Last week, NASA declared the Mars Phoenix Lander mission completed as the lander succumbed to Martian winter and lost radio contact. NASA scientists are already preparing their next mission: to send a rover to search for evidence of life on Mars. But to help decide what signs to look for, scientists are studying extreme life forms on our own planet.
Video on Nov 17, 2008 by KQED QUEST staff
When I hear about searching for alien life, it's hard not to think about all those science fiction movies with little green men and Earth-destroying spacecraft. But it's an idea that's far from science fiction for scientists at NASA Ames.
Post on Nov 14, 2008 by Lauren Sommer
Meet the Bay Area's eclipse chasers – adventurers who travel the world to witness and document solar eclipses. In these rare moments, the moon covers the sun for a few minutes, leaving only its fiery atmosphere visible. Watch the China 2008 eclipse and learn about an invention that helped researchers photograph the sun's atmosphere in breathtaking detail.
It seems like only last month that we witnessed the drama of NASA's Phoenix landing on Mars. We were on the edge of our seats in Chabot's planetarium during those "seven minutes of terror" as Phoenix burned a meteoric path through Mars' atmosphere.
Post on Nov 07, 2008 by Ben Burress
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has made yet another swing past our Solar System's innermost planet, Mercury. But, like the traveler who just can't seem to get enough sightseeing in, this was another whirlwind flyby set to the furious tempo of a camera snapping pics–about 1200 in all…
Post on Oct 22, 2008 by Ben Burress
News Flash! Asteroid 2008 TC3, on a collision trajectory with Earth, made a meteoric atmospheric entry into the skies above Sudan, Central Africa Tuesday morning, October 7th (local time-about 7:46 PM PDT). Entering the atmosphere at a speed of 12.8 kilometers per second, it exploded with the force of a low-level nuclear bomb…
Post on Oct 09, 2008 by Ben Burress
The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others recommend that we set our thermostats at 68°F in the winter and F in the summer. Some people are comfortable at home with these temperatures and some or not. So how can we save energy and still be comfortable?
Post on Oct 03, 2008 by Jim Gunshinan
Why is it that meteorites are brought to me for identification in clusters? I don't mean that people bring clusters of meteorites-but it seems I get calls and visits from possessors of unknown rock samples, hopeful that they are of extraterrestrial origin, in bursts. This time I got two inquiries in two days!
Post on Sep 15, 2008 by Ben Burress
Since witnessing the historic landing of NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander on May 25, I've been holding my breath to learn if Phoenix has made the discovery it set out to make: whether it landed on a vast deposit of water ice near Mars' northern polar cap.
Post on Aug 15, 2008 by Ben Burress
MESSENGER is the space probe that NASA sent to Mercury to give the Solar System's innermost planet the first up-close look since 1975, when Mariner 10 flew by. The MESSENGER's main mission will begin in earnest when it returns to Mercury and finally settles into an orbit around the planet, on March 18th 2011.
Post on Jul 30, 2008 by Ben Burress
Sitting in a small, non-descript room in the basement of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, astronomy graduate student Hannah Swift and physicist Saul Perlmutter are searching for supernovae, stars destroyed in huge explosions millions or billions of years ago.
Post on Jul 23, 2008 by Gabriela Quirós
On July 14th, 2008, an almost Hollywood-like drama took place in space nearby: a "double," or binary, asteroid whizzed past Earth, grazing by at a distance of only 1.4 million miles. One of the rocks is over 200 meters across, the other a whopping 600 meters– about half the size of Half Dome in Yosemite!
Post on Jul 18, 2008 by Ben Burress
For those in the East Bay, a lush green lawn for lounging may become a thing of the past. Photo Credit Michele Nikoloff It was the talk of my Wednesday morning Pilates class. "I'm letting my lawn die, but saving the plants. Plants are harder to replace." "We only lived in our house six months [...]
Post on Jul 11, 2008 by Jim Gunshinan
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury-artist concept. Photo by: NASA I've been waiting for the "whole story" on Martian ice at the Phoenix lander site to unfold more completely, but the chemical analyses have not yet run their full courses-so I've decided to widen the focus on this blog to give a status report on current [...]
Post on Jul 04, 2008 by Ben Burress
Depiction of a major alignment of the five visible planets in 1059 BCE. Photo By Ben Burress There are some pretty good "lineups" coming soon to skies above you. First of all, "lineups," or alignments, go on in the heavens all the time, though most often they are alignments of objects too faint to easily [...]
Post on Jun 20, 2008 by Ben Burress