This summer, an ice chest-sized box will fly to the International Space Station, where it will create the coolest spot in the universe. Inside that box, lasers, a vacuum chamber and an electromagnetic "knife" will be used to cancel out the energy of gas particles, slowing them until they're almost motionless.
Supermassive black holes, with their immense gravitational pull, are notoriously good at clearing out their immediate surroundings by eating nearby objects. When a star passes within a certain distance of a black hole, the stellar material gets stretched and compressed — or "spaghettified" — as the black hole swallows it.
For the Jet Propulsion Lab's highest accuracy calculations, which are for interplanetary navigation, the team uses 3.141592653589793.
A strange new kind of galactic beast has been spotted in the cosmic wilderness. Dubbed "super spirals," these unprecedented galaxies dwarf our own spiral galaxy, the Milky Way, and compete in size and brightness with the largest galaxies in the universe.
More than 200 years after its discovery (and the discovery of dwarf planets as a whole), astronomers still have a lot of questions about Ceres, like what the hell is that bright spot?!
The fantasy creations of the "Star Wars" universe are strikingly similar to real planets in our own Milky Way galaxy. A super Earth in deep freeze? Think ice-planet "Hoth." And that distant world with double sunsets can't help but summon thoughts of sandy "Tatooine."
As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, human-made rise past levels not seen for hundreds of thousands of years, NASA scientists and others are confronted with an important question for the future of our planet: How long can this balancing act continue?
The hunt for extrasolar planets — exoplanets, for short — had a poor track record, with decades' worth of false detections.
About one third of Earth's largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human consumption, despite having little accurate data about how much water remains in them. Significant segments of Earth's population are consuming groundwater quickly without knowing when it might run out.
As NASA missions explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways.
Astronomers tinkering with ice and organics in the lab may have discovered why comets are encased in a hard, outer crust.
Cities and their power plants are the largest sources of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions and are the largest human contributors to climate change. And NASA thinks they can do better in the future.
It's 1.3 billion pixels large and was and was stitched together from nearly 900 pictures taken by Curiosity's onboard cameras.