Logo IMG


A Setback on Mars; A New Lab for the Space Station

On the surface of Mars, the Phoenix lander experienced a soil-sampling glitch on its first attempt late last week, but scientists don't think it's serious. None of the dirt meant for the spacecraft's oven made it into the tiny chamber, so it couldn't be tested for signs of water or organic compounds.

Over the weekend, NASA delayed the launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) until June 11 due to a battery issue. The telescope is designed to send back detailed data on "the most energetic explosions and flare-ups the cosmos has to offer."

A team of astronauts successfully attached a 15-ton Japanese laboratory to the International Space Station last week. The station's biggest room, it will be used for biomedical and material sciences research.

Further from home, a new map of the Milky Way indicates that our spiral galaxy has two fewer main spokes or arms than previously believed. Based on findings about the structural evolution of the Milky Way, the map was presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

At the same meeting, scientists said that a newfound planet only three times the size of Earth has fueled expectations that Earth-like planets are orbiting stars elsewhere in the universe. The newly discovered planet is the closest in size to the Earth of any extrasolar planet yet found.

And, finally, NASA's STEREO solar satellites have captured images of giant tornado-like jets twisting near the sun's poles. They are estimated to be a thousand times faster than terrestrial tornadoes.


Connect With Us:

    Pinterest Icon Google+ Icon Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Sm

Subscribe to Our Content!

Visit our RSS Feeds page to choose among 13 customized feeds, or create a free My AmSci account to request an email notice whenever a specified author, department or discipline appears online.

Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


Of Possible Interest

Science in the News Weekly: NASA May Inherit Ex-Spy Telescope

Science In The News Daily: U.S. Astronomers Discover It, Then It's Outsourced

Science in the News Weekly: SpaceX Dragon Splashdown 'Like Seeing Your Kid Come Home'

Subscribe to American Scientist