In the midst of chaos here on Earth, scientists are finding hope for life on other planets. Scientists announced Thursday the discovery of three planets that are some of the best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our own solar system — and they’re very far away. NASA’s Kepler satellite, which is keeping an eye on more than 150,000 stars in hopes of identifying Earth-like planets, found the trio. Read More
NASA’s twin Van Allen space probes, which are studying the Earth’s radiation belts, made the cosmic find. The surprising discovery — a new, albeit temporary, radiation belt around Earth — reveals how much remains unknown about outer space, even those regions closest to the planet, researchers added. Read more
Last summer, an eruption on the sun’s surface scored a solar weather hat trick, racking up all three of the major phenomenon scientists observe: a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection (CME), and coronal rain, “complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun’s atmosphere,” NASA explains. The solar flare in the video is not massive, by the sun’s standards, but “moderately powerful,” as NASA calls it. But what makes the show special is the coronal rain, charged plasma slowly dripping in fiery loops along the sun’s magnetic fields. Read more
Three days before the moon-orbiting Ebb spacecraft collided with a lunar mountain, its on-board cameras captured some striking images of the pockmarked moon’s northern hemisphere — from just six miles up. On Jan. 10, NASA released what look like scenes from a science fiction movie: two probe’s-eye views of the lunar farside, made from Ebb’s stitched-together images. Read more.