For 75 years, CU Boulder has been a leader in space exploration and innovation. We travel to space to monitor sea level rise, melting ice, weather patterns and more. Our researchers explore how to track and remove dangerous debris in space. We research the health of humans in space to inform medical applications for people on Earth. Learn more about the latest in space research and science at CU Boulder.

CU Boulder faculty, students primed for Juno mission to Jupiter

June 30, 2016

Even though CU Boulder Professor Fran Bagenal has been a part of five NASA planetary missions, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter in 1995, this latest mission to Jupiter called “Juno” that she’s involved in has her nervous. That’s because this time the spacecraft, which enters orbit July 4, will be flying dangerously close to the big planet’s magnetic field.

Juno artist rendering with planet in background

CU-Boulder faculty, students primed for Juno arrival at Jupiter

June 23, 2016

A group of University of Colorado Boulder faculty and students are anxiously awaiting the arrival of NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter July 4, a mission expected to reveal the hidden interior of the gas giant as well as keys to how our solar system formed.

 Image of earth from space

Milky Way now hidden from one-third of humanity

June 10, 2016

The Milky Way, the brilliant river of stars that has dominated the night sky and human imaginations since time immemorial, is but a faded memory to one third of humanity and 80 percent of Americans, according to a new global atlas of light pollution produced by Italian and American scientists.

a spiral galaxy surrounded by the circumgalactic medium

‘Wasteful’ galaxies launch heavy elements into surrounding halos and deep space, CU-Boulder study finds

June 6, 2016

Galaxies “waste” large amounts of heavy elements generated by star formation by ejecting them up to a million light years away into their surrounding halos and deep space, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Some comets are like couples: They break up, then make up

June 1, 2016

For some comets, breaking up is not that hard to do. A new study led by Purdue University and CU-Boulder indicates the bodies of some periodic comets – objects that orbit the sun in less than 200 years – may regularly split in two, then reunite down the road.

Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer

CU-Boulder-led MinXSS CubeSat to deploy from ISS, study sun’s soft X-rays

May 13, 2016

The bread loaf-sized Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer, or MinXSS, CubeSat will be deployed from an airlock on the International Space Station (ISS) at 4 a.m. MDT on Monday, May 16, beginning its journey into space where it will study emissions from the sun that can affect ground-based communications systems.

A 3-D animation created by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio using data from the MAVEN mission to Mars

MAVEN data used for award-winning NASA Scientific Visualization Studio video

May 11, 2016

A 3-D animation created by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio using data from the MAVEN mission to Mars is the corporate winner of the inaugural Data Stories video contest sponsored by Science magazine for videos that tell stories about data. The video explains how the solar wind is driving particles from the upper atmosphere of Mars into space, which may have caused the planet to dry out and cool over the eons.

 Enceladus, a moon of Saturn

The Jet Set: Understanding the plume shooting from a Saturn moon

May 5, 2016

First observed in 2005 by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn, a plume shooting into space from cracks on the icy surface of Enceladus is coming from a subterranean, salty ocean beneath the moon’s surface. The latest observations by a team including CU-Boulder Professor Larry Esposito indicate at least some of the narrow jets blast with increased fury when the moon is farther from Saturn.

View of earth from space

Grand Challenge expanded and enhanced by new projects

May 4, 2016

Six grants totaling $250,000 have been awarded to projects supporting CU-Boulder’s Grand Challenge "Our Space. Our Future." which features two major initiatives – Earth Lab and Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing Initiative (IRISS) – plus more than a dozen related projects.

The Cassini spacecraft next to Saturn

Saturn spacecraft samples interstellar dust

April 15, 2016

A new study led by the European Space Agency and NASA involving the University of Colorado Boulder indicates NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected the faint but distinct signature of dust coming from beyond our solar system.