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News

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.

Friday, December 02, 2016

When meteors confront a Full Moon

The annual Geminid meteor shower, which peaks the night of December 13 and the morning of the 14th, is typically one of the best of the year. The Geminid shower generally features bright meteors, and, unlike most showers, it’s fairly rich befor...
Thursday, December 01, 2016

Super-Galaxies Don’t Become Cannibals Until Later in Life

Before they turn to cannibalism, massive galaxies spend their infancy gobbling up recycled gas from earlier generations of star formation. The Spiderweb Galaxy is actually more of a galaxy-in-progress. One day, it will be an enormous elliptical galax...
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This asteroid is so small, it could fit in your living room

Astronomers in Arizona observed the smallest near-Earth asteroid ever characterized, a 6.5 foot (2 meter) diameter asteroid smaller than most cars. This asteroid, called 2015 TC25, also reflects 60 percent of light that falls onto it, making it no...

Large ice sheet discovered on Mars

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered a massive sheet of ice on Utopia Planitia, the same area where Viking landed in 1976. The ice sheet, buried under the soil, is nearly the size of New Mexico, according to Kenneth Chang at the New York Ti...
Monday, November 28, 2016

An Earth-like extrasolar planet could harbor extraterrestrial life

Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and the Astrobiology Center have nailed down an important property of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet while it was in transit. The team used t...
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Opaline silica could give evidence to past life on Mars

A cauliflower-shaped structure on Mars has some researchers scratching their heads — and others wondering if it could have been created by martian microbes. The Spirit rover discovered pieces of a mineral called opaline silica on Mars in 2007 i...
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The impossible’ EmDrive Thruster has cleared its first credibility hurdle

After years of unwarranted hype and dubious experimental claims, the EmDrive, an “impossible” propulsion device that claims to produce thrust while violating Newton’s Laws of Motion, has received its first published, peer-reviewed p...

Researchers discovered faint dwarf satellite galaxy in the Milky Way

Researchers from Tohoku University led an international team in a discovery of an extremely faint dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. This discovery was part of the Subaru Strategic Survey, a study that wanted to maximize searches for Milky Way ...
Monday, November 21, 2016

The new search for alien intelligence

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Astronomy. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has reaped the rewards from decades of growing technological sophis­tication. Until now, however, almost all of the searc...

We may need to pump the brakes on water on Mars theories

Just a year ago, the headline “NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars” buoyed excitement for the possibility of life on the red planet. The claim, based on a paper published in Nature Geoscience, relied on ...

Geological activity keeps Ceres’ salty spots bright

Ceres is a miniature world complete with dramatic rockscapes for the Dawn spacecraft to explore. Occator Crater, home to the white spots that so tantalized our curiosity during Dawn’s long approach, is particularly gorgeous under the oblique li...
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