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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, October 31, 2014

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

As it soared past Saturn’s large moon Titan recently, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas. In the past, Cassini had captured separate views of the polar seas and the Sun glinting ...

Hubble sees “ghost light” from dead galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint ghostly glow of stars ejected from ancient galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago. The mayhem happened 4 billion light-years away inside an immense collection of ne...
Thursday, October 30, 2014

Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena" from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows...

LOFAR discovers largest carbon atoms outside our Milky Way

An international team of astronomers under the guidance of Leah Morabito of Leiden Observatory, Netherlands, has for the first time discovered the largest carbon atoms outside our Milky Way with the LOFAR radio telescope. In the future, astronomers w...
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The LRO spacecraft captures images of LADEE’s impact crater

NASA’S Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has spied a new crater on the lunar surface — one made from the impact of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. “The Lunar Reconnaissance O...

Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system

For the first time, researchers using ALMA have detected a streamer of gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disk of ...

Orbital Sciences unmanned space station mission explodes at liftoff

October 28 was supposed to mark Orbital Sciences' third contracted cargo supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). But just seconds after liftoff at 6:22 p.m. EDT from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the company's Antares r...
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Unprecedented nova images illuminate astronomers’ models for its ejecta

The first images of a nova during its early fireball stage — when it ejects material and gases expand and cool — show that this activity is more complicated than predicted. That is the conclusion from a research collaboration led by Gail...

The Chandra Observatory identifies impact of cosmic chaos on star birth

The same phenomenon that causes a bumpy airplane ride, turbulence, may be the solution to a long-standing mystery about stars’ birth, or the absence of it, according to a new study using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Galaxy...
Monday, October 27, 2014

NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan

NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles. This lofty cloud, imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, was part of the winter cap of...

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse

The Moon passed between Earth and the Sun on Thursday, October 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North Pole. The Hinode spacecraft was in the right...
Friday, October 24, 2014

OSIRIS images of Rosetta's comet show jets of activity

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is beginning to show a clearly visible increase in activity. While in the past months most of the dust emitted from the body’s surface seemed to originate from the neck region, which connects the two lobes, image...

Close encounters: Comet Siding Spring seen next to Mars

This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the positions of Comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT on October 19, 2014. The comet passed by Mars a...
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Organic molecules in Titan’s atmosphere are intriguingly skewed

While studying the atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles. These misaligned features seem to defy conventional thinking about Titan...

Big black holes can block new stars

Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found. The research provides crucial new evidence that it is these jets of “radio-frequency ...
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fermi satellite finds hints of starquakes in magnetar “storm”

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire "storm" of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on January 22, 2009. Now astronomers analyzing this data have discovered underlying signals rela...

Two families of comets found around nearby star

The HARPS instrument at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. A French team of astronomers has studied nearly 500 indiv...
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New solar findings revealed by IRIS observatory

Just above the Sun’s surface lie twisting tornadoes that accelerate plasma to speeds of over 62,000 mph (100,000 km/hr). New findings by Lockheed Martin scientists show these motions are not only more common than previously thought, but also ap...

POLARBEAR detects B-modes in the cosmic microwave background

Cosmologists have made the most sensitive and precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. The report marks an early success for POLARBEAR, a collaboration of more than 70 scientists using a telescope high in Chil...
Monday, October 20, 2014

NASA Mars orbiters study comet flyby

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet. Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volati...

Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Peering through a giant cosmic magnifying glass, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The diminutive object is estimated to be over 13 billion light-years away. This new dete...

Saturn moon may hide a “fossil” core or an ocean

A new study focused on the interior of Saturn’s icy moon Mimas suggests its cratered surface hides one of two intriguing possibilities: Either the moon’s frozen core is shaped something like a football or the satellite contains a liquid w...


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