JPL

  • 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.
  • One of the most promising places in the solar system to search for life is Jupiter’s moon, Europa, an icy world with a slushy, salty, subsurface ocean. Old data has turned up new evidence of water plumes spraying through the icy shell into space.
  • ​​One particularly active area of robotics research involves the exploration of soft parts, which are opening up new possibilities and making machines safer for humans to work around. Now they are gaining a helping hand from the amazing adhesive properties of the gecko.
  • Just 40 light-years away, TRAPPIST-1 is one of the clearest case studies into how other planetary systems work. New research has calculated the densities and atmospheres of the planets, giving us a better understanding of how they might look and how much water might be there.
  • ​Curiosity has had quite a journey since it touched down on Mars in August 2012. From its perch on a ridge partway up Mount Sharp, Curiosity has snapped a panorama of Gale Crater, capturing many of the geological features the rover has explored and investigated over the years.
  • ​The Great Red Spot, a storm bigger than Earth, has been raging on Jupiter for centuries. We’ve known its 2D size for a long time, but after a close flyover in July, Juno has finally revealed how deep into the atmosphere the storm’s roots run.
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