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Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

CHIME begins its cosmic search

CHIME, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, is up and running in the mountains of southern British Columbia. A ceremony on September 7, 2017, inaugurated the telescope and its pioneering approach to studying the universe. “This ...

Interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua came from binary star system

Last October, astronomers spotted the first known visitor from another star system as it zoomed through the inner solar system at breakneck speeds. The interstellar interloper, since named ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout”), is a ciga...
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Stephen Hawking’s Final Paper Says (And Doesn’t Say)

Before he died, renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking submitted a paper, with co-author Thomas Hertog, to an as-yet-unknown journal. Hawking’s last known scientific writing, the paper deals with the concept of the multiverse and a theory known a...

NASA’s Kepler space telescope is running out of fuel

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has delivered groundbreaking data to the science community during its remarkable nine-year journey. Its hunt for Earth-like planets in habitable zones of stars has not only assisted in the search for extraterrestrial li...

Web Extra: Remembering Stephen Hawking

Astronomy’s Editor David Eicher pays tribute to the great physicist, lost to the world last week.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yerkes Observatory is closing its doors

A piece of astronomical history is closing its doors this year: Yerkes Observatory, which opened in 1897, will cease operations on October 1, 2018. In many ways, this closure isn’t surprising. Yerkes is very much a relic of a past era, not the...
Friday, March 16, 2018

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking in length, but growing in height

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot might not be losing its greatness after all. Although the storm has been dwindling for about a century and a half, a new study published in the Astronomical Journal shows that while its length continues to decrease, its...

Comets and asteroids shower Mars with organics

For decades, astronomers suspected that Mars might be teeming with organics, which are carbon-based molecules like proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the Mars Curiosity rover uncovered the first evide...
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mercury: The Swift Planet

Tonight, Mercury reaches greatest elongation, meaning it will stand apart from the Sun at the largest angle as seen from Earth. This leaves it readily visible in the sky after the Sun has set, and tonight marks its very best apparition of the year. M...
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Potentially habitable super-Earth found during exoplanet search

The hunt for habitability outside our solar system is both ongoing and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The pursuit of exoplanets not only furthers the search for extraterrestrial life, but also helps us understand the formation and evolutio...

Starmus Advisory Board remembers Stephen Hawking

Starmus Today, on the 14th of March, 2018, the human race has suffered an immeasurable loss. The loss of a man who was not only one of the greatest scientists of all times and one of the most influential people on the planet, but also a model and ...

Stephen Hawking passes away at 76

Stephen Hawking, one of the brightest and most famous scientific minds of our modern era, has passed away at the age of 76. Essentially a household name associated with his brilliance, Hawking became an icon with his wheelchair and computerized voi...
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

All disk galaxies rotate once every billion years

In a study published March 9 in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers announced the discovery that all disk galaxies rotate about once every billion years, no matter their size or mass. “It’s not Swiss watch...
Friday, March 09, 2018

McDonald Observatory to Train National Park Service in Skywatching Programs for Visitors

The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory has entered into a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to train park rangers in bringing the wonders of the night sky to their visitors. The observatory also will create outreach pr...

Hubble captures new image of two colliding galaxies

Talk about getting up close and personal. The two spiral galaxies that make up the ARP 256 system have just begun a long and chaotic journey together, destined to spend millions of years colliding into each other before finally merging into a galaxy ...


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