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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.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Hubble finds the best evidence yet for elusive midsized black holes

While “seeing” black holes technically isn’t possible, astronomers are fairly certain they exist both in small and super-sized varieties. Medium versions, however, called intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs), have remained surprisi...
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What NASA is doing to keep COVID-19 off the space station

Three astronauts are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 9. They won’t return to Earth for six months. Instead, they’ll watch from the safety of outer space as a pandemic plays out some 250 miles (400 kil...

Astronaut urine could help us build Moon bases — seriously

Shipping stuff to other worlds is expensive. We’re talking several thousand dollars per pound to get to the Moon, at best. This is why long-term plans for establishing a presence on the lunar surface — including building Moon bases &mdash...
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Astronomers find 139 new minor planets in the outer solar system

Astronomers have discovered 139 new minor planets orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune by searching through data from the Dark Energy Survey. The new method for spotting small worlds is expected to reveal many thousands of distant objects in coming years ...
Monday, March 30, 2020

Discover the secrets of the Northern Pinwheel Galaxy

When you hear “the Pinwheel Galaxy,” you probably think of M33 in Triangulum. However, there’s another galaxy that carries the same nickname: M101 (NGC 5457) in Ursa Major. To distinguish it from M33, some refer to M101 as the North...

Unlike Earth, Mars might not have had a global ocean of magma

At least once in its past, Earth existed as a roiling ball of molten rock that might have had the consistency of room-temperature oil, but would been untouchable at some 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,090 degrees Celsius). As magma oceans ebbed and flow...
Friday, March 27, 2020

The Sky This Week from March 27 to April 3

Friday, March 27 The waxing Moon is still less than 12 percent lit and sets shortly after 10 P.M. local time, freeing the deep sky for observers who would rather stay up late than wake up early. After darkness falls, search out the Perseus Double Clu...

How to explore the universe while you’re stuck at home

Spending time at home (whether willingly or not) doesn’t mean you can’t explore the great wonders that our universe has to offer. Beautiful images and tours of distant galaxies and nebulae can be accessed right from your computer. And in ...
Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Sun: Extremely loud and incredibly hot

You know, for how often we see the Sun, there’s an awful lot we don’t know about it. I mean, we know it’s powered by nuclear fusion, that it’s 92.96 million miles away, and that it’s about a million times bigger than the...

Evidence for an exotic dark matter candidate falls flat

Despite knowing dark matter is out there, astrophysicists are still missing one critical detail. “We know where it is and how much of it there is, but we don’t know what it is,” says Ben Safdi, an astrophysicist at the University of...
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Comet ATLAS may soon be visible to the naked eye

Like watching the final chapter of a show or movie series, you’re almost trembling with excitement — but you don’t know whether you’ll have the experience of a lifetime, suffer a grand disappointment, or end up with something ...
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Degenerate Era: When the universe stops making stars

When gazing up at a dark night sky, astronomers and the layperson alike are often awestruck by the sheer number of bright stars visible to the naked eye. From a good vantage point on a clear night with minimal light pollution, the average person can ...
Monday, March 23, 2020

Rare pulsating white dwarf spotted in a binary star system

Over the course of its life, our Sun will go through several stages of stellar evolution, eventually ending its life as a white dwarf. Now, based on a new finding made by researchers from the University of Sheffield, we may be able to unlock even mor...
Friday, March 20, 2020

Hubble dissects a tarantula to study how giant stars form

The Hubble Space Telescope captured this detailed shot of a glowing cosmic cloud, LHA 120-N 150, at the edge of the Tarantula Nebula. Located some 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, LHA 120-N 150 is thought to be the home o...

The Sky This Week from March 20 to 27

Friday, March 20 It’s officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere. To celebrate, Mars and Jupiter meet up in the morning sky in the first of two planetary conjunctions this month. Look for the glittering stars of Sagittarius the Archer in the ...


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