Feature Stories

  • World Reacts to Ringworld’s Camera
    Cassini transmitted its first closeup views of the mysterious Saturnian rings after its successful orbital insertion on June 30th. Planetary watchers hope to resolve a two decade old debate on how the rings form both circular and radial bands (or 'spokes') at the same time.
    more...
  • Close-up Look at Saturn’s Rings
    Cassini has sent back its first close-up images of Saturn's rings, and mission scientists are already busy re-evaluating old theories - and struggling to come up with some new ones. The images confirm that Saturn's rings are endlessly complex and dynamic, truly one of the
    more...
  • Weather May Disrupt Receipt of Cassini Signals
    Everything looks good for Cassini to perform a successful maneuver that will bring it into orbit around Saturn late tonight. Everything, that is, except the weather. High winds in Canberra, Australia, and a chance of rain in Spain, although they won´t affect the success of
    more...
  • Cassini Sails Flawlessly into Saturn’s Orbit
    The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft performed a flawless 96-minute engine burn Wednesday night and sailed into orbit around Saturn. During the next four years, Cassini will circle Saturn more than 75 times, conducting a detailed study of the planet and its moons and rings.
    more...
  • Cassini Closes In on Saturn
    Cassini is poised to provide the most comprehensive set of images and other scientific data ever collected on the giant ringed planet Saturn.
    more...
  • Bigger than the Grand Canyon
    About a third of the size of Earth, Mars has both the solar system's largest volcano and canyons. The likelihood of exploring the canyon called Valles Marineris robotically is slim, given its ruggedness. When viewed by the recent Mars Express orbiter, one can appreciate the
    more...
  • SkyNet Autonomy
    Detecting changes in the biosphere from orbiting satellites can involve tedious sifting through stacks of digital images. Letting a satellite screen the incoming pictures may hold promise for detecting autonomously how the Earth is changing.
    more...
  • Rockhard Stardust
    Scientists thought most comets were "fluffy" snowballs -- piles of icy rubble that were loosely bound together. But Wild-2 has a solid, cohesive surface carved into lofty pinnacles, deep canyons and broad mesas.
    more...
  • Spirit finds its Pot of Gold
    After a two-month drive, the Spirit rover finally got to the Columbia Hills, where mission scientists have found signs of the iron-rich blueberries that first hinted at the planet's water-history.
    more...
  • Flying by Phoebe
    The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is nearing the giant ringed planet Saturn. It will orbit Saturn for the next several years, sending back scientific information about the planet and its rings and moons. Later this year, Cassini will release the Huygens probe to descend through the atmosphere
    more...
  • Earliest Bilateral Fossil Discovered
    Scientists have reported that bilateral animals appeared 600 million years ago, about 50 million years before the Cambrian Explosion.
    more...
  • On the Road
    NASA's Spirit rover is more than halfway through its one-mile trek to the Columbia Hills. Already, Spirit has logged the longest journey ever taken by a human-built robot across the surface of another world. The rover is racing toward the hills as fast as it
    more...
  • Young Planet Challenges Old Theories
    The Spitzer Space Telescope has detected youngest planet ever found, claim NASA scientists. Planets are thought to take millions of years to form after a star is born, but discovery of a million-year old star with planet already in orbit around it means scientists may
    more...
  • Mars: All Dressed Up
    Once a human mission to Mars hits the drawing boards, the challenge of radiation protection will come down to what many consider high-tech suit designs. A student view of what technologies are available today is offered from the University of Alberta.
    more...
  • Pebbles from an Overheated Earth?
    The current understanding is that life evolved in a dramatically different environment than exists today. One way primordia differs depends on the carbon dioxide level for the early Earth. Pebbles from a South African goldmine may lock those secrets into their geological makeup.
    more...