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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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How black holes shape galaxies

The universe we see is made up of billions of galaxies, each containing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of billions of stars. Large numbers of galaxies are elliptical in shape, red, and mostly made up of old stars. Another, more famil...

“Upside-down planet” reveals new method for studying binary star systems

What looked at first like a sort of upside-down planet has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems, discovered by a University of Washington (UW) student. Working with Eric Agol from UW, Ethan Kruse has confirmed the first &ld...
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mysteries of a nearby planetary system’s dynamics now are solved

Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one of the first stars discovered to have planets — the star named 55 Can...

Supermassive black holes dance in a non-active galaxy

An international research team, including Stefanie Komossa from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has discovered a pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another. This is the first time such a pair could be ...
Monday, April 21, 2014

Meteorites yield clues to Red Planet’s early atmosphere

Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study shows that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important way...

Dragon delivers science, station supplies

The Expedition 39 crew welcomed nearly 2.5 tons of supplies and scientific payloads to the International Space Station with the arrival of the third SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo spacecraft Sunday, April 20. With Dragon securely in the grasp of Can...
Friday, April 18, 2014

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the Moon, as planned, on April 17. LADEE...

Mars orbiter spies rover near martian butte

Scientists using NASA's Curiosity Mars rover are eyeing a rock layer surrounding the base of a small butte, called "Mount Remarkable," as a target for investigating with tools on the rover's robotic arm. The rover works near this butte in an image t...
Thursday, April 17, 2014

First discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone

For the first time, an Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone of its star. This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own, but also will undoubtedly shape future investigations of exoplanets t...

Hubble captures a cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbors to objects seen in ...
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A study in scarlet

This new image from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

New study outlines "water world" theory of life's origins

Life took root more than 4 billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans, and the r...
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken with Cassini’s nar...

Beauty from chaos on Mars

Beautiful streamlined islands and narrow gorges were carved by fast-flowing water pounding through a small plateau region near the southeastern margin of the vast Vallis Marineris canyon system. Images captured December 7, 2013, by the European Spac...
Monday, April 14, 2014

Smallest speed jump of pulsar caused by billions of superfluid vortices

A team of astronomers, including Danai Antonopoulou and Anna Watts from the University of Amsterdam (Uva), has discovered that sudden speed jumps in the rotational velocity of pulsars have a minimum size and that they are caused not by the unpinning ...

Hubble stretches stellar tape measure 10 times farther into space

Even though NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is 24 years old, astronomers are still coming up with imaginative, novel, and groundbreaking new uses for it. The latest is an innovative technique that improves Hubble’s observing accuracy to the...
Friday, April 11, 2014

Supernova cleans up its surroundings

Supernovas are the spectacular ends to the lives of many massive stars. These explosions, which occur on average twice a century in the Milky Way, can produce enormous amounts of energy and be as bright as an entire galaxy. These events are also impo...

Faraway moon or faint star? Possible exomoon found

Titan, Europa, Io, and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system’s pantheon of moons. Are there other moons out there orbiting planets beyond our Sun? NASA-funded researchers have spotted the first signs of an “exomoon,” an...
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding the “recipe for star formation”

Astronomers have found a new way of predicting the rate at which a molecular cloud — a stellar nursery — will form new stars. Using a novel technique to reconstruct a cloud’s 3-D structure, astronomers can estimate how many new star...

Gusev Crater once held a lake after all, says Mars scientist

If desert mirages occur on Mars, “Lake Gusev” belongs among them. This come-and-go body of ancient water has come and gone more than once, at least in the eyes of Mars scientists. Now, however, it’s finally shifting into sharper fo...


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