JPL

  • This week DARPA kicks off a competition called the Subterranean Challenge, where hordes of robots are unleashed into caves and tunnels to test how well they can autonomously navigate these environments. One team's designs could lead to robots that explore caves on other planets.
  • A solar eclipse is an amazing sight to behold, and it's an astronomical event that's not limited to Earth. NASA's Curiosity rover has captured images of Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos, as they passed between the Red Planet and the Sun.
  • Earth’s pleasant, life-giving atmosphere is turning out to be somewhat of an oddity. To get a better understanding of exoplanets, a team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has recreated one of these alien atmospheres in the lab.
  • NASA’s ongoing Operation IceBridge has found a gigantic cavity underneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, which shows that the area has suffered even more drastic ice loss in recent years than previously thought – and it’s accelerating.
  • A new study shows how fluoride might be put to work in better batteries. Researchers at Caltech, JPL, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Honda Research Institute have developed fluoride-based batteries that could potentially last much longer than existing lithium-ion-based devices.
  • The galaxy W2246-0526 sits 12.4 billion light-years from Earth – almost the entire radius of the observable universe – and is the most luminous galaxy ever discovered, with the brightness of 350 trillion Suns. Now, astronomers have found that W2246-0526 is cannibalizing three neighboring galaxies.
  • Back in May, NASA launched some extra luggage​ along with the Mars InSight lander – two briefcase-sized CubeSats named MarCO-A and MarCO-B. These two little spacecraft are the first of their kind to venture into deep space, and now they've sent us back their first glimpse of the Red Planet.
  • After 40 years of zipping through the solar system, Voyager 2 appears to be close to leaving the neighborhood. The probe’s instruments have begun picking up radiation signals that suggest it is breaking out of the Sun’s protective bubble, and will soon join its sibling in interstellar space.
  • The Earth’s spin naturally drifts on its axis over time, and that’s generally chalked up to the way mass is distributed and redistributed across the planet’s surface. Now, NASA scientists studying data gathered across the entire 20th century have identified three broad processes that play a part.
  • NASA's Curiosity lander touched down on the surface of Mars in August, 2012, and its rover payload rolled out shortly after to begin its meandering mission. Now tinkerers and students can build their very own mini Mars rover for exploring backyard craters and vast garden mountain ranges.
  • Saturn’s moon Titan is one of the most interesting bodies in the solar system – but at a glance it looks like a dull yellow ball, thanks to a soupy atmosphere. Now, using 13 years’ worth of infrared data from Cassini, astronomers have stitched together the clearest images yet of Titan’s surface.
  • An international team of scientists has completed the most comprehensive assessment of how Antarctica’s ice mass is changing. The study shows that the rate of ice loss – and the resulting sea level rise – has tripled since 2012, compared to a more steady rate over the last 25 years.