Black Holes

A black hole is an object containing so much mass concentrated in a relatively small space that light can not escape.   Challenging the Unified Model of Black Holes in Galaxies This infographic explains a popular theory of active supermassive black holes, referred to as the unified model — and how new data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is at conflict with the model. Astronomers say the model could still be correct but needs adjusting to account … Read More

How NASA’s New Horizons Mission to Pluto Works [Infographic]

NASA’s New Horizons probe has visited a place never before visited by a robotic probe from Earth: Pluto. In July 2015, the spacecraft completed a nearly-decade-long journey to fly by Pluto, and reveal humanity’s first close-up look at the distant dwarf planet. New Horizons performed the first-ever flyby of the faraway dwarf planet, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of its frigid surface. The close encounter is giving researchers their first up-close looks at Pluto, which has remained mysterious since … Read More

The International Space Station: Inside and Out [Infographic]

The International Space Station (ISS) is the most complex international scientific and engineering project in history and the largest structure humans have ever put into space. This high-flying satellite is a laboratory for new technologies and an observation platform for astronomical, environmental and geological research. As a permanently occupied outpost in outer space, it serves as a stepping-stone for further space exploration. The station flies at an average altitude of 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth. It circles the globe … Read More

Inside Cassini’s Multi-Year Saturn MIssion [Infographic]

The ambitious Cassini orbiter and Huygens lander mission achieved the first landing of a probe on another planet’s moon. For more than 11 years, Cassini has orbited the ringed planet, taking photos and making observations that have greatly expanded our understanding of the Saturnian system. As of Oct. 28, 2015, Cassini has completed 220 orbits of Saturn. Cassini’s path is often adjusted to allow the probe to make close flybys of Saturn’s satellites. Since 2004, Cassini has made 147 of … Read More

Voyager Interstellar Mission

The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. Continuing on their more-than-37-year journey since their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago. Scientists hope to learn more about this region when Voyager 2, in … Read More