Space Science


Space Science News


EARTH Magazine: Oceans Revealed on Icy Moons

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, 08/03/2015  --  It now appears that, of the many moons of Jupiter and Saturn, two of them may have oceans beneath their icy exteriors. Scientists studying Jupiter's moon Ganymede - the largest moon in the solar system and the only one with its own magnetic field, which frequently sparks aurorae - used the Hubble space telescope to detect ultraviolet light emitted by the aurorae, which were less active than expected, given the moon's magnetic field.

Listen Current: Oil Glut

April 5, 2015  --  The United States has become one of the world’s largest producers of oil but we might be running out of space to store this oil. If companies sell off large amounts of oil to open up storage space what will happen to the price of oil? Use this story to help students understand the relationship between oil production, speculation and storage.

NASA's Space Place: The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

NASA's Space Place

From Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter brings long, cold nights, which are often excellent for sky watchers (so long as there's a way to keep warm!) But there's often an added bonus that comes along when conditions are just right: the polar lights, or the Aurora Borealis around the North Pole. Here on our world, a brilliant green light often appears for observers at high northern latitudes, with occasional, dimmer reds and even blues lighting up a clear night.

Listen Current: Visiting Mars

Listen Current

March 6, 2015  --  In 2024 crews of four will be sent to Mars with the goal of creating a permanent human settlement there. 200,000 people applied to be one of the first four people willing to make this one-way trip. A 22-year-old college student from Texas is one of the final 100 applicants. Ask your students: Would they take a one-way trip to Mars, knowing they would never return to Earth?

NASA's Space Place: The heavyweight champion of the Cosmos

NASA's Space Place

By Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  As crazy as it once seemed, we once assumed that the Earth was the largest thing in all the universe. 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras was ridiculed for suggesting that the Sun might be even larger than the Peloponnesus peninsula, about 16% of modern-day Greece. Today, we know that planets are dwarfed by stars, which themselves are bound together by the billions or even trillions into galaxies.

NASA's Space Place: Minor Mergers Have Massive Consequences for Black Holes

NASA's Space Place

By Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  When you think of our sun, the nearest star to our world, you think of an isolated entity, with more than four light years separating it from its next nearest neighbor. But it wasn't always so: billions of years ago, when our sun was first created, it very likely formed in concert with thousands of other stars, when a giant molecular cloud containing perhaps a million times the mass of our solar system collapsed.

Listen Current: Comet Landing

Listen Current

11/16/2014 - This week the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet 300 million miles from Earth. The probe will give scientists an opportunity to better understand comets and their role in providing the foundations for life. This story will give your students a totally new image of comets!

Access the audio file and lesson plans at the Listen Current website (you can register for a free account to access all teaching materials):

NASA's Space Place: Where the Heavenliest of Showers Come From

NASA's Space Place

By Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  You might think that, so long as Earth can successfully dodge the paths of rogue asteroids and comets that hurtle our way, it's going to be smooth, unimpeded sailing in our annual orbit around the sun. But the meteor showers that illuminate the night sky periodically throughout the year not only put on spectacular shows for us, they're direct evidence that interplanetary space isn't so empty after all!