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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.

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...
Thursday, October 16, 2014

MESSENGER provides first optical images of ice near Mercury's north pole

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has provided the first optical images of ice and other frozen volatile materials within permanently shadowed craters near Mercury’s north pole. Th...

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope finds potential Kuiper Belt targets for New Horizons mission

Peering out to the dim, outer reaches of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after it flies by Pluto in July 2015. Th...
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

APEX reveals hidden star formation in protocluster

Astronomers have used the APEX telescope to probe a huge galaxy cluster that is forming in the early universe and revealed that much of the star formation taking place is not only hidden by dust, but also occurring in unexpected places. This is the f...

NASA mission provides its first look at martian upper atmosphere

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, produced unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas s...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Solving the mysteries of our galaxy's core

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it? No one knows for sure, but a University of California, Santa Barbara, astrophysicist is searching for an answer. Carl Gwinn, a professor in UCSB&r...

Study claims Milky Way dark matter half what scientists thought

A new measurement of dark matter in the Milky Way has revealed there is half as much of the mysterious substance as previously thought. Australian astronomers used a method developed almost 100 years ago to discover that the weight of dark matter in...
Monday, October 13, 2014

NASA mission finds widespread evidence of young lunar volcanism

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has provided researchers strong evidence the Moon’s volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion years ago. Scores of distinctive rock deposits observed by LRO are est...
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