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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.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization

An international team of researchers from NASA Ames Research Center, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate at Health Canada, Oxford University, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Insilico Medicine, the B...

Can galaxies ignore their supermassive black holes?

In recent decades, astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole in the center of every large galaxy we see — including our own. They’ve even observed several apparent connections between the mass of the central black hole and the...
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is this the end of the Galileoscope?

KENOSHA, Wis. - Feb. 20, 2018 - After nearly a decade, the Galileoscope project will be drawing to a close unless a project sponsor, science-products company, or other organization steps forward to continue it. Created as a worldwide cornerstone proj...

Amateur astronomer gets 1-in-10-million shot of supernova’s first light

Catching a glimpse of a supernova is tricky business. Not only do you need the right equipment, you also need to have some incredible luck. Fortunately for amateur astronomer Víctor Buso, lady luck decided to pay him a visit on September 20, 2...
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A new study shows mankind’s reaction to alien life would be quite positive

As technology rapidly advances, we’re making astronomical discoveries faster than ever before. Many think it’s just a matter of time before we come across extraterrestrial life and prove that we’re not alone in the universe. So let&...

This week in astronomy history: The announcement of the first pulsar

In July 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell noticed a “bit of scruff” in the radio data she was receiving at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. Together with her Ph.D. advisor Antony Hewish, she zeroed in and followed up on the strange signa...
Monday, February 19, 2018

Space Wars Will Look Nothing Like Star Wars

Ever since Star Wars, the public has been fascinated by the visuals of space conflict — it’s futuristic, thrilling, and cosmic battles are bereft of the gore that so often accompanies terrestrial conflict. And ever since Sputnik, humans h...

A super-Earth in Pisces might be one of the most massive ever discovered

Three planets, all slightly larger than Earth in diameter, orbit a star called GJ 9827, about 100 light-years away in the constellation Pisces the Fish. A study of the planet trio found that, although they’re all similar in size to our home pla...
Friday, February 16, 2018

How does space change the human body?

Scott and Mark Kelly are identical twin brothers. Though that alone does not make them unique, what does is the fact that they are also both astronauts. In order to take advantage of the Kellys’ unique situation, NASA scientists decided to cond...

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm - once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal - is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune take...

What are the odds that Elon Musk’s Roadster will collide with Earth?

On February 6, SpaceX wrote a new chapter in the ongoing book on commercial spaceflight with the successful launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. Along for the ride was Musk’s red Tesla Roadster, which is now on an elliptical orbit around the Sun....
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating Pluto’s discovery

On February 18, 1930, Pluto was discovered by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Compared with the major planets in our solar system, Pluto has had a shorter but rockier history. Originally hailed as our sol...

NASA is taking a piece of Mars back home

A joyous homecoming awaits a piece of Mars that lost its way. The slice of a martian meteorite, named Sayh al Uhaymir 008 (SaU008), will head back home on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and function as a calibration target for the rover’s high-...
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NASA releases record-breaking photos from beyond Pluto

New Horizons has already made history several times over. Not only was it the fastest spacecraft to launch (zooming toward Pluto at 36,000 miles per hour (almost 58,000 kilometers per hour), it was also the first spacecraft to visit the Kuiper Belt, ...

AAS Officials Concerned with Proposed Cancellation of WFIRST

Sharing alarm voiced by other scientists, leaders of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are expressing grave concern over the administration’s proposed cuts to NASA’s astrophysics budget and the abrupt cancellation of the Wide Field ...

Just how big is the Andromeda galaxy?

Both the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy (M31) are giant spiral galaxies in our local universe. And in about 4 billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda will collide in a gravitational sumo match that will ultimately bind them forever. Because ...
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NASA Acting Administrator Statement on Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on the Fiscal Year 2019 agency budget proposal: “It is my privilege today to present President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request of $19.9 billion for NASA...

The Moon’s equatorial bulge hints at Earth’s early conditions

Although the Moon looks quite spherical from the ground, it is flatter at its poles and wider at its equator, a trait known as an equatorial bulge. This characteristic is common; it’s usually caused by an object’s rotation around its axis...
Monday, February 12, 2018

National Geographic Exclusive: Watch Elon Musk Freak Out Over the Falcon Heavy Launch

Last week, SpaceX made history with the successful launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket — the most powerful launch vehicle since the Saturn V that sent men to orbit the Moon. Carrying a Tesla Roadster as part of its historic payload, the Falcon He...
Friday, February 09, 2018

NASA seeks the gold in Winter Olympics snow

NASA engineer Manuel Vega can see one of the Olympic ski jump towers from the rooftop of the South Korean weather office where he is stationed. Vega is not watching skiers take flight, preparing for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympic...

Join the hunt for cosmic rays

You may have heard that the smartphones we nonchalantly carry around have thousands of times more computing power than the computers NASA used to send the Apollo astronauts to the Moon. But with all this untapped power in our pockets, is there more w...

New NASA instruments aim to answer atmospheric unknowns

NASA has just selected proposals for innovative research projects that aim to answer two unknown atmospheric questions: Does mineral dust have a warming or cooling effect on Earth’s atmosphere, and why is the Arctic warming more quickly than ot...

Astronomers report a possible slew of extragalactic exoplanets

Discoveries of exoplanets in our galaxy exceed 3,700 to date, but if that’s not enough for you, astronomers are now probing outside of the Milky Way to find exoplanets in other galaxies. A group of researchers at the University of Oklahoma has ...
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