The proposals selected for Phase 2 of the 2013 NIAC Program address a range of visionary concepts including photonic laser thrusters, extreme sample return, and innovative spherical robots designed for planetary exploration.
Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have taken a major step in explaining why material around the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is extraordinarily faint in X-rays. This discovery holds important implications for understanding black holes.
The light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust, seen in this Hubble photo, resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this 'wanna-be' star and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape.
Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the Big Bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the University of Chicago.
China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe is scheduled to be launched at the end of this year for a moon landing mission, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence announced on Wednesday.
The combined computing power of 200,000 private PCs helps astronomers take an inventory of the Milky Way. The Einstein@Home project connects home and office PCs of volunteers from around the world to a global supercomputer. Using this computer cloud, an international team analysed archival data from the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Using new search methods, the global computer network discovered 24 pulsars.
Using an instrument on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, called the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, or HMI, scientists have overturned previous notions of how the sun's writhing insides move from equator to pole and back again, a key part of understanding how the dynamo works. Modeling this system also lies at the heart of improving predictions of the intensity of the next solar cycle.
MOND, a modified law of gravity, correctly predicted in advance of observations the velocity dispersion - the average speed of stars within a galaxy relative to each other - in 10 dwarf satellite galaxies of the Milky Way's giant neighbor Andromeda. MOND also detected subtle differences in gravity fields that dark matter theory says should be uniform.
A team led by astronomers in Brazil has used ESO's Very Large Telescope to study the oldest solar twin known to date. Located 250 light-years away, the star HIP 102152 is more like the Sun than any other solar twin - except that it is nearly four billion years older. This older twin may be host to rocky planets and gives us an unprecedented chance to see how the Sun will look when it ages.
Scientists have detected magmatic water - water that originates from deep within the Moon's interior - on the surface of the Moon. These findings represent the first such remote detection of this type of lunar water, and were arrived at using data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3).
From 4-10 October, more than twenty organizations spread across four continents will be exploring Mars - and discovering more about Earth in the process. A campaign of networked Mars analog activities is being launched to celebrate World Space Week (WSW) 2013.
Ten years after a Delta II rocket launched NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, lighting up the night sky over Cape Canaveral, Fla., the fourth of the agency's four Great Observatories continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.
An international team of astronomers that are members of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru Telescope (SEEDS) Project has observed a disk around the young star RY Tau (Tauri). The team's analysis of the disk shows that a 'fluffy' layer above it is responsible for the scattered light observed in the infrared image.
Astronomers have assembled, from more than 13 years of observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a series of time-lapse movies showing a jet of superheated gas - 5,000 light-years long - as it is ejected from a supermassive black hole.
On Aug. 11, Fermi entered an extended phase of its mission - a deeper study of the high-energy cosmos. This is a significant step toward the science team's planned goal of a decade of observations, ending in 2018.