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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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

New observations reveal a lunar orbiter’s final resting place

In September 2006, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology-1 (SMART-1) successfully ended its three-year Moon-orbiting mission by hurling itself into the lunar surface. The planned crash was meant to...
Thursday, September 21, 2017

There might be a fast radio burst every second

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the hottest topics in astronomy right now. These short but extremely powerful bursts last only milliseconds, but release tremendous amounts of energy during that minute period of time. Since publication of their in...
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Is our galaxy normal?

Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, has been a jumping-off point to our understanding of galaxies throughout the universe. And though our picture of that home galaxy has evolved over time as astronomers have developed better ways to catalog and map its c...
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dust devils toss their dust skyward on Earth and Mars

Dust devils are whirlwinds that range from small surface disturbances to towering columns of dust. They occur in several locations on Earth, but our planet isn’t the only place in the solar system where these storms can be found — dust de...
Monday, September 18, 2017

Could we survive without our planet?

We would not be here without Earth’s resources. The magnetic field that shields us from space radiation, the atmosphere we breathe and the water we drink are but a few of the crucial resources we rely on, kindly provided by our planet. Just b...
Friday, September 15, 2017

Cassini meets its end

Just shy of 20 years ago, the Cassini craft set out for Saturn. Today, it was intentionally destroyed in Saturn’s atmosphere to preserve two potentially habitable moons. The October 15, 1997, launch marked a continuation of the Pioneer and Vo...
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goodbye, Cassini

After 13 years and hundreds of orbits around Saturn, Cassini is in its final fall towards the gas giant. Before the dawn breaks tomorrow, the spacecraft will be vaporized. Now, we reflect on Cassini’s many triumphs, and stand vigil to witness t...
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Horizons is awake again

It’s a big week for NASA, with the Cassini spacecraft set to end its mission this Friday. But although one milestone mission is ending, another remains on its way to making history. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is awake — tempor...

Cassini’s final hours by the numbers

The Cassini probe has given us a spectacular view of the Saturn system over the 13 years it’s been there. In that time, it’s opened up untold wonders of our second-largest planet and its 62 spectacular moons. Here are a few big-to-small n...
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

If aliens exist on other worlds, they could spy on us

Don’t be too alarmed, but just as we can detect planets from Earth, beings on other planets could detect us with technology roughly on par with our own. Spooooooooky. But before you get worried about invasion, just remember: our modern tech...
Monday, September 11, 2017

Uranus is a dangerous place for its moons

Discovered in 1781, Uranus is an ice giant orbiting our Sun once every 84 Earth years. This mysterious world, which appears as just a tiny dot in most amateur telescopes, not only possesses a system of thin, faint rings, but also 27 moons (by our cur...


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