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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, March 16, 2018

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking in length, but growing in height

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot might not be losing its greatness after all. Although the storm has been dwindling for about a century and a half, a new study published in the Astronomical Journal shows that while its length continues to decrease, its...

Comets and asteroids shower Mars with organics

For decades, astronomers suspected that Mars might be teeming with organics, which are carbon-based molecules like proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the Mars Curiosity rover uncovered the first evide...
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mercury: The Swift Planet

Tonight, Mercury reaches greatest elongation, meaning it will stand apart from the Sun at the largest angle as seen from Earth. This leaves it readily visible in the sky after the Sun has set, and tonight marks its very best apparition of the year. M...
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking passes away at 76

Stephen Hawking, one of the brightest and most famous scientific minds of our modern era, has passed away at the age of 76. Essentially a household name associated with his brilliance, Hawking became an icon with his wheelchair and computerized voi...

Potentially habitable super-Earth found during exoplanet search

The hunt for habitability outside our solar system is both ongoing and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The pursuit of exoplanets not only furthers the search for extraterrestrial life, but also helps us understand the formation and evolutio...

Starmus Advisory Board remembers Stephen Hawking

Starmus Today, on the 14th of March, 2018, the human race has suffered an immeasurable loss. The loss of a man who was not only one of the greatest scientists of all times and one of the most influential people on the planet, but also a model and ...
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

All disk galaxies rotate once every billion years

In a study published March 9 in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers announced the discovery that all disk galaxies rotate about once every billion years, no matter their size or mass. “It’s not Swiss watch...
Friday, March 09, 2018

McDonald Observatory to Train National Park Service in Skywatching Programs for Visitors

The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory has entered into a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to train park rangers in bringing the wonders of the night sky to their visitors. The observatory also will create outreach pr...

Hubble captures new image of two colliding galaxies

Talk about getting up close and personal. The two spiral galaxies that make up the ARP 256 system have just begun a long and chaotic journey together, destined to spend millions of years colliding into each other before finally merging into a galaxy ...
Thursday, March 08, 2018

NASA's Juno finds Jupiter's Jet-Streams Are Unearthly

Data collected by NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter indicate that the atmospheric winds of the gas-giant planet run deep into its atmosphere and last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth. The findings will improve understanding ...

Hubble reveals the most detailed exoplanet atmosphere we’ve seen to date

Dissecting the atmospheric compositions of exoplanets helps us interpret the vast and complex universe we live in — and our own solar system, closer to home. Our findings continually pump the public and science community alike with curious exci...
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Simulations show how Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko likely formed

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a curious comet. Not just because of its peculiar name, but also because of its odd, rubber-ducky shape. The comet — hereafter referred to as Chury — seems to be made up of two cometary nuclei that gentl...

The Case of the Martian Boulder Piles

This image was originally meant to track the movement of sand dunes near the North Pole of Mars, but what's on the ground in between the dunes is just as interesting! The ground has parallel dark and light stripes from upper left to lower right in t...
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Red giant brings its companion star back to life

Solar winds gusted from a red giant’s outer layers began feeding its companion, a tiny neutron star, essentially rejuvenating it. ESA There’s some adage out there about helping out your neighbor, right? Well, a red giant star was recentl...


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