How NASA’s Next Mars Spacecraft Will Greet The Red Planet On Sunday

An artist concept of MAVEN in orbit around Mars. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center). NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter is oh-so-close to its destination after a 10-month journey. It’s scheduled to arrive in orbit Sunday (Sept. 21) around 9:50 p.m. EDT (1:50 a.m. UTC) if all goes well, but there are a […]

How baryon acoustic oscillation reveals the expansion of the universe

Distribution of galaxies in our universe. Credit: SDSS Enlarge Imagine a stadium filled with people. With everyone is in their seats, waiting for the game to begin, there is an undercurrent of noise. A few words between friends, the scuffle of shoes, the creak of a chair. All of these little sounds fill the stadium […]

The Great Cold Spot in the cosmic microwave background

Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team and Rudnick et al. NRAO/AUI/NSF. Enlarge The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the thermal afterglow of the primordial fireball we call the big bang. One of the striking features of the CMB is how remarkably uniform it is. Still, there are some small variations in temperature at various points in the […]

Saturn-circling Cassini spacecraft plumbs Titan’s seas next week

Titan’s thick haze. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Enlarge Is the surf up yet on Titan? As the moon of Saturn moves towards northern summer, scientists are trying to spot signs of the winds picking up. This weekend, the Cassini spacecraft plans a look at the the largest body of liquid on Titan, Kraken Mare, to […]

Hints of Mysterious Dark Matter Revealed by Cosmic Rays

The AMS particle detector has been capturing cosmic ray data from the International Space Station for three years. Credit: NASA Enlarge A particle detector floating 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth has analyzed 41 billion cosmic-ray particles, and the data have revealed new insights into the mysterious and invisible dark matter that physicists believe makes up […]

Pharaoh-Branded Amulet Found at Ancient Copper Mine in Jordan

A detail of the scarab found at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan Credit: University of California, San Diego Enlarge While exploring ancient copper factories in southern Jordan, a team of archaeologists picked up an Egyptian amulet that bears the name of the powerful pharaoh Sheshonq I. The tiny artifact could attest to the fabled military campaign that Sheshonq […]

Nearly 600 Years of Tree Rings Show Altered Ocean Habitat

Credit: Shutterstock/Chabaphoto Enlarge Ocean currents that deliver important nutrients to shallow, coastal waters have become weaker and more variable over the last half-century, which could affect fish and other marine animals that nourish themselves in these nutrient-rich waters, according to a new study. Data records spanning almost 600 years have shown that the strength of coastal […]

Electric car breaks 200 mph barrier to set new land speed record

An electric car built by BYU engineering students has once again set a world land speed record, this time besting the previous mark by nearly 50 mph. BYU's Electric Blue, a world-record holding E1 streamliner. Enlarge Electric Blue, an E1 streamliner designed and modified by more than 130 BYU students over the past 10 years, […]

This Exoplanet Has Prematurely Aged its Star

Optical and X-ray images of the star WASP 18. X-ray Credit: NASA / CXC / SAO / I.Pillitteri et al; Optical Credit: DSS; Illustration Credit: NASA / CXC / M.Weiss Enlarge Hot young stars are wildly active, emitting huge eruptions of charged particles form their surfaces. But as they age they naturally become less active, […]

Mystery of rare five-hour space explosion explained

ENLARGE / The X-ray image from the Swift X-ray Telescope of the gamma-ray burst GRB 130925. The white object in the center is the gamma-ray burst.  The large diffuse region to the right is a cluster of galaxies. The other objects are X-ray-emitting celestial objects, most likely supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies. […]

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