Night Sky

Astronomical phenomenon and items of interest to night sky watchers.

NASA Awards Modification to Engineering and Science Services Contract

August 18, 2014

NASA has signed a contract modification with Jacobs Technology Inc. of Tullahoma, Tennessee, for a one-year option with a potential value of $120 million to extend the Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation contract at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

NASA's RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of an Unusual Black Hole

August 18, 2014

Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Next SpaceX Station Resupply Mission

August 15, 2014

Media accreditation now is open for the launch of NASA’s next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by SpaceX. The Dragon spacecraft tentatively is scheduled to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida no earlier than 2:38 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 19.

Stardust Team Reports Discovery of First Potential Interstellar Space Particles

August 14, 2014

Seven rare, microscopic interstellar dust particles that date to the beginnings of the solar system are among the samples collected by scientists who have been studying the payload from NASA's Stardust spacecraft since its return to Earth in 2006. If confirmed, these particles would be the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust.

NASA to Investigate Climate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

August 14, 2014

A new NASA field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt.

NASA’s Chandra Observatory Searches for Trigger of Nearby Supernova

August 14, 2014

New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight into what triggered one of the closest supernovas witnessed in decades.

NASA Selects Proposals to Increase STEM Education at Community and Technical Colleges

August 13, 2014

NASA's Office of Education will award more than $17.3 million through the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program to increase student and faculty engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at community colleges and technical schools across the U.S. Each award has a two-year performance period and a maximum value of $500,000.

NASA Television Coverage Set for Russian Spacewalk

August 13, 2014

Two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station will venture outside the orbiting outpost Monday, Aug. 18, for a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk -- the 181st in support of space station assembly and maintenance. NASA TV coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Departure of U.S. Cargo Ship to Air on NASA Television

August 12, 2014

After delivering almost three tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the crew of the International Space Station, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the SS Janice Voss, is scheduled to leave the station Friday, Aug. 15. NASA Television will provide live coverage of departure activities beginning at 6:15 a.m. EDT.

NASA's NuSTAR Sees Rare Blurring of Black Hole Light

August 12, 2014

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has captured an extreme and rare event in the regions immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole. A compact source of X-rays that sits near the black hole, called the corona, has moved closer to the black hole over a period of just days.

NASA Selects U.S. Small Business Technology Transfer Projects for Further Development

August 8, 2014

NASA has selected 23 proposals from small business and research institution teams to continue the development of innovative technologies that will support future agency mission needs and may also prove viable as commercial products and services.

Television Coverage Set for Final European Space Station Cargo Ship Docking

August 7, 2014

The fifth and final docking of a European Space Agency cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station will air live on NASA Television Tuesday, Aug. 12, beginning at 8 a.m. EDT.

NASA Selects Proposals for Advanced Energy Storage Systems

August 7, 2014

NASA has selected four proposals for advanced energy storage technologies that may be used to power the agency's future space missions.

The Future is Now: Innovative Advanced Concepts Selected for Continued Study

August 6, 2014

Looking ahead to an exciting future, NASA is continuing to invest in concepts that may one day revolutionize how we live and work in space with the selection of five technology proposals for continued study under the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program.

NASA’s Hubble Finds Supernova Star System Linked to Potential “Zombie Star”

August 6, 2014

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has spotted a star system that could have left behind a “zombie star” after an unusually weak supernova explosion.

NASA, Navy Prepare for Orion Spacecraft to Make a Splash

August 6, 2014

A team of technicians, engineers, sailors and divers just wrapped up a successful week of testing and preparing for various scenarios that could play out when NASA's new Orion spacecraft splashes into the Pacific Ocean following its first space flight test in December.

NASA Announces Next Opportunity for CubeSat Space Missions

August 5, 2014

NASA is opening the next round of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, part of the White House Maker Initiative, in an effort to engage the growing community of space enthusiasts that can contribute to NASA's space exploration goals.

NASA Holds Briefing on Early Test Results for New Planetary Landing Technology

August 5, 2014

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project successfully flew a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space last month from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. Media are invited to the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California at 9 a.m. more»

NASA Awards Mission Operations Support Contract Extension

August 1, 2014

NASA has awarded a contract extension to Lockheed Martin Corporation of Gaithersburg, Maryland, for the Facilities Development and Operations Contract (FDOC) at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA Awards Modification for Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy Support Contract

August 1, 2014

NASA has awarded a modification to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. (SGT) of Greenbelt, Maryland to continuing working the the Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy (GGSG) Support Services contract.

NASA Awards Flight Dynamics Support Services II Contract

August 1, 2014

NASA has awarded the Flight Dynamics Support Services (FDSS) II contract to Omitron, Inc. of Beltsville, Maryland.

NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Reveals New Source of Gamma Rays

July 31, 2014

Observations by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope of several stellar eruptions, called novae, firmly establish these relatively common outbursts almost always produce gamma rays, the most energetic form of light.

NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload to Explore the Red Planet as Never Before

July 31, 2014

The NASA Mars Rover 2020 will carry instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet.

NASA Hosts 3 p.m. EDT Teleconference with Mars 2020 Principal Investigators

July 31, 2014

NASA will host a teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT today with the principal investigators of the selected instruments that will fly aboard the agency’s Mars 2020 rover.

Hubble Shows Farthest Lensing Galaxy Yields Clues to Early Universe

July 31, 2014

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have unexpectedly discovered the most distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass.

Reporters Invited to See Orion, Speak with NASA Managers at Navy Days-Los Angeles

July 31, 2014

A test version of NASA's new Orion spacecraft will be at the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 6, following testing with the U.S. Navy. Media are invited from 6 to 9 a.m. PDT to see the craft and learn about NASA's deep space exploration plans, which include sending astronauts to an asteroid and Mars.

NASA Selects Instruments to Track Climate Impact on Vegetation

July 30, 2014

NASA has selected proposals for two new instruments that will observe changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station. The sensors will give scientists new ways to see how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate or land use change.

NASA to Announce Mars 2020 Rover Instruments

July 30, 2014

NASA will announce on Thursday, July 31, the instruments that will be carried aboard the agency’s Mars 2020 mission, a roving laboratory based on the highly successful Curiosity rover. The announcement will air live at noon EDT on NASA Television and on the agency’s website.

NASA Holds Space Tech Mission Directorate Update Media Call Aug. 5

July 30, 2014

NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Aug. 5, to discuss the activities of the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate and how technology drives exploration.

NASA, Small Business Administrators and U.S. Sen. Cardin to Announce Results of 2013 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard

July 30, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will join Small Business Administrator (SBA) Maria Contreras-Sweet and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Friday, Aug. 1 at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to announce the results of the 2013 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard.

Astronaut Mike Massimino Departs NASA for University Position

July 29, 2014

After almost two decades with NASA, including two space shuttle missions, astronaut Mike Massimino left the space agency Monday for a full-time position with Columbia University in New York.

Reporters Invited to NASA Hurricane Airborne Mission Media Day at Wallops

July 28, 2014

Media are invited to learn about NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) airborne mission from scientists and pilots and see the remotely-piloted aircraft used in the study from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Sept. 11, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA Selects Environmental Test and Integration Services II Contract

July 28, 2014

NASA has awarded the Environmental Test and Integration Services II (ETIS II) contract to Sierra Lobo, Inc of Fremont, Ohio. The contract will support the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

NASA’s Long-Lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

July 28, 2014

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.

Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers and more on Icy Saturn Moon

July 28, 2014

Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface.

NASA Selects Contract for Mission Support Services at Ames

July 24, 2014

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Houston, to support NASA's flight programs and mission projects, providing support for multiple sustained project management, research and technology development capabilities that encompass all phases of mission and project lifecycles at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

July 24, 2014

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun -- and have come up nearly dry.

Satellite Study Reveals Parched U.S. West Using Up Underground Water

July 24, 2014

A new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine, scientists finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought.

NASA TV Coverage Set For European Cargo Ship Launch to Space Station

July 23, 2014

NASA Television will broadcast live the launch and docking of the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

NASA Seeks Proposals for Commercial Mars Data Relay Satellites

July 23, 2014

NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to investigate the possibility of using commercial Mars-orbiting satellites to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to the Red Planet.

NASA Partners Punctuate Summer with Spacecraft Development Advances

July 22, 2014

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA's aerospace industry partners for the agency's Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their Space Act Agreements with the agency.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary

July 22, 2014

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.

NASA Updates Apollo Anniversary, Next Giant Leap Events

July 18, 2014

NASA has updated events that are marking the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing and the steps being taken for America's next giant leap to send astronauts to Mars.

NASA Kicks Off Field Campaign to Probe Ocean Ecology, Carbon Cycle

July 17, 2014

NASA embarks this week on a coordinated ship and aircraft observation campaign off the Atlantic coast of the United States, an effort to advance space-based capabilities for monitoring microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain.

NASA Begins Engine Test Project for Space Launch System Rocket

July 17, 2014

Engineers have taken a crucial step in preparing to test parts of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will send humans to new destinations in the solar system. They installed on Thursday an RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand at the agency's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

NASA Awards Construction Contract at Kennedy Space Center

July 17, 2014

NASA has awarded a two-year contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Orlando to build a new multi-story headquarters building at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

International Undersea Crew Available for Live Satellite Interviews

July 16, 2014

How does living and working underwater for nine days help us explore space? Four astronauts who will be living 62 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean will be available to answer that question and more during satellite interviews from inside an underwater habitat from 8 to 8:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday, July 23.

Space Station Cargo Ship Activities to Air on NASA TV

July 16, 2014

NASA Television will broadcast live the departure of an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, July 21, and the launch and docking of its replacement Wednesday, July 23.

NASA Seeks Proposals for Europa Mission Science Instruments

July 15, 2014

NASA has issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for proposals about science instruments that could be carried aboard a future mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa.

NASA Turns Over Next-Generation Air Traffic Management Tool to Federal Aviation Administration

July 15, 2014

A new NASA-developed computer software tool designed to aid air traffic controllers was presented to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during a ceremony Monday at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

NASA Announces Early Career Faculty Space Tech Research Grants

July 15, 2014

NASA has selected seven university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs for America's space program.

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