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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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

New NASA video visualizes landing on Pluto

In 2015, after the nine-year-long, 3 billion mile commute, the New Horizons spacecraft finally reached Pluto, performing a 12 hour flyby that yielded spectacular data, releasing beautifully vivid images of Pluto that showed us for the first time what...
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Curiosity examines possible mud cracks on Mars

It’s common knowledge that mud forms by combining dirt and water. So when a team of scientists found what appeared to be mud cracks on Mars, they knew they had to investigate further. The team used NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and studied ...
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Researchers have peered through pulsar winds

Pulsars serve as cosmic beacons, beaming radiation into space. But not all of these beacons look the same. Now, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to provide a clearer picture of the nebulae that form around pulsars to reconstruct...

This study shows Earth may have harbored complex life 2 billion years ago

Everyone is still looking for evidence of life on another planet, and there’s no better way to start a search than to look at what’s already been successful and why. That’s why a team at the University of Washington did a study of ...

Is the multiverse physics, philosophy, or something else entirely?

The idea of the multiverse — or the theoretical possibility of infinite parallel universes--straddles a strange world between science fiction and a plausible hypothesis. Though scientists have no direct evidence for the multiverse's existence, ...
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New observations of FO Aquarii reveal strange behavior within this cannibalistic binary system

FO Aquarii, a famous binary system comprised of a compact white dwarf stripping mass from a low-mass companion star, has decided to misbehave. When a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student at the University ...
Monday, January 16, 2017

Moon Express raised enough funds for trip to the Moon

The California-based American team for the international Google Lunar X Prize competition, Moon Express, has made its next milestone in the competition. Moon Express has raised enough money for the trip to the Moon, raising a total of $45 million so...

NASA Has the Asteroid Protection Plan, But Where’s the Money?

Asteroid impacts have the distinction of being one of the few sci-fi concepts that will definitely happen at some point. But despite the clear and present (although potentially far off) danger of getting smacked by an asteroid, we’ve devoted fe...

Bulge in Venus’ atmosphere likely caused by gravity waves

A massive, bow-shaped wave was spotted for the first time in the highest regions of Venus’ atmosphere, perplexing astronomers. The structure was captured by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in some of the first images returned by ...

Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, dies at 82

Eugene "Gene" Cernan, a Gemini astronaut turned two-time Apollo explorer, has passed away at age 82. Cernan was first recruited to NASA in 1963 after previously serving in the Navy. In 1966, he flew aboard the Gemini 9A mission with Thomas Stafford,...
Friday, January 13, 2017

This video recaps the stellar landing of Huygens on Titan

In 2005, ESA’s Cassini-Huygens mission became the first spacecraft to ever land on a moon outside of our own when it dove below the atmosphere Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Huygens also made history in this is still the furthest successfu...
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Caltech’s newest instrument will untangle the cosmic web with new imaging capabilities

The universe is an empty place — or is it? The cold gas filaments that span the space between galaxies are faint and hard to see, but astronomers believe this difficult-to-detect gas is responsible for the evolution of galaxies over time. With ...

The Moon is much older than everyone thought

The Moon has been a constant in the sky, but have you wondered just how old it actually is? A team of researchers at UCLA wondered that exact thing and conducted a study to find an exact age and found the Moon is as much as 140 million years older th...

Are there volcanoes on comets?

Volcanoes may not just exist on moons and planets. A comet orbiting between Saturn and Jupiter seems to have its own signs of icy volcanism, spewing frozen material instead of hot lava. Rather than a single stagnant mound, however, the eruptions come...
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Astronomers uncover the hidden struggles of photons in distant galaxies

Researchers studying some of the youngest galaxies currently visible with today’s technology have made an amazing discovery. They’ve found that these galaxies grab and hold onto their photons, letting very few escape -- something that cou...

The Milky Way may have stolen stars from another galaxy

Our galaxy is a dirty, rotten thief. Eleven stars at the edge of the galaxy, roughly 300,000 light years from Earth, seem to have come from elsewhere. What’s more, Marion Dierickx and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics...
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New images from Mars orbiter show the Earth and Moon

It’s always exciting to see new images of Earth to remind us what our planet looks like from afar. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released a new image on Friday that shows the Earth and Moon from Mars. Mars was 127 millio...

This small star may be dimming because it ate a Jupiter-sized planet

There’s something weird going on at RZ Pisces. Nobody can seem to tell how old it is — or why a star of its age is still abundant in the gas and dimming and debris associated with much younger systems. If it’s old, there should be ...

The inside story of "Hidden Figures"

In the heady days of the space race, the Mercury Seven astronauts were celebrities, and the Moon’s silver face seemed, for the first time in human existence, close enough to touch. For many, space was a tantalizing promise of a wonderful future...
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