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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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Most metal-poor star hints at universe’s first supernovae

A team of researchers led by Miho N. Ishigaki at the Kavli IPMU, the University of Tokyo, pointed out that the elemental abundance of the most iron-poor star can be explained by elements ejected from supernova explosions of the universe’s first...

NASA's newest Mars mission spacecraft enters orbit around the Red Planet

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, Septempter 21, where it now will prepare to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere as never done before. MA...
Friday, September 19, 2014

Pulse of a dead star powers intense gamma rays

Our Milky Way Galaxy is littered with the still-sizzling remains of exploded stars. When the most massive stars explode as supernovae, they don't fade into the night but sometimes glow ferociously with high-energy gamma rays. What powers these energ...

Latest measurements from the AMS experiment unveil new territories in the flux of cosmic rays

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) collaboration has presented its latest results based on the analysis of 41 billion particles detected with the space-based AMS detector aboard the International Space Station. The results provide new insights int...
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hubble helps astronomers find smallest known galaxy with supermassive black hole

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found a monster lurking in a very unlikely place. New observations of the ultra-compact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 have revealed a supermassive black hole at its heart, making this tiny galaxy the...

Mars spacecraft ready for September 21 orbit insertion

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is nearing its scheduled September 21 insertion into martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles (711 million kilometers). Flight contro...
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New observations explain why Milky Way-like galaxies are so common

For decades, scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the first time, researchers using ALMA and a host of other radio telescopes have found direct evidence that merging galaxies ca...

Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

A planet may be causing the star it orbits to act much older than it actually is, according to new data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows how a massive planet can affect the behavior of its parent star. The star, WASP-18, a...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NASA chooses American companies to transport U.S. astronauts to space station

U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transpor...

Astronomers release most detailed catalog ever made of the visible Milky Way

A new catalog of the visible part of the northern part of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, includes no fewer than 219 million stars. Geert Barentsen of the University of Hertfordshire led a team who assembled the catalog in a 10-year program using the...

Bright clumps in Saturn ring now mysteriously scarce

Compared to the age of the solar system — about 4.5 billion years — a couple of decades are next to nothing. Some planetary locales change little over many millions of years, so for scientists who study the planets, any object that evolve...
Monday, September 15, 2014

“Hot Jupiters” provoke their own host suns to wobble

Blame the “hot Jupiters.” These large gaseous exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — can make their suns wobble when they wend their way through their own solar systems to snuggle up against their suns, according to ...

"J" marks the spot for Rosetta's lander

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential with hints of activity nearby and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites...
Friday, September 12, 2014

Mars Curiosity rover arrives at martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-sized mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity now will begin a new c...

Gaia discovers its first supernova

While scanning the sky to measure the positions and movements of stars in our galaxy, Gaia has discovered its first stellar explosion in another galaxy far away. This powerful event, now named Gaia14aaa, took place in a distant galaxy some 500 mill...
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mysterious quasar sequence explained

Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the centers of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapabl...

Watch coverage of a significant flare surging off the Sun

The Sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:48 p.m. EDT on September 10, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass throu...
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First evidence for water ice clouds found outside solar system

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside our solar system. Water ice clouds exist on our gas giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune &mdash...

Hubble finds supernova companion star after two decades of searching

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova. The discovery confirms a long-held theory that the supernova, dubbed SN 1993J, occurred inside what is called a binary system, where two in...
Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Interactive dark matter could explain Milky Way’s missing satellite galaxies

Scientists believe they have found a way to explain why there are not as many galaxies orbiting the Milky Way as expected. Computer simulations of the formation of our galaxy suggest that there should be many more small galaxies around the Milky Way ...

Scientists find evidence of “diving” tectonic plates on Jupiter’s moon Europa

Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth. Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa’...
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