We never know when one of these pieces of metal motoring around the solar system will come across novel information. It is unlikely to pick up anything obviously important to everyday knowledge, but the study of the planets has always been seen as crucial to our existence. We are threatened by internal and external factors, many of which could be explained better by pure and applied scientific investigation. Earth Times wishes the best for this relatively minor
non-planetary probe. We could learn wonderful conceptual interpretations of distant objects, just as Hookes microscope and Galileos telescope began many a medical or geographical breakthrough.
The geochemists get a poor press, so they must have decided to soup up their theories and grab some oxygen for their reputation. The claim is that being impossible on earth, ribose sugars can only have been synthesised on Mars, 4 billion years ago. And then...
Dinosaurs may have been wiped out by the effects of volcanic eruptions followed by an asteroid 300,000 years later, say American researchers.
Cruising the red planet for only 4.5-6.0m at the Bradbury landing site, Curiosity, the Mars Rover, will now be wiggling its four corner-wheels once more in anticipation.
Touchdown for the Curiosity Rover on Mars as the landing is confirmed. An incredible success for NASA and an unprecedented feat of technology.
A solar system similar to our own has been discovered with the Kepler space telescope. This parallel solar system is the first exoplanetary system found, meaning it has planets in aligned orbit around a central star.
A record 97% of Greenland's surface ice sheet melted during two weeks in July - the most recorded since records began, according to data from NASA satellites.
Hubble observes a new 'super-Earth' planet, mostly made of water. GJ1214b, has been caterogised by American scientists as the first waterworld.
You don't have to be Alaskan or an Icelander but it helps. Solar flares, solar winds and geomagnetic storms are all in the news but it is the aurora borealis phenomenon on the tip of everyone's tongue.
The Hubble Space Telescope was used to discover a cluster of galaxies that are in the very first stages of formation.
The NASA Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer satellite, (RXTE) and the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope, (VLBA) have helped astronomers identify the moment when a black hole sent jets of superfast gaseous knots into space.
The biggest and hottest galaxy cluster, nicknamed The Fat One, has been found by scientists
A brand new magnificent image of the Omega Nebula has been taken by the European Southern Observatory using their VLT (Very Large Telescope.)
Data from the Mars rover, Opportunity, shows a possible gypsum deposit that would suggest the presence of water in the past.
Bluefin tuna can travel 100 km per day, so the NASA's satellite coverage of the whole of the Mediterranean is entirely appropriate. Bluefin feeding and potential spawning habitats are mapped accurately with the help of data over the last ten years.
The American shift to Russian rockets for Space Station duty began in Kazakhstan today. With last week's Mars mission, Phobos-Grunt, grinding to a halt, in orbit at least, and several cargo rocket cancellations, questions are being asked about engine breakdowns and upper stage failures.
An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier, 2005 YU55, the largest to pass close to earth in the last 35 years, has been captured on radar.
Accompanied by a Chinese satellite, Moscow is sending a probe on Tuesday, 8th November to the asteroid-like moon, Phobos. The probe will return in 2014 with a rock sample, in an effort to confirm or deny theories that the surface of Phobos is of Martian origin.
Scientists have used gravitational lensing to increase the power of the Hubble telescope and examine a quasar ring around a black hole. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists examined the bright ring of matter, called a quasar accretion disc, possibly 300 billion kilometres wide, which is slowly disappearing into the black hole.
Data from mineral clay sites on Mars suggests that the most stable habitats for life appear to have been in the subsurface, where warm water existed for long durations.
An asteroid the size of a house is passing by on Monday evening (31st October). 2011MD's very nature - probably carbon or an iron/nickel mixture-is fairly obvious, similar to another visitor in February. Asteroid 2005 YU55 passes Earth next Tuesday, November 8th and is the size of an aircraft carrier.
Ninth largest hole in ozone layer: NASA. This year's Antarctic ozone layer hole was the ninth largest on record, say leading scientists.
NASA's new, polar-orbit, weather satellite, the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite was launched this morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 2:48 a.m. PDT aboard a Delta II rocket. It is primarily going to further the US. NOAA meteorologists' knowledge of local weather, replacing the NOAA-19 satellite.
The wild west of Antarctica has many thinning glaciers such as the huge Getz Ice Shelf, the Pine Island Glacier, and the Thwaites Glacier. NASA's Ice Bridge Project is now in full production there, showing how this strategic locked-up water is liable to be released quicker than we thought, causing higher sea levels worldwide.
A discovery of three new planets and a mystery object orbiting with them has been discovered. A international research team have discovered a group of three new planets that are all in orbit around their own dying giant stars. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope was used by the team that is led by an astronomer from Penn state University; they have named the three planets HD 240237, BD +48 738 and HD 96127.
Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory in Chile have announced the discovery of two new rare globular clusters of stars in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. The discoveries represent the fruits of an ambitious project to survey the center of the galaxy in infrared light.
The oldest rocks known include the Martian meteorite ALH84001, from the Allen Hills in Antarctica. Geologists believe it started life, 4 billion years ago, tens of metres below the Martian surface and was 'snookered' off the planet by another meteorite when it struck that area, a mere 16 million years ago.
Very Large Telescope (VLT) researchers time-travel back to 1 billion years after the Big Bang. Up to that time neutral hydrogen fogged the view of early events in the young galaxies as they 'reionised'. This age of reionisation now has a timeline, after a three year search with the VLT for distant galaxies at this stage of development.
YouTube and Space Agencies across the world are collaborating on an online educational project. If you know a student between the ages of 14 and 18 who has a keen interest in science, you might want to tell them about YouTube Space Lab, an innovative venture that will see Google working with the ESA, Lenovo, NASA, JAXA and Space Adventures to promote scientific experimentation in space.
The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft has detected an ozone layer in Venus' atmosphere, much as on Earth. Unlike Earth, however, the ozone is not the result of biological activity.
Old images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have allowed astronomers to calculate the orbits and other characteristics of the only known exosystem with four planets circling a distant star. Astronomers reviewing old images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 have discovered evidence of two planets that were missed the first time around.
NASA's continuing monitoring of the ice in the seas around the Arctic has confirmed that the sea ice extent has shrunk close to its 2007 record low confirming a 30 year declining trend. Each year the ice expands through the winter before melting away as the sun warms the northern hemisphere, reaching its minimum level in September.
As we all tend to fly because of employment, vacation or a migration of some kind, the creation of a new fuel efficient plane would be relevant to our everyday lives. So NASA proposed the Green Aviation Prize, with record first place prize money of $1.35 million.
New images from the ALMA radio telescope array show galaxies colliding, stars forming, with unprecedented detail. Although not yet complete, the massive ALMA radio telescope complex under construction high in Chile's Atacama desert is already providing breathtaking images of celestial phenomena.
Ozone depletion over the Arctic has been considerably greater this year due to an extended cold period. The ozone layer is an essential component of a life-supporting planet Earth, protecting life from potentially harmful UV radiation and its adverse effects.
Planet Mercury's secrets are unraveling, thanks to a flood of new information from NASA's orbital spacecraft, MESSENGER. Launched some six years ago, MESSENGER, or the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft, is the first in history to orbit the fiery, innermost planet.
So relevant to all life forms and our climate, the sea's salt has now been estimated by NASA's Aquarius/SAC-D satellite observatory. After two and a half weeks, since only August 25th, the preliminary data have been exemplary, providing us with an early view of large-scale ocean patterns.
NASA's UARS sattelite is expected to plunge back to Earth in the very near future, but no one knows exactly when, or where, debris may land. Although the satellite will break up upon re-entry, not all of the pieces are expected to burn up in the atmosphere.
NASA is conducting tests on the James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield, which will protect its mirrors and instruments whilst on its mission to observe remote objects in the universe.
A NASA project has for the first time mapped the glacial flows of Antarctica, providing vital information in the monitoring of climate change. The map they have created shows glaciers as they snake their way from the desolate Antarctic interior to the southern oceans.
Photographic evidence has emerged that suggest the Japanese earthquake and subsequent Tohoku Tsunami caused 50 square miles of ice to break off Antarctica. Images from the European Space Agency show that icebergs, some larger than Manhattan island, broke away from Antarctica just a few days after the quake.
96 new star clusters have been found that were previously hidden from astronomers by dust clouds in the Milky Way. The new discoveries are largely due to the capabilities of the ESO's (European Southern Observatory) infrared VISTA telescope in the Chilean desert.
New project launches to help improve scientists ability to track air pollutants via satellite. Low flying planes will be seen across Maryland in a programme called DISCOVER-AQ which is designed to improve the ability of satellites to measure the ground level air quality on earth from space.
NASA researechers have mapped the earth's forests as a baseline for carbon research and monitoring efforts, and as a tool for managing global carbon dioxide. The map shows that the tropical forests that store the most carbon are in Latin America.
A ''hot Jupiter'' is a planet larger than the Jupiter of our own solar system which occupies an orbit close into its own star - hence ''hot Jupiter''. The conundrum was why should these giants be travelling in the wrong direction?
Mars may well have had a much denser CO2-rich atmosphere hundreds of thousands of years ago - one with wilder dust storms and that was more likely to support running water. That's the claim coming from a new analysis of satellite radar data over the Martian southern ice cap - published in Science today - which hints at a thick wedge of frozen CO2 there that contains 30 times the 'dry ice' of previous estimates.
Last summer's drought in the Amazon left vast swathes of forest visibly stressed, according to a study of images from 2 NASA satellites. This worryingly matches the predictions of drier, harsher times for one of the world's most biodiverse areas - and sets the scene for possible massive outpouring of CO2.
A new NASA-funded satellite study of the polar ice sheets shows an alarming accelerating trend of ice loss from both Greenland and Antarctica. Combined with losses from mountain glaciers and ice caps this could result in a global sea level rise of 32cm as early as 2050. Filed in environmental issues: Sea Levels/Climate
A recently discovered mature cluster of galaxies seems to be a rare phenomenon - or could the universe have developed differently from what is currently thought? Scientists working from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile have recently discovered the furthest mature cluster of galaxies away from us which we can still see. Filed under: Science - Technology.
A team from the NASA Lunar Research Institute concludes that the Earth, Moon and Mars were formed as the result of massive solar impacts. It is known that siderophile, or metal-loving elements such as gold and platinum are common to the mantles of Earth, the Moon and Mars and new research has shown that massive impactors delivered this abundance during the final phase of planet formation
CryoSat-2 is a European Space Agency satellite which will deliver vital information about the ice at the poles. The satellite's job is to focus on the polar regions to assess the effects of climate change on ice thickness in the ice caps and floating sea ice.