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Mysteries of Space

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
This image of a methane lake on Titan was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

The space boat that could explore Saturn's moon

Forget NASA's Curiosity. Now engineers are dreaming of a floating rover that would cruise around Titan — on land and sea

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
Geoengineers in Scotland want to exploit a well-positioned asteroid to generate a dust cloud that would help block the sun's harmful rays from Earth.

How asteroid dust could help us cool down Earth

Scottish space scientists cook up an otherworldly plan to shade our planet from the sun's harmful radiation

Mysteries of Space : Burning Question
This set of images provided by NASA compares rounded gravel fragments found both on Mars (left) and Earth (right).

Did the Curiosity just find proof of water on Mars?

Smooth pebbles and angular rocky outcroppings suggest an ancient river once flowed on the Red Planet's desert-like surface

Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
Thousands of colorful spiral galaxies existing billions of light years away are revealed in this shot, an amalgamation of 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs.

Revealed: The deepest view of the universe ever recorded

NASA researchers showcase an ultra-detailed composite portrait of one of space's farthest corners

Mysteries of Space : Best Video
Stanley the train reaches his 18-mile high destination before the weather balloon that lifted him aloft bursts and he plummets back down to Earth.

Stanley the train and 4 other toys launched into space

A California father scores a viral video hit after sending his son's toy into space. A look at his clip and those of others who've sent playthings way, way up

Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
Thanks to the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble telescopes, astronomers have been able to identify the oldest galaxy ever seen.

Discovered: A far-off galaxy from the dawn of time

A fuzzy red splotch hidden behind nearby star clusters might just be the most distant galaxy ever glimpsed by human eyes

Mysteries of Space : Analysis
Physicists believe that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of ordinary matter like stars and planets, with the remaining 96 percent composed of dark matter and dark energy.

Dark energy: The mysterious force causing the universe to expand

Scientists confirm with 99.996 percent certainty the existence of a little-understood substance that is "one of the great scientific mysteries of our time"

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
In this screen shot from an amateur astronomer's video, Jupiter appears to be hit by something, resulting in a two-second explosion.

How Jupiter might save Earth from devastating asteroid strikes

A massive collision rocked the gas giant's surface this week, adding to the growing body of evidence that Jupiter works as a giant space shield

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
Members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate Mars Curiosity Rover's successful landing on the Red Planet Aug. 5

How NASA plans to top the Mars Curiosity voyage

The rover's near-miraculous mission has rekindled excitement about the space program. Here's where we might be going next

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An artist's rendition of a "vampire star" sucking gas from another star so that it can become bigger and brighter.

The surprising prevalence of killer 'vampire stars'

Some of our galaxy's biggest, brightest stars are members of binary systems — and they're sucking the life right out of their partner stars

Mysteries of Space : The List
An artist's illustration: Earth's inhabitable climate may not be unique.

The 5 most potentially inhabitable alien planets

Scientists rank the exoplanets most likely to have the rare ability to harbor life — though the chances are still pretty slim

Mysteries of Space : Analysis
Images from NASA's 2004 Cassini mission show river networks draining into lakes in north polar region of Saturn's largest natural satellite, Titan.

Is Saturn's moon Titan even more Earth-like than we thought?

Scientists reveal that underneath thick layers of cloud cover, the moon's icy surface has complex river networks and a remarkably smooth landscape

Mysteries of Space : Burning Question
Take a whiff: After spacewalks, astronauts' space suits are said to carry a lingering, unpleasant metallic smell.

What does space smell like?

The gear of an astronaut who's completed a space walk emits what some describe as a burnt metallic stench. Now, NASA wants to recreate it

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto: The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated P5.

Do Pluto and its largest moon form a 'double planet'?

The mysterious dwarf continues to surprise scientists, as a newly discovered moon resurrects a debate over the former planet's status

Mysteries of Space : Forecast
An astronaut on the International Space Station: New research suggests that space's lack of gravity may do the human body more good than harm.

Could space travel make people live longer?

Zero gravity does strange things to our physiology, and now researchers think it may actually make the body age more slowly

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Using the hashtag #ChasingUFOs, alien fanatics everywhere can tweet messages that will be cobbled together and sent up to our potential E.T. friends.

The final frontier: Tweeting at aliens?

On the 35th anniversary of the mysterious Wow! signal astronomers received in 1977, we'll finally respond to what some believe was a message from extraterrestrials

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