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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, August 18, 2017

Failed stars may act more like giant planets

An animated gif shows the artist's interpretation of a brown dwarf with clouds. NASA/JPL-Caltech Failed stars can end up with weather more turbulent than gas giant planets — and NASA JPL researchers are now getting a peek into how a...

The Eclipse Megamovie Project will release its first results Monday

The Eclipse Megamovie project is aiming high this Monday — they’re going to compile photos of the eclipse taken all along its 2,000-mile path across the United States. The first results of this ambitious and groundbreaking project should ...
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cassini prepares for mission’s end

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is quickly nearing the end of its mission — and its life. Already in the aptly named Grand Finale portion of its mission, Cassini has begun its final five orbits around the ringed planet. The probe is also prepar...
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This supernova shock wave slammed into its companion star

Type Ia supernovae are one of the most important tools in an astronomer’s toolkit. These bright but brief events are one of just a few reliable “standard candles” that allow us to measure not only vast distances accurately, but also...
Monday, August 14, 2017

System of super-Earths discovered around a nearby star

If you look up at Earth’s night sky and find the constellation Cetus — it looks something like a sea monster — you might also notice a rather average looking star called Tau Ceti. It’s slightly smaller than our sun and sits ju...
Friday, August 11, 2017

Astronomers are preparing to watch a star swing by our supermassive black hole

There’s a supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy called Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* for short. This massive but invisible object lies about 26,000 light-years away and weighs in at 4 million times the mass of our Sun. Although it&rsq...
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Do you have questions about Laser SETI and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence?

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, has been seeking to improve our ability to intercept and identify intelligent signals from beyond our planet for decades. Now, Laser SETI represents another leap forward, with the ability to sear...
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Astronomers find pristine dark asteroids lurking in the inner belt

The asteroids that populate our solar system are some of the oldest relics of its formation. Studying these relics tells astronomers not only about the conditions in which they — and the planets — formed, but also about the dynamical hist...

Is this the first picture of an eclipse?

There are so many photographs of eclipses, and while they’re all amazing to see, this one might be the most special. Emeritus J. McKim “Kim” Malville,” professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of C...
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Sun’s core rotates faster than its surface

The Sun is the closest star to Earth at a mere 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away. Despite the fact that you can feel its heat on your skin and its disk appears as large as the Full Moon in the sky, the Sun still largely remains an enigma...
Monday, August 7, 2017

Astronomers just mapped the inside of a supernova

A supernova is the largest explosion you might ever see if you ever get to see it! It’s the death of a star, and stars go out with a bang. They’re still mostly a mystery to science. It’s possible to understand the basic processes be...
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