S.-Taiwan Satellite Constellation Launches

A globe-spanning constellation of six weather and climate research satellites based on global positioning system occultation technology developed at JPL successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Friday, April 14.

Read more

 
artist's concept of COSMIC

April 13, 2006

NASA Technology Spawns Weather, Climate Satellite Constellation

A globe-spanning constellation of six weather and climate research satellites based on a novel application of NASA-developed technology is set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Friday, April 14.

Read more

 
view of Argyre Basin from test of Mars Color Image

April 13, 2006

Mars Cameras Debut as NASA Craft Adjusts Orbit

Researchers today released the first Mars images from two of the three science cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Read more

 
CloudSat launch preps

April 13, 2006

Cloud-Observing Missions Prep for April 21 Launch

NASA's CloudSat and CALIPSO spacecraft are lifted at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for integration with the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. The spacecraft will study the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality.
+ CloudSat news | + Mission home
+ CALIPSO home

Read more

 
Spirit view of coarse-grained layers from around the edge of a low plateau

April 12, 2006

NASA Mars Rovers Head for New Sites After Studying Layers

NASA's Mars rover Spirit has reached a safe site for the Martian winter, while its twin, Opportunity, is making fast progress toward a destination of its own.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Ocean Surface Topography Mission

April 11, 2006

NASA Joins Partners for Ocean Surface Topography Mission

NASA has signed an agreement with other U.S. and international agencies to launch the Ocean Surface Topography Mission in 2008.

Read more

 
Saturn with Tethys,  and in the larger view, Titan, Telesto and Enceladus

April 10, 2006

Cassini-Huygens Team Receives Space Award

The Cassini-Huygens mission team, which has captured the most detailed views ever of Saturn and its myriad of moons, was honored with an Aerospace Laurel award by the editors of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.

Read more

 
on left, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image; on right, Mars Odyssey image

April 7, 2006

Mars Orbiters Achieve Milestones

The red planet's newest observer, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and 2001 Mars Odyssey have achieved milestones. Reconnaissance Orbiter's high resolution camera took its first color image, seen on the left, and Odyssey marks five years of exploration with a spectacular image of a sun-bathed Martian surface, seen on the right.
+ Reconnaissance Orbiter image
+ Odyssey image

Read more

 
Urbie, the urban robot

April 7, 2006

Robotics Technology Honored

A robot using technology developed at JPL was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. The robot's twin at JPL is called an urban robot, or Urbie.
+ More about robot

Read more

 
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

 
image showing  heat being emitted from both the day side and the night side of Mars

March 31, 2006

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Craft Begins Adjusting Orbit

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter yesterday began a crucial six-month campaign to gradually shrink its orbit into the best geometry for the mission's science work.

Read more

 
This image provides broad context within the rings, and shows the B ring, Cassini Division, A ring and F ring.

March 29, 2006

Cassini Finds 'Missing Link' Moonlet Evidence in Saturn's Rings

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have found evidence that a new class of small moonlets resides within Saturn's rings. There may be as many as 10 million of these objects within one of Saturn's rings alone.

Read more

 
robots compete in basketball tournament

March 28, 2006

Students Win Robotics Basketball Tournament

It may not be the final four, but it's definitely an exciting time for some Southern California high school students who won a regional game of robotics basketball.

Read more

 
70 meter Deep Space Network antenna

March 28, 2006

Forty Years of Space Talk

"That's one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind." That famous communique from Apollo 11 during the historic first-ever moon walk was brought to you by the 64-meter antenna at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, Calif.

Read more

 
first image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of Mars

March 24, 2006

NASA's New Mars Orbiter Returns Test Images

The first test images of Mars from NASA's newest spacecraft provide a tantalizing preview of what the orbiter will reveal when its main science mission begins next fall.

Read more

 
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team looks at first images from Mars

March 24, 2006

Happy Mars-Camera Team

Team members for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enjoy seeing the first Mars images from the camera, at the instrument's operations center on the University of Arizona campus, Tucson. Images will be released later today.

Read more

 
launch of ST5

March 22, 2006

Space Technology 5 Launches

A Pegasus rocket carrying three Space Technology 5 micro-satellites successfully dropped from its carrier jet. All three satellites are now orbiting Earth. The mission, part of the New Milllennium Program, will test and validate new technologies for future science missions. JPL manages the New Millennium Program for NASA.

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.

Read more

 
Deep Space Network antennas with superimposed areas to illustrate signals

March 21, 2006

JPL Performs First Two-Antenna Uplink Experiment

For the first time ever, NASA's Deep Space Network has used a pair of smaller antennas to successfully send two simultaneous signals to a spacecraft in deep space that were combined at the spacecraft to yield greater signal power.

Read more

 
meddes, shown in red, in Atlantic Ocean

March 20, 2006

Scientists Use Satellites to Help Detect Deep-Ocean Whirlpools

Marine scientists have figured out a way to see through the ocean's surface and detect what's below, with the help of satellites.

Read more

 
Spirit view from Feb. 2006 of layered rock

March 17, 2006

Mars Rovers Get New Manager During Challenging Period

NASA's long-lived Mars rovers demand lots of care as they age and the Martian winter approaches.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
Trey Goodman Baton Rouge, Louisiana Observatory Manager

March 15, 2006

NASA Announces Solar System Ambassadors Class of 2006

Solar System Ambassadors are JPL-trained volunteers who share the wonders of space exploration with their communities. Each ambassador agrees to conduct at least four public outreach events during the year.

Read more

 
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

Read more

 
Steve Squyres, mission scientist,  and Jim Erickson, mission manager

March 14, 2006

Rover Team Honored

The team responsible for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover missions has received the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the museum's highest honor.
+ Museum release

Read more

 
a view of Melas Chasma, a scene from video showing simulated flight ove Valles Marineris

March 13, 2006

Years of Observing Combined Into Best-Yet Look at Mars Canyon

A new view of the biggest canyon in the solar system, merging hundreds of photos from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, offers scientists and the public an online resource for exploring the entire canyon in detail.

Read more

 
comet particle from Stardust mission

March 13, 2006

Stardust Findings May Alter View of Comet Formation

Samples from comet Wild 2 have surprised scientists, indicating the formation of at least some comets may have included materials ejected by the early sun to the far reaches of the solar system.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at Mars

March 10, 2006

Robotic NASA Craft Begins Orbiting Mars for Most-Detailed Exam

With a crucially timed firing of its main engines today, NASA's new mission to Mars successfully put itself into orbit around the red planet.

Read more

 
Plumes of icy material on Saturn's moon Enceladus

March 9, 2006

NASA's Cassini Discovers Potential Liquid Water on Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft may have found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter near Mars

March 8, 2006

Fast-Talking NASA Spacecraft Starts Final Approach to Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has begun its final approach to the red planet after activating a sequence of commands designed to get the spacecraft successfully into orbit.

Read more

 
Tracy Drain stands by the JPL/NASA sign at JPL

March 7, 2006

An Engineer's First Trip to Mars

Tracy Drain ticks off the complex chain of mission planning and software programming required for NASA's latest Mars orbiter to reach its destination.

Read more

 
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter chief engineer Todd Bayer

March 3, 2006

Engineers Exercise for Martian Matchup

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team that has been working furiously during the orbiter's cruise is now preparing for a big moment at Mars: the mission-critical Mars orbit insertion.

Read more

 
map showing estimated change in total Antarctic mass from 2002 to 2005

March 2, 2006

NASA Mission Detects Significant Antarctic Ice Mass Loss

The first-ever gravity survey of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, conducted using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), concludes the ice sheet's mass has decreased significantly from 2002 to 2005.

Read more

 
pre-sumatra earthquake

March 1, 2006

Tsunami Disaster Studies Force Rethinking of Quakes

Two newly published studies of the December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake shed new insights on the fault rupture that caused the quake and have implications for where such giant quakes are likely to occur in the future.
+ Image caption
+ Full story from Caltech

Read more

 
artist's concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter approaching Mars

February 24, 2006

NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival

As it nears Mars on March 10, a NASA spacecraft designed to examine the red planet in unprecedented detail from low orbit will point its main thrusters forward, then fire them to slow itself enough for Mars' gravity to grab it into orbit.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
2-micrometer comet particle

February 21, 2006

Stardust Team Finds Gem of a Comet Particle

This two-micrometer comet particle, collected by the Stardust spacecraft, is made up of the silicate mineral forsterite, which can be found on Earth in gemstones called peridot.
+ New image: Making Celestial Tracks

Read more

 
Norman Ahmad inspects ATHLETE rover

February 17, 2006

A Conversation With JPL Engineer Norman Ahmad

Norman Ahmad is a mechanical engineer working in the Robotics division at JPL. He's inspecting the ATHLETE rover, a vehicle being developed to travel on a lunar mission and one that is capable of rolling over extremely rough or steep terrain.
+ Larger image

Read more

 
break-off area of Helheim Glacier

February 16, 2006

Greenland Ice Loss Doubles in Past Decade, Raising Sea Level Faster

The loss of ice from Greenland doubled between 1996 and 2005, as its glaciers flowed faster into the ocean in response to a generally warmer climate, according to a NASA/University of Kansas study.

Read more

 
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.

Read more

 
teachers make adjustments to their experiment

February 14, 2006

Local Teachers Fly Experiments on NASA's 'Weightless Wonder'

Teachers from two Southern California schools are taking their experiments out of the classroom and into NASA's "Weightless Wonder," a flying microgravity laboratory.

Read more

 
storm on Saturn

February 14, 2006

Saturn Storm Rages: Biggest on Record

Cassini scientists are tracking the strongest lighting storm ever detected at Saturn. The storm is larger than the continental United States, with lightning 1,000 times stronger than Earth's lightning.
+ Play audio of storm
+ Explanation of audio
+ Podcast: Lightning Crackles on Saturn
+ Volunteers Help Track Storm

Read more

 
exterior view of JPL

February 9, 2006

JPL Honored by Space Foundation

The Space Foundation has chosen JPL to receive the 2006 Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration. The award honors JPL's vibrant portfolio of inspiring space exploration programs. "On behalf of all the men and women at JPL, I'm gratified by this honor," said JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi. The award will be presented on April 3 during the 22nd National Space Symposium.

Read more

 
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

 
microscopic image from Spirit rover of rock called GongGong

February 6, 2006

Microscopic View on Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its microscopic imager to capture this spectacular, jagged mini-landscape on a rock called "GongGong." Measuring only 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across, this surface records two of the most important and violent forces in the history of Mars -- volcanoes and wind.

Read more

 
Oscillation across the equatorial Indian and western Pacific Oceans is shown in these plots of atmospheric water vapor superimposed over rainfall data.

February 2, 2006

Scientists Surf the Seas of Space to Catch an Atmospheric Wave

A study by NASA and university scientists is shedding new light on a mysterious, cyclical wave in Earth's atmosphere that at times profoundly affects our planet's weather and climate.

Read more

 
comet Tempel seconds after collision with Deep Impact impactor

February 2, 2006

Deep Impact Finds Water Ice on Comet

Scientists on NASA's Deep Impact mission report the direct detection of solid water ice deposits on the surface of comet Tempel 1. This is the first time ice has been detected on the nucleus, or solid body, of a comet. Deep Impact slammed an impactor into Tempel 1 last year in a successful effort to learn more about the composition of comets.
+ Full story from Brown University

Read more

 
artist concept of Stardust

January 30, 2006

Stardust Mission Status Report

NASA's Stardust spacecraft was placed into hibernation mode yesterday.

Read more

 
comet ejecta seen in Stardust aerogel

January 27, 2006

Comet Ejecta Fragments Captured in Stardust Aerogel

The image shows a particle impact on the aluminum frame that holds the aerogel tiles from the Stardust collector grid. The debris from the impact shot into the adjacent aerogel tile, producing the explosion pattern of ejecta framents captured in the material.

Read more

 
students work on temperature sensor

January 26, 2006

Student-Built Buoy Launches Ocean Studies

A student-built buoy, launched this month, will send back data on ocean temperatures that will be available to scientists and students around the world.

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

 
graphic showing Saturn

January 25, 2006

Saturn Viewing:Jan. 27

Saturn reaches opposition -- the closest it comes to Earth -- on Jan. 27, 2006. It will be visible all night long.

Read more

 
Opportunity panorama of Erebus Rim

January 24, 2006

Mars Rovers Advance Understanding of the Red Planet

NASA's Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have been working overtime to help scientists better understand ancient environmental conditions on the red planet.

Read more

 
Stardust scientists in JSC laboratory

January 19, 2006

Scientists Confirm Comet Samples, Ecstatic with Return

Scientists said they were delighted with Stardust samples returned from the tail of a comet after an almost three-billion-mile journey.

Read more

 
Stardust scientists in JSC laboratory

January 18, 2006

Scientists Confirm Comet Samples; Briefing Set For Thursday

Scientists have confirmed that particles from a comet and interstellar dust have been returned to Earth by NASA's Stardust mission.

Read more

 
This artist's conception compares a hypothetical solar system centered around a tiny 'sun'.

January 18, 2006

JPL Hosts Public Hearing on Math and Science Education

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where numbers, engineering and science create magical missions to planets, comets and other space destinations, will host a state hearing on math and science education. California lawmakers, educators, and an astronaut will testify.

Read more

 
high-tech conference

January 18, 2006

JPL to Hold High-Tech Conference for Small Business

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will host the 18th annual High-Tech Conference for Small Business on March 7 and 8, at the Westin Hotel located near Los Angeles International Airport.

Read more

 
artist's concept of landing of Stardust return capsule

January 15, 2006

NASA's Comet Tale Draws to a Successful Close in Utah Desert

NASA's Stardust sample return mission returned safely to Earth when the capsule carrying cometary and interstellar particles successfully touched down at 2:10 a.m. Pacific time (3:10 a.m. Mountain time) in the desert salt flats of the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Stardust nearing Earth

January 14, 2006

NASA's Stardust Passes Moon, Just Hours Away From Earth Return

Less than one day of space travel separates Earth and history's first comet sample return mission.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Stardust nearing Earth

January 12, 2006

NASA's Comet Hunter on Final Approach for Sunday Landing

NASA's Stardust mission return capsule will land Sunday, Jan. 15, on the Utah Test and Training Range.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Stardust nearing Earth

January 12, 2006

Stardust's Final Hours

The last few hours of the Stardust mission will be filled with significant milestones.

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 of Stardust near Earth

January 5, 2006

Stardust Maneuvers Into Rendezvous Path With Earth

Ten days before its historic return to Earth with the first-ever samples from a comet, NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully performed its 18th flight path adjustment.

Read more

 
artist's concept of Topex/Poseidon

January 5, 2006

NASA's Topex/Poseidon Oceanography Mission Ends

The joint NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Topex/Poseidon oceanography satellite ceased operations after nearly 62,000 orbits of Earth.

Read more

 
 Topex/Poseidon data of Pacific Ocean showing El Nino

January 5, 2006

Topex/Poseidon Sails Off Into the Sunset

After a remarkable 13-year voyage of discovery, Topex/Poseidon, the first great oceanographic research vessel to sail into space, ended its mission this month.

Read more

 
Spirit self-portrait

January 3, 2006

Spirit Marks Two Years on Red Planet

On Jan. 3, 2004, the Spirit rover landed in Gusev Crater on Mars, kicking off a mission planned to last 90-days. Two years later, Spirit and fellow robotic explorer Opportunity, which landed Jan. 24, 2004, are still going strong. Above, Spirit's most recent self-portrait.

Read more

 

 

 

Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates