Plasma streams off the surface of the sun in this image from earlier in February.
NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory
February 17, 2012 A new NASA satellite captured a massive tornado on the surface of the sun.
February 15, 2012 The Swiss have only been putting things into orbit for a few years now, but now that they've gotten a look at this debris field, they've decided to do something about it — like playing Felix to the rest of the world's Oscar.
The south pole of the far side of the moon as seen from the GRAIL mission's Ebb spacecraft.
February 1, 2012 The images from NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft offer a fresh view of the moon's far side.
"Blue Marble 2012." Want to see a really big version of this photo? Click here.
January 25, 2012 The space agency's latest composite image of Earth offers a detailed view of North and Central America. It's one in a long line of "Blue Marble" shots since the original was taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.
January 24, 2012 The most powerful solar storm to blast the Earth since 2005 reminds us that our modern society, with its dependance on electronics in the sky and on the ground, is vulnerable to a type of weather we rarely think about: space weather.
An artist's conception shows Voyager 1 encountering a stagnation region. To the left is interstellar space.
December 26, 2011 The Voyager 1 spacecraft is 11 billion miles from the sun. And every minute, it gets 636 miles closer to its destination: the frontier of interstellar space. The craft is currently between what NASA calls "the solar wind from the Sun and the interstellar wind from death-explosions of other stars."
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/143676838/144275337" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
A NASA illustration comparing the newly discovered planets to Venus and Earth. Kepler-20e is slightly smaller than both Venus and Earth. Kepler-20f is slightly larger.
December 21, 2011 Though scientists don't think the planets could sustain life, they say their discovery is significant because it shows that we can now detect planets that are roughly the same size as our own.
Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. For 35 years, the probes have been beaming images and information back to Earth via a 23-watt transmitter.
December 14, 2011 The two Voyager spacecraft are still running, 35 years after their launch. And as you might expect, our two ambassadors to the galaxy are sporting the finest technology of 1977, the year they were launched.
November 16, 2011 NASA is advertising for new astronauts and would like to train them to travel as far as Mars.
November 14, 2011 In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, what happens to a one-company town when the major employer shutters, and inventor Dean Kamen explains the best way to create jobs. In the second hour, author David Bellos explains the art of translation, and J.J. Abrams on his latest show.
This infrared mosaic image, taken by the Hubble telescope, represents the "sharpest survey of the Galactic Center to date," NASA says.
October 7, 2011 NASA gives us a look at the center of the galaxy, in the form of an infrared image that penetrates the dust clouds that obscure the core in the visible spectrum. The result shows "the glow of hot hydrogen in space," the space agency says.
September 27, 2011 The bus-sized UARS broke up NASA knows of no debris being sighted or striking anything.
This artist's conceptual image provided by NASA shows the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS.
September 23, 2011 NASA changes its estimated return time for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and says North America could get some satellite debris after all.
September 22, 2011 NASA says the falling Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will plunge back to Earth Friday afternoon, Eastern time. Most of it will burn up, but some debris could reach ground. Scientists predict it won't reach either of the poles or North America.
September 19, 2011 A decommissioned weather satellite the size of a bus will reenter the Earth's atmosphere late this week. Most of it will burn up but some fragments may crash into the ground; NASA doesn't know where.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor