This Is The Clearest, Sharpest Video Of Lightning Seen From Space

This lightning storm is an eerie, glowing spider in a web of clouds when seen from above. Video footage of this unusual perspective was captured from the International Space Station using a specialized camera to minimize motion blur. » 1/31/15 10:00am Today 10:00am

Where Is Philae, And When Will It Wake Up?

The hunt for Rosetta's misplaced lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is like staring out an airplane window trying to find a washing machine in a field of boulders. These gorgeous new images from the European Space Agency highlight the incredible challenge of finding a tiny robot on a huge comet. » 1/30/15 10:30am Yesterday 10:30am

A Day Of Remembrance For Lives Lost In the Pursuit Of Space

Today is Day of Remembrance for human spaceflight, a day selected for its proximity to horrific moments when we lost astronauts during our quest to explore our solar system. On January 28th, NASA takes the day to reflect on the lives lost during their missions when things went catastrophically, unexpectedly wrong. » 1/28/15 2:00pm Wednesday 2:00pm

This Is The Greatest View Of Dwarf Planet Ceres We Have Ever Seen

The Dawn spacecraft has done it: it is now taking the highest-resolution images of the dwarf planet Ceres that have ever been seen. Not only is this new image better than the historic Hubble Space Telescope image, but every new release will be better than the one before until it arrives in orbit this March. » 1/28/15 9:15am Wednesday 9:15am

This Glorious Gallery Highlights A Myriad Optical Delights

The International Year of Light continues with a beautiful gallery celebrating all aspects of light: multispectral astronomical, technological innovations, bioluminescence, eclipses, and even noctilucent clouds. I'll say this for it: this is the most visually interesting and diverse "Year of..." celebration! » 1/27/15 6:00pm Tuesday 6:00pm

Tiny Moon Dive-Bombs Asteroid During Near-Earth Flyby

Early this morning, a big (but not too big) asteroid made a close (but not too close!) pass by our planet. While totally unthreatening as a doomsday scenario, this particular asteroid makes for beautiful viewing: it has a tiny, orbiting moon. Update: More radar footage! » 1/26/15 4:00pm Monday 4:00pm

Venus Express Blasts Out One Last Message From Beyond The Grave

The Venus Express spacecraft was declared scientifically dead in December when, finally out of propellent, it decayed into an uncontrolled spin. After a few accidental communications when pure luck pointed its antenna at Earth, it let out one last bleat of full-volume noise. » 1/23/15 2:00pm 1/23/15 2:00pm

Inelegant But Effective Start To The Active Learning Geology Experiment

In the first week of introductory geology, we explored rock types, learned that not all rocks are the same, and tackled the mysteries of scale. While not always elegantly executed, my experiment in embracing active learning appears to be leaving my students excited and bemused. » 1/22/15 9:00pm 1/22/15 9:00pm

Obama Dreams of Space, But Where's the Money for a Mars Expedition?

During the State of the Union address, President Obama said stirring things about human spaceflight and the future. But these are the same dreams we've been talking about for years, and without more funding for NASA these dreams will fizzle instead of coming true. » 1/20/15 8:40pm 1/20/15 8:40pm

What Do You See In The Latest Images Of Ceres?

As spacecraft Dawn edges closer to the dwarf planet Ceres, one thing is clear: this is no rock and ice ducky like comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Aside from that, it's like a Rorschach inkblot test of fuzzy pixels as we try to guess what awaits our robotic explorer on this alien world. » 1/19/15 9:15pm 1/19/15 9:15pm

This Is What Happens When Lava Meets The Sea

This is a close-up of the very newest land in Hawaii, fresh lava dripping into the sea to build out a new layer of basalt on this island volcano. The ropey texture of the flow is a consequence of its chemistry, the same geochemistry behind the slow, oozing eruptions characteristic of the tropical paradise. » 1/18/15 2:17pm 1/18/15 2:17pm

The Ongoing Scientific Legacy of Old But Not Outdated Solar Satellites

These satellites first started looking at Earth-Sun interactions when green text on black backgrounds was stylish (with cutting-edge blink tags!) and pagers were a key part of pop culture, yet they're still bringing us new science today. That's just impressive! » 1/18/15 9:00am 1/18/15 9:00am

20 Facts About Light To Brighten Your Curiosity

2015 is the International Year of Light, a year designated by the United Nations to appreciate and learn about optical phenomena. To launch their celebrations, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics illustrated 20 of their favourite light facts. » 1/16/15 9:00am 1/16/15 9:00am

Experiments in Education: Kicking Off A Semester of Active Learning

We have entire education systems set up to transition novices to experts, but do they work? Research repeatedly establishes that traditional university lectures are ineffective, and that active learning is a far more reliable alternative. I'm going to experiment on my students and see how it works. » 1/15/15 6:00pm 1/15/15 6:00pm

This Little Red Plane Carries A Full Load Of Science

This tiny plane flying over ice sheets as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge mission in Alaska. With little to interrupt the seemingly-endless sheets of white, this cheery red plane flies in summer and fall to monitor glaciers and sea ice while measuring clouds and greenhouse gas concentrations. » 1/14/15 9:30am 1/14/15 9:30am