Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

145,937 subscribers and counting ...

Science Wire

The latest science media releases highlighting exciting news and research from around the globe.

The Virtual Telescope Project acquired this image on Monday evening, April 20, 2015.
Science Wire | Apr 21, 2015

Asteroid just missed Earth Tuesday morning

… But not by much. 2015 HD1 passed just 0.2 lunar distances away (45,600 miles or 73,400 km).

Science Wire | Apr 20, 2015

Ceres’ bright spots back in view

Dawn spacecraft has reacquired images of Spot 5, the mysterious bright double feature on the dwarf planet Ceres. The bright spots look … as strange as ever.

This marine scene shows an assortment of marine tetrapods that lived in Cretaceous oceans near the end of the "Age of Reptiles," including a sea turtle, an early flightless marine bird, a large mosasaur and a long-necked elasmosaur. In April 2015, a team of Smithsonian scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea, offering a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene. Image credit: Smithsonian/Karen Carr
Science Wire | Apr 20, 2015

From fins to legs to fins again

Marine tetrapods, a group of animals including whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles, have moved from sea to land and back to the sea over the last 350 million years

Part of the 1996 Hubble Deep Field.  Read more about this image
Science Wire | Apr 19, 2015

Celebrate 25 years of Hubble Space Telescope

NASA has a whole slate of cool-looking activities in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, starting on Monday, April 20!

Science Wire | Apr 18, 2015

Dawn spacecraft captures Ceres’ sunlit pole

After more than a month orbiting on Ceres’ dark side, Dawn has captured enough images to make this animation of the dwarf planet’s north pole.

The smell of rain.  Photo is a video still from Jon Kasbe's wonderful short film Life Reflected.
Science Wire | Apr 18, 2015

What is the smell of rain?

The word for it is “petrichor.” It’s the name of an oil that’s released from Earth into the air before rain begins to fall.

Frames from a high-speed video of a metal object slamming into a bed of artificial soil, sand or rock. Shown at slow (top), medium (middle) and high impact speeds (bottom), the changing impact forces illuminated in each frame help explain why soil and sand get stronger when they are struck harder. Photos courtesy of Abram Clark.
Science Wire | Apr 17, 2015

What happens underground when a meteor hits

High-speed videos show what happens underground when an asteroid – or missile – strikes Earth.

Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

Experience 2 months of Rosetta’s comet

Spectacular images from Rosetta spacecraft of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko between January 31 and March 25. Many different angles. Increasing activity!

Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

Sperm whale meets deep-sea vehicle

Encounters between sperm whales and ROVs – remotely operated underwater vehicles – are rare. Watch this video, posted April 14.

Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

New Horizons’ first color pic of Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft is now only three months away from its historic sweep through the Pluto-Charon system in mid-July. First image in color!

View larger | Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Apr 15, 2015

Tornado track in northern Illinois

Satellite view makes clear how unlucky the 150 people of the town of Fairdale were on April 9.

Science Wire | Apr 14, 2015

Watch April 16 telecon on MESSENGER’s crash into Mercury

After more than 10 years in space, the spacecraft will collide with Mercury, ending its mission, around late April. NASA telecon scheduled for April 16 at 1 p.m. EDT (17:00 UTC).

Sucessful lift-off of SpaceX Falcon 9 on April 14, 2015.
Science Wire | Apr 14, 2015


SpaceX Dragon capsule now on its way to International Space Station after Tuesday’s successful liftoff via Falcon 9 rocket. Rendezvous set for Friday morning.

Image via New Scientist
Science Wire | Apr 14, 2015

10 surprises about our solar system

A collection of 10 unexpected and intriguing facts about our solar system – our sun and its family of planets – you probably did not know!

Great Saturn storm of 2011 in infrared (center and right) and visible light (left).
Science Wire | Apr 14, 2015

Explaining the great 2011 Saturn storm

A storm on Saturn began in late 2010. Six months later, it wrapped entirely around the planet. Later, it subsided. Two planetary scientists explain.

Science Wire | Apr 13, 2015

Color map suggests a once-active Ceres

Plus … what infrared data show about the Ceres bright spots.

What's in a name anyway?  Image credit: WIkimedia
Science Wire | Apr 13, 2015

Brontosaurus is back!

If you had to name a dinosaur, you might say Brontosaurus. But, since 1903, experts have said that Brontosaurus isn’t a separate species. Now Bronto is back!

Science Wire | Apr 12, 2015

Mars has belts of glaciers

A thick layer of dust covers the Martian ice. Under the dust, there are glaciers made of frozen water.

Science Wire | Apr 11, 2015

See a cloud passing our Milky Way’s central black hole

Join astronomers in examining the fate of G2, which has survived its encounter with the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.

Science Wire | Apr 11, 2015

This image shows an Einstein Ring

The ring is caused by a near-perfect alignment of two galaxies with respect to Earth. One galaxy is ‘lensing’ the other galaxy’s light.

Science Wire | Apr 10, 2015

Life’s building blocks in infant star system

“From a life in the universe point of view, this is great news,” said a researcher.