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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, June 15, 2018

The sky this week for June 15 to 24

Friday, June 15 Dwarf planet 1 Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It currently resides within the Sickle asterism in western Leo, which appears 25° high in the west after twilight...

Giant dust storm engulfs Opportinity rover

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has enjoyed major headlines lately with some new discoveries that bring us one step closer to the detection of ancient life on Mars. But while Curiosity is enjoying this well-earned moment in the spotlight, its fello...
Thursday, June 14, 2018

NEWS ALERT: ASTEROID DAY 2018

LUXEMBOURG, SILICON VALLEY — Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of global awareness and education about asteroids, has announced worldwide events for the week of 25-30 June. Co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr....

Exoplanets could easily survive in double- and triple-star systems

Over 3,700 exoplanets have been found lurking around our universe, and although each has its own unique set of characteristics, the vast majority have one thing in common: they orbit a single star. Researchers once believed that it would be near impo...

Astronomers Catch a Black Hole Devouring Star

Astronomers Seppo Mattila and Miguel Pérez-Torres usually study the natural deaths of stars, but they weren’t going to pass up the chance to investigate a stellar murder. A new paper in Science describes how they nabbed photographic evi...
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trio of Infant Planets Discovered around Newborn Star

Summary: Two independent teams of astronomers have uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around an infant star known as HD 163296. Using a new planet-finding strategy, the astronomers identified three discrete disturbanc...
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Supersize me

Despite residing in it, it’s hard for us to know exactly how big the Milky Way is. But new research has found that our galaxy is bigger than previously thought. Using a large survey of stars instead of just models (as previous researchers did),...
Friday, June 8, 2018

Alpha Centauri system could have favorable conditions for life

The search for habitable exoplanets spans far and wide, pushing the limits of what our modern telescopes are capable of. But rest assured that we aren’t ignoring what’s in our own backyard. Researchers have kept diligent eyes on Alpha Cen...

The sky this week for June 8 to 17

Friday, June 8 Venus dominates the western sky after sunset. The dazzling object shines at magnitude –4.0 among the background stars of eastern Gemini. The planet appears 16° high an hour after sunset, a fraction of a degree lower than it w...
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Curiosity Rover Finds Organics Hidden In Mars’ Mudstones And Methane In Its Atmosphere

In a much-hyped press conference held on Thursday, NASA announced its Curiosity rover had uncovered new evidence of methane — a potential sign of life — as well as signs of organic compounds buried in ancient mudstone. The space agency d...
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Einstein’s ‘Imaginary Elevator’ Thought Experiment Proven Right Again

Well, Einstein’s done it again! That is to say, the gravitational theories of Albert Einstein have once again been confirmed, and to a new degree of precision. The equations of general relativity predicted a certain quantity would be zero, and...
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kepler data reveals 121 gas giants that could harbor habitable moons

We often look at rocky exoplanets when searching for habitability beyond our solar system, but what about gas giants? Although their gaseous atmospheres and non-terrestrial surfaces aren’t ideal for housing life, their rocky moons could be. Rec...

NASA Hacked a Fix For Mars Rover’s Broken Drill

After suffering more than a year with a broken drill, NASA’s 5-year-old Mars rover Curiosity is now collecting and analyzing samples once again. The drill sits at the end of Curiosity’s LeBron James-sized robotic arm and is vital for gra...
Monday, June 4, 2018

The story of the Apollo sextant

Over the course of a decade, the Apollo program (in addition to landing humans on the Moon six times!) produced an incredible array of technical breakthroughs and achievements. But many people do not know that in addition to the army of NASA employee...
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