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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, July 24, 2017

Is the Moon's mantle wet?

While there are plenty of features dubbed “seas” on the Moon, none of them ever contained watery depths. For decades, scientists believed this was also true of our satellite’s interior — based on our theories of the Moon&rsquo...
Friday, July 21, 2017

NASA unveils detailed maps and flyby videos for New Horizons anniversary.

In honor of the two-year anniversary of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto flyby on July 14, 2015, the New Horizons team released two flyover videos and detailed maps of Pluto and its Moon, Charon. The maps are made from several images taken by the ...
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the SETI Search

Jill Tarter has been asking the big question, “Are we alone in the universe?” since she was a child. Several decades have passed with no answer since that time, and the questions remain: “We want to know, where do we come from? Wh...

Ending all life on Earth would take a pretty big object

It would take a dwarf planet-sized impactor to end all life on Earth. That’s according to research published in Scientific Reports last week. The study looked at what it would take not just to end humanity, but to actually sterilize the entir...
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Alien megastructure" star may be a sign of a dying world

In 2015, reports of an unusual signal observed around a distant star spurred suggestions of the presence of an alien megastructure. But new research suggests that the bizarre discovery could instead be the sign of a destroyed world. While most plane...
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The hunt is on for planets around some of our closest neighboring stars

The Pale Red Dot team is coasting off the success of their discovery last year of a planet in the Proxima Centauri system system by casting its net even wider as the Red Dots campaign. Whereas Pale Red Dot focused just on Proxima Centauri, Red Dots ...
Monday, July 17, 2017

We’ve just found one of the brightest star-forming galaxies yet

Massive galaxy clusters contain thousands of galaxies within a relatively compact region of space, drawn together by gravity. These clusters also act like natural telescopes, brightening and magnifying background objects via a phenomenon called gravi...
Friday, July 14, 2017

Now is your chance to fund a groundbreaking SETI project

For decades, astronomers have been searching the skies for a sign that we are not alone in the universe. Today, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute spearheads this undertaking, constantly developing better ways to distinguis...

Juno gets up close and personal with Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is one of its most iconic features. The giant storm, which has been raging in the atmosphere of the gas giant for at least hundreds of years, is larger than Earth and can be seen easily even with an amateur telescope. B...
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Shifting ice on Jupiter’s moon could probe its interior

Tremors on Earth have helped scientists probe the interior of the planet, and shakeups on icy moons could do the same. By simulating icequakes on Jupiter’s icy moons Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede, as well as Saturn’s frozen satellite Enc...

Help find exoplanets with EVE Online

There have been plenty of opportunities for citizen scientists to join in the search for exoplanets, but this new opportunity makes a fun game out of it. Literally. EVE Online is a space-based multiplayer online role-playing game set far into the...
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New exoplanet challenges formation models

Finding exoplanets these days has become blasé, yet taking an image of one remains exceedingly difficult. So difficult that, of the thousands of exoplanets discovered, only a handful have been found through imaging. Against the odds, a team o...

Astronomers just discovered the smallest star ever

A team of astronomers at the University of Cambridge was on the lookout for new exoplanets when they came across an exciting accidental discovery: They found the smallest star measured to this day. This tiny new star, which is being called EBLM J055...
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

These free-range planets rove around in a pair

A rogue planet long escaped from its home stellar system may not be so alone on its trip. 2MASS J11193254–1137466 was announced last year as an untethered planetary-mass system in the TW Hydrae association, a grouping of stars with a center p...
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