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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, October 20, 2014

NASA Mars orbiters study comet flyby

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet. Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volati...

Saturn moon may hide a “fossil” core or an ocean

A new study focused on the interior of Saturn’s icy moon Mimas suggests its cratered surface hides one of two intriguing possibilities: Either the moon’s frozen core is shaped something like a football or the satellite contains a liquid w...

Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Peering through a giant cosmic magnifying glass, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The diminutive object is estimated to be over 13 billion light-years away. This new dete...
Thursday, October 16, 2014

MESSENGER provides first optical images of ice near Mercury's north pole

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has provided the first optical images of ice and other frozen volatile materials within permanently shadowed craters near Mercury’s north pole. Th...

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope finds potential Kuiper Belt targets for New Horizons mission

Peering out to the dim, outer reaches of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015. Th...
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

APEX reveals hidden star formation in protocluster

Astronomers have used the APEX telescope to probe a huge galaxy cluster that is forming in the early universe and revealed that much of the star formation taking place is not only hidden by dust, but also occurring in unexpected places. This is the f...

NASA mission provides its first look at martian upper atmosphere

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, produced unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas s...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Solving the mysteries of our galaxy's core

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it? No one knows for sure, but a University of California, Santa Barbara, astrophysicist is searching for an answer. Carl Gwinn, a professor in UCSB&r...

Study claims Milky Way dark matter half what scientists thought

A new measurement of dark matter in the Milky Way has revealed there is half as much of the mysterious substance as previously thought. Australian astronomers used a method developed almost 100 years ago to discover that the weight of dark matter in...
Monday, October 13, 2014

NASA mission finds widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has provided researchers strong evidence the Moon’s volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion years ago. Scores of distinctive rock deposits observed by LRO are est...
Friday, October 10, 2014

NASA prepares its science fleet for Mars comet encounter

NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front-row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby Sunday, October 19. Comet C/2013 A1, also known as Comet Siding Spring, will pass w...

Hubble maps the temperature and water vapor on an extreme exoplanet

A team of scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made the most detailed global map yet of the glow from a turbulent planet outside our solar system, revealing its secrets of air temperatures and water vapor. Hubble observations sho...
Thursday, October 09, 2014

Lutetia’s dark side hosts hidden crater

Grooves found on Lutetia, an asteroid encountered by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft, point to the existence of a large impact crater on the unseen side of the rocky world. Rosetta flew past Lutetia at a distance of 1,969 ...
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

NuSTAR telescope discovers shockingly bright dead star

Astronomers have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million Suns. This is the brightest pulsar — a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion — ever recorded. The discovery was made with NASA's...

Radio telescopes unravel mystery of nova gamma rays

Highly detailed radio-telescope images have pinpointed the locations where a stellar explosion called a nova emitted gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic waves. The discovery revealed a probable mechanism for the gamma-ray emissions...
Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Four candidate landing sites for ExoMars 2018

Four possible landing sites are being considered for the ExoMars mission in 2018. Its rover will search for evidence of martian life, past or present. ExoMars is a joint two-mission endeavor between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia’s...
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