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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.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Galactic space oddity discovered

An international team of researchers led by Aaron Romanowsky of San José State University has used the Subaru Telescope to identify a faint dwarf galaxy disrupting around a nearby giant spiral galaxy. The observations provide a valuable glimps...

Scientists discover hidden galaxies behind the Milky Way

Hundreds of hidden nearby galaxies have been studied for the first time, shedding light on a mysterious gravitational anomaly dubbed the Great Attractor. Despite being just 250 million light-years from Earth — very close in astronomical terms ...
Monday, February 08, 2016

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell dies at age 85

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing. Mitchell joined Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr., the first American in space...
Friday, February 05, 2016

Pluto’s mysterious floating hills

The nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appear to carry an intriguing cargo: numerous isolated hills that may be fragments of water ice from Pluto’s surrounding uplands. These hills individually measure one to several miles across, according to imag...
Thursday, February 04, 2016

Rapidly spinning stars explain dark matter signal from galactic center

The puzzling excess of gamma rays from the center of the Milky Way probably originates from rapidly rotating neutron stars, or millisecond pulsars, and not from dark matter annihilation, as previously claimed. This is the conclusion of new data analy...
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Saturn’s rings: less than meets the eye?

It seems intuitive that an opaque material should contain more stuff than a more translucent substance. For example, muddier water has more suspended particles of dirt in it than clearer water. Likewise, you might think that in the rings of Saturn mo...
Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Blast from black hole in a galaxy far, far away

The Star Wars franchise features the fictitious “Death Star,” which can shoot powerful beams of radiation across space. The universe, however, produces phenomena that often surpass what science fiction can conjure. The Pictor A Galaxy is...

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?

Among life’s many mysteries, the answer to the question above has to rank pretty low. Higher on my list: Why are woodchucks also called groundhogs? After all, wood and ground are hardly synonymous, and a “chuck” has nothing to do wi...
Monday, February 01, 2016

Antarctic fungi survive martian conditions on ISS

Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys are the most Mars-like place on Earth. They make up one of the driest and most hostile environments on our planet, where strong winds scour away even snow and ice. Only so-called cryptoendolithic microorganisms,...
Friday, January 29, 2016

Moon was produced by head-on collision

The Moon was formed by a violent head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report. Scientists had already known abo...

Pluto’s widespread water ice

Data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft point to more prevalent water ice on Pluto’s surface than previously thought. A new false-color image, derived from observations in infrared light by the Ralph/Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array...
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Giant star clusters make new stars by “adopting” stray cosmic gases

Among the most striking objects in the universe are the dense, glittering swarms of stars known as globular clusters. Astronomers had long thought globular clusters formed their millions of stars in bulk at around the same time, with each cluster&rsq...

Monstrous cloud boomerangs back to our galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope astronomers are finding that the old adage, "What goes up, must come down" even applies to an immense cloud of hydrogen gas outside our Milky Way Galaxy. The invisible cloud is plummeting toward our galaxy at nearly 700,000 mil...
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Telescopes team up to produce highest-resolution astronomical image

Using an orbiting radio-astronomy satellite combined with 15 ground-based radio telescopes, astronomers have made the highest-resolution astronomical image yet, revealing new insights about a gorging black hole in a galaxy 900 million light-years fro...


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