Astrophysics Science Division (660) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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Goddard X-Ray Technology Opens New Frontiers In Space And Here On Earth

07.22.2019
NASA has selected a breakthrough X-ray technology with diverse applications as the 2019 Government Invention of the Year.

Hubble Spots a Stunning Spiral

07.19.2019
Galaxies come in many shapes and sizes. One of the key galaxy types we see in the universe is the spiral galaxy, as demonstrated in an especially beautiful way by the subject of this Hubble Space Telescope image, NGC 2985. NGC 2985 lies over 70 million light-years from the solar system in the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear).

NASA’s Webb Telescope Shines with American Ingenuity

07.18.2019
Sending humans to the Moon is similar to building the worlds most complex and powerful space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope. Both require surmounting countless hurdles, inventing new technologies while staring into the face of the unknown.

New Hubble Constant Measurement Adds to Mystery of Universe’s Expansion Rate

07.16.2019
Astronomers have made a new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, using an entirely different kind of star than previous endeavors.

Hubble and Going Forward to the Moon

07.15.2019
We are going forward to the Moon by 2024, but did you know that back in 2005, Dr. Jim Garvin pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at our nearest celestial neighbor for a very important reason?

Hubble Peers at Galactic Cherry Blossoms

07.12.2019
The galaxy NGC 1156 resembles a delicate cherry blossom tree flowering in springtime in this Hubble image. The many bright "blooms" within the galaxy are in fact stellar nurseries — regions where new stars are springing to life.

Hubble Uncovers Black Hole Disk that Shouldn't Exist

07.11.2019
As if black holes weren't mysterious enough, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found an unexpected thin disk of material furiously whirling around a supermassive black hole at the heart of the magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 3147, located 130 million light-years away.

Hubble Watches Stars in Bloom

07.05.2019
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows bright, colorful pockets of star formation blooming like roses in a spiral galaxy named NGC 972.

Atmosphere of Mid-Size Planet Revealed by Hubble and Spitzer

07.02.2019
Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical "fingerprint" of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune.

Hubble Captures the Galaxy's Biggest Ongoing Stellar Fireworks Show

07.01.2019
Imagine slow-motion fireworks that started exploding 170 years ago and are still continuing. This type of firework is not launched into Earth's atmosphere, but rather into space by a doomed super-massive star called Eta Carinae. A new Hubble view, which includes ultraviolet light, shows its hot, expanding gases glowing in red, white and blue.

NASA Awards Contract for WFIRST Science Operations Center

07.01.2019
NASA has awarded a contract to the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland for the agency’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission Science Operations Center (SOC).

Hubble Catches a Bounty of Stars and Cosmic Dust

06.28.2019
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the spiral galaxy Messier 98, which is located about 45 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair). Messier 98 is estimated to contain about a trillion stars.

NASA’s TESS Mission Finds Its Smallest Planet Yet

06.27.2019
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a world between the sizes of Mars and Earth orbiting a bright, cool, nearby star. The planet, called L 98-59b, marks the tiniest discovered by TESS to date.

Main Instrument for NASA’s WFIRST Mission Completes Milestone Review

06.26.2019
To know how the universe will end, we must know what has happened to it so far. This is just one mystery NASA's forthcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission will tackle as it explores the distant cosmos. WFIRST's giant camera, the WFI, will be fundamental to this exploration, and it has just passed an important milestone.

NASA’s Webb Telescope Tech Improves Patients’ Vision

06.25.2019
The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in 2021, but NASA technology developed for this upcoming innovative observatory is already hard at work here on Earth, helping improve LASIK eye surgery.

Hubble Finds Tiny “Electric Soccer Balls” in Space, Helps Solve Interstellar Mystery

06.25.2019
Scientists using the Hubble telescope have found electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the gas and dust that fills interstellar space.

Hubble Captures Elusive, Irregular Galaxy

06.21.2019
IC 10 is a remarkable object. It is the closest-known starburst galaxy, meaning that it is undergoing a furious bout of star formation fueled by ample supplies of cool hydrogen gas.

NASA’s Webb Telescope Will Survey Saturn and its Moon Titan

06.19.2019
NASA’s Webb Telescope will survey Saturn and its moon Titan

Hubble Sets Sights on an Explosive Galaxy

06.14.2019
When massive stars die at the end of their short lives, they light up the cosmos with bright, explosive bursts of light and material known as supernovae. A supernova event is incredibly energetic and intensely luminous — so much so that it forms what looks like an especially bright new star that slowly fades away over time.

NASA’s Fermi Mission Reveals its Highest-energy Gamma-ray Bursts

06.13.2019
For 10 years, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has scanned the sky for gamma-ray bursts, the universe's most luminous explosions. A new catalog of the blasts provides scientists with fresh insights into how they work.

NASA's Webb Sunshield Undergoes Rocket Fitting, More Testing

06.12.2019
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope’s spacecraft element, which consists of the observatory’s spacecraft bus and the sunshield, was put in the same folded-up configuration that it will be in when mounted on atop a rocket for launch in 2021.

Mature Galaxy Mesmerizes in New Hubble View

06.07.2019
NGC 7773 is a beautiful example of a barred spiral galaxy. A luminous bar-shaped structure cuts prominently through the galaxy's bright core, extending to the inner boundary of NGC 7773's sweeping, pinwheel-like spiral arms. Astronomers think that these bar structures emerge later in the lifetime of a galaxy.

How the Webb Telescope Will Explore Mars

06.04.2019
When NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2021, reaches its destination a million miles from Earth, it will be able to see the whole disk of Mars every two years. If a global dust storm envelops the Red Planet at a time when Webb could see it, the powerful space telescope could gather information about the storm.

Hubble Sees a Galaxy Bucking the Trend

05.31.2019
This luminous orb is the galaxy NGC 4621, better known as Messier 59. Located in the 2,000-strong Virgo cluster of galaxies within the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin), Messier 59 lies approximately 50 million light-years away from us.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Emerges Successfully from Final Thermal Vacuum Test

05.30.2019
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has successfully cleared another critical testing milestone, taking this ambitious observatory one step closer to its 2021 launch.
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