The One Basic Fact About History That Time Travelers Always Forget

One of the staples of time travel stories is the idea that our heroes will visit earlier geological periods in Earth's history. Of course — because they'll want to see dinosaurs with ostrich feathers and giant millipedes. But they generally forget something very important about Earth's past. » 10/31/14 11:30am 10/31/14 11:30am

Maven Delivers Its First Ultraviolet Images From Mars

Piling on to the good news from Mars this week, NASA's Maven spacecraft sent home its first ultraviolet images from Mars. While they may not be flashy, these images will help determine the composition and variability of the upper atmosphere, and investigate the mystery of when the water escaped. » 9/26/14 12:02am 9/26/14 12:02am

Bacteria and fungi living 30,000 feet above the Earth could be…

Microorganisms have been found in virtually every corner of the Earth, from deep sea volcanoes to the tops of frozen mountains. They've also been discovered high up in the atmosphere — but scientists haven't been entirely sure as to nature and extent of these elusive high-altitude organisms. Now, new research suggests… » 1/29/13 8:31am 1/29/13 8:31am

NASA confirms there's helium in the Moon's atmosphere. But where did it…

When astronauts from the Apollo 17 mission landed on the Moon in 1972, one of their mission objectives was to analyze the tenuous atmosphere using the Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment, a mass spectrometer (with a shape and appearance weirdly reminiscent of a modern day printer/scanner combo) designed to detect… » 8/17/12 4:13pm 8/17/12 4:13pm