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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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Sky This Week from September 13 to 22

Friday, September 13 Full Moon arrives at 12:33 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning (9:33 p.m. PDT this evening), so our satellite looks completely illuminated all night. Luna rises in the east shortly after the Sun sets and peaks in the south around 1 a.m. lo...

Hubble sheds new light on lives of star clusters

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken new observations of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, neighboring galaxy to our Milky Way and found new insights into the star clusters that live there. Star clusters are quite common in the univers...
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Astronomers may have just discovered an interstellar comet visiting our solar system

A newly discovered comet has astronomers excited. Formally named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), the object appears to have come from outside our solar system. If confirmed, that would make it the second known interstellar visitor to our solar system, after the...
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Water found in habitable super-Earth's atmosphere for first time

Astronomers have finally uncovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a super-Earth exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of its star. The find means that liquid water could also exist on the rocky world's surface, potentially even forming a glo...

Giant bubbles spotted rushing out from Milky Way’s center

The Milky Way is blowing bubbles. Two giant radio bubbles, extending out from the galaxy for over 1,400 light years, were just discovered in X-ray data. Astronomers think the bubbles started forming a few million years ago due to some type of catacly...
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Explosions may have formed lakes on Saturn's moon Titan

Saturn’s moon Titan is a distant and frigid world, but it also carries intriguing similarities to Earth’s own terrain. Liquid lakes and seas dot its landscape, though the methane and ethane that fill them are a far cry from terrestrial wa...
Monday, September 9, 2019

Get outside and see Neptune at its best

Neptune reaches opposition and peak visibility on Monday night (officially at 3 a.m. EDT on the 10th). Because it lies opposite the Sun in our sky, it rises at sunset and appears highest in the south around 1 a.m. local daylight time. But you can s...

Astronauts mix cement on ISS, pave way for future space colonies

Concrete, in one form or another, has been a staple of human construction for some 5,000 years. Now, researchers have finally brought the ancient technology to outer space. For the first time, scientists have successfully mixed cement — a prima...

India still trying to contact its lost Moon lander

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) isn’t giving up hope for its lost lunar lander just yet. The space agency will keep trying to establish contact with the Virkam lander for 14 days, according to the Times of India. Bringing the ...

How an underwater mission helps NASA prep for Moon life

As NASA prepares to return to the Moon in the next couple of years and possibly even establish bases, it needs a better understanding of how the human body performs in such an inhospitable habitat. To that end, two astronauts, two researchers (includ...
Friday, September 6, 2019

The Sky This Week from September 6 to 15

Friday, September 6 The variable star Algol in Perseus reaches minimum brightness at 2:05 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning. Observers on the East Coast who start watching around midevening can see the star’s brightness diminish by 70 percent over the ...

Watch Live: India prepares for their first Moon landing

India’s space agency is prepping for their first soft landing on the Moon today. The mission, called Chandrayaan-2, would make India the fourth country to reach the Moon’s surface -- behind the United States, Russia, and China. The Indian...

Astronomers can't agree on galaxies without dark matter

Some 60 million light-years from Earth, not too far from our local galactic neighborhood, a strange little galaxy is causing a cosmic stir. This little island universe holds far fewer stars than your average galaxy. But it's not the lack of stars tha...
Thursday, September 5, 2019

NASA wants school kids to name Mars 2020 rover

Pathfinder. Opportunity. Curiosity. NASA’s iconic Mars rovers have a history of lofty names. But for the Mars 2020 rover, that iconic name is still missing. Now students have a chance to be a part of the naming process by submitting their name ...

If we find alien life, can we avoid harming it?

As humans explore the solar system, the tantalizing possibility of discovering extraterrestrial life continues to pop up. But the goal of most scientists is to discover existing life on another world, not to accidentally bring it there from Earth. Wh...
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cosmic collision may reveal how giant stars form

Astronomers have witnessed a rare event: the birth of massive stars 2.73 million light-years away in the Triangulum Galaxy (Messier 33). At the center of two giant colliding gas clouds are some 10 young stars with masses tens of times that of the Sun...

These might be the spacesuits astronauts wear on Mars

Fifty years after Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon wearing an ILC Dover-made spacesuit, the Delaware-based aerospace manufacturing company is coming out with two brand-new designs. The company announced two new spacesuits on Aug. 28 called Astro an...
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Helicopter added to Mars 2020 rover

Just under a year before the launch, NASA’s unnamed Mars 2020 rover is getting ready for its big mission with the new addition of the Mars Helicopter Scout. The Helicopter Scout will be the first rotorcraft to fly on another planet. And though...
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