Press Releases

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - NASA's Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates. Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's "habitable zone," the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. 

Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate. 

Matija Ćuk and Sarah Stewart propose a new model to explain the remarkably similar chemistry of the Earth and Moon. A giant impact onto a fast-spinning Earth ejects material from Earth into orbit, which forms a Moon that is depleted in iron and has a composition similar to Earth's mantle. After the impact, the rapidly rotating Earth is slowed down by a gravitational interaction between the Sun and the Moon called an orbital resonance.

Watching active volcanic eruptions should definitely be done from a distance, but a group of California researchers has figured out how to do it from the comfort of home. Using an ingenious combination of Earth-based telescopic surveys and archival data, they have gathered nearly 40 distinct snapshots of effusive volcanic eruptions and high temperature outbursts on Jupiter’s tiny moon, Io, showing details as small as 100 km (60 miles) on the moon’s surface.

Stowaways in a small car-sized asteroid that crashed in northern Sudan in 2008 have revealed what happened to a mysterious dwarf planet that is dusting Earth with a rare type of meteorites. That dwarf planet did not survive the “Late Heavy Bombardment” that cratered the Moon surface, an international team of researchers report in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CELEBRATED AT SETICON II

Three-day festival ends on high note looking to the future of space exploration

SETIcon II Underway; Public Discussion of Space Exploration, Science, and Technology

The second full day of SETIcon II gets underway today at 9:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, with a slate of science, technology, and space exploration presentations by some of the field’s leading researchers, as well as authors, artists, and former astronauts.

SETIcon—where Science and Imagination Meet—Kicks Off Today

Astronauts, Planet Hunters, Artists, Sci-Fi Actors & Writers Meet in Silicon Valley June 22-24

Mountain View, CA. Last night, a city-block sized asteroid did a fly-by of the Earth-Moon system. While there was no danger to our planet, Near Earth Asteroid (NEO) 2012 LZ1 was watched carefully by astronomers who track NEOs.

Mountain View, CA. Today, astronomers have announced new evidence that small planets – the type of worlds most favorable for biology – may be more common than thought.  Once believed to accompany only stars with a large helping of heavy elements, this result suggests that – like weeds that can grow anywhere – Earth-size planets can be found around nearly any type of star.  The new work bolsters the chances that scientists will eventually succeed in discovering extraterrestrial biology.

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA and the SETI Institute are asking the public for more information to help find amateur photos and video footage of the Sunday, April 22, 2012 meteor shower that illuminated the sky over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

NASA and SETI Institute scientists are seeking the photos and video footage to better analyze the trajectory of the meteorite and learn about its orbit in space.

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