Category Archives: Space Place

Measuring earthquakes faster

Earthquakes can be serious, scary events. The ground shakes and rolls. Things can fly off shelves, and buildings can collapse. We can do a lot to prepare for earthquakes before they happen. But what can we do to prepare for what happens after them?

When an earthquake occurs, it’s important to know the location, depth […]

Saturn’s Rings: More than Meets the Eye

When Galileo Galilei first spotted Saturn in his telescope, he didn’t know what the shapes on either
side of the planet were. He thought they might be two large moons. Today we know they’re beautiful rings.

Saturn isn’t the only planet with rings. Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have them too. But Saturn’s are the […]

Watching El Niño Closely… From Space!

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This past year, Earth has had unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. Believe it or not, this one thing can lead to a lot of interesting weather events all over the globe. We call it El Niño. It happens because of changes […]

Black Holes and dark matter, working together

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dark matter is very mysterious. It makes up 27 percent of our whole universe, but we know very little about it. We can’t measure it directly. It doesn’t give off light or absorb it. We do know it has gravity, though, because we can see its […]

Comets that graze the sun

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

It’s not easy finding comets, especially when they’re near the bright, shining sun. Comets that approach the sun are called sungrazers. They can be as small as 30 to 150 feet in diameter. That’s the length of a limousine up to half a football field. Out […]

Water on Mars?!

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Mars is a cold desert world about half the size of Earth. Because of rusty iron in the ground, Mars is sometimes called the “Red Planet.”

Like Earth, Mars has seasons, volcanoes, canyons and weather. When Mars was a young planet, it may even have had […]

Protecting the Forest

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

When you think about NASA, you probably picture outer space, comets and galaxies. But there is also much to explore on our home planet Earth. We still have a lot to learn about the weather, the water cycle, Earth’s interior and our planet’s […]

Earth’s Cousin

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Since it’s always nice to make new friends, NASA is on the lookout for exoplanets. These are planets outside our solar system. They orbit a faraway star or float freely between stars.

We’re especially curious about planets similar to Earth. In our vast universe, with countless […]

Hello, Pluto!

By Katie McKissick
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

It’s over three billion miles away from Earth. We’ve only known about it since 1930. Pluto is an icy rock about a fifth the size of Earth. We called it a planet until 2006, but now we say it’s a dwarf planet. Scientists decided that it’s […]

Planning A Visit to Europa

Europa is one of Jupiter’s moons. It’s about the size of our moon. Europa is a very special moon in our solar system because it might be able to support living things. Beneath its icy crust, there could be an ocean with twice as much water as there is in Earth’s oceans.

We know a […]