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26 August 2022

17-Ice: Stolen moon ice

When you think of ice, you might imagine glaciers, the North Pole, a clink in your water glass. But it turns out that our closest neighbor in space isn’t just a dusty ball—the moon has ice tucked away in deep craters at each of its poles. On top of that, scientists think the moon stole its ice: from comets, asteroids, maybe even from the Earth.


1 July 2022

10-Extinctions: Showdown of the giant space rocks

Dani DellaGiustina is one of the youngest leaders of a NASA mission, and she was in charge of image processing for OSIRIS-REx before she even got her PhD. OSIRIS-REx is a spacecraft sent to study asteroid Bennu and scheduled to return a sample to Earth in 2023.


10 June 2022

7-Extinctions: Dinosaurs, a Big Rock, and…Climate Change?

When you hear the word “extinction,” chances are you probably think of the extinction of the dinosaurs and a big rock. But did you know that there were other factors at play that lead to that extinction including volcanos and sea-level rise?


3 June 2022

6.5-Extinctions: Dinosaurs, volcanoes, the space station, oh my!

Join us for our next six-part miniseries on Extinctions as we learn about the demise of the dinosaurs, what makes a comet “extinct,” the Cambrian and Triassic periods, volcanoes, and the aforementioned (planned) fiery end of the International Space Station!


7 February 2020

Surfing space dust bunnies spawn interplanetary magnetic fields

New research finds that fine dust from pulverized space rocks is riding the solar wind past multiple spacecrafts, which are detecting the clouds of fine debris as a temporary changes in the local magnetic field.


30 January 2019

New study estimates amount of water in near-Earth space rocks

The study’s authors estimate there are between 400 and 1200 billion kilograms (440 to 1.3 billion U.S. tons) of water that could be extracted from the minerals in these asteroids. In liquid terms, that’s between 400 billion and 1,200 billion liters (100 billion and 400 billion U.S. gallons) of water. That’s enough to fill between 160,000 and 480,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.


15 January 2018

What Science Really Knows About The Asteroid That Took Out T-Rex and his Friends.

NOTE: I had the wrong video posted. Fixed now. Every time I watch a TV show about a science field other than atmospheric science I have to remind myself that I’m being given a very simplified version. Sometimes too simplified, and I know it because when I watch a show on atmospheric science, I often cringe. This is true even on programs like NOVA because you can read the script for …


15 July 2011

Dawn goes into orbit around Vesta today!

Today NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history by being the first probe to orbit the protoplanet Vesta! The image below is from July 9, and already Dawn has upgraded Vesta from a fuzzy disk in Hubble images to a world with visible surface features, including some strange striations. Once Dawn is in orbit, we should be getting even better views. Stay tuned!


17 November 2010

Hayabusa Returns First Asteroid Sample

Earlier this week, the Japanese space agency (JAXA) announced that the sample container from the Hayabusa probe that returned to earth in June did indeed contain dust grains from the asteroid Itokawa. This makes Hayabusa the first sample return from the surface of an object beyond the moon, and is a great success for JAXA after a mission plagued with problems.