Centaurs are minor planets believed to have originated in the Kuiper Belt in the outer solar system. They sometimes… Read more
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, designed to study the early universe in infrared light, was the first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system. Launched in 2003, Spitzer contained infrared detectors of unprecedented sensitivity, providing astronomers a never-before-possible look at the universe.
Spitzer made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies. Decommissioned earlier this year—11 years beyond its prime mission—the… Read more
Three Ph.D. students in Northern Arizona University’s Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science have been awarded grants through the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program. The funding—up to $135,000 total per student for up to three years—supports graduate student-designed research projects that help further NASA’s Science Mission Directorate interests in Earth sciences, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics.
Anthony Maue,… Read more
Triton orbits Neptune, the eighth planet from the Sun, some 2.7 billion miles from Earth — at the cold outer fringe of our Solar System’s major planet zone. Surface temperatures hover near absolute zero; so low that common compounds… Read more
Scientists have discovered nearly all “extinction-scale” Near-Earth Objects, or NEOs (asteroids larger than 1 kilometer in diameter) and determined they pose no risk of impact in the near future. But there are still thousands of smaller NEOs that pose a potential danger.
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) coordinates the detection… Read more
Nov. 14, 2018
In November 2017, a team of scientists pointed NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope toward a comet-like object known as ’Oumuamua—the first interstellar body ever found in our solar system—but the object proved too faint for the infrared telescope to detect.
Though initially disappointing, this non-detection of ’Oumuamua eventually provided new information about the cosmic interloper, according to a new… Read more