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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, June 5, 2020

The Sky This Week from June 5 to 12

Friday, June 5 Full Moon occurs today at 3:12 P.M. EDT. A penumbral lunar eclipse also takes place, fully or partially visible in eastern South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, and much of Russia. Penumbral eclipses aren’t as striking as umb...
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Half the matter in the cosmos was missing, but astronomers found it

In the late 1990s, cosmologists made a prediction about how much ordinary matter there should be in the universe. About 5%, they estimated, should be regular stuff with the rest a mixture of dark matter and dark energy. But when cosmologists counted ...

Remembering the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory 20 Years after its death

Twenty years ago, in a desolate stretch of the Pacific, 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) southeast of Hawaii, a spacecraft that opened our eyes to previously unseen cosmic sights, ended its mission in a blaze of molten metal hitting water. No one, save...
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The history and future of telescopes on the Moon

For radio astronomers, Earth is a noisy place. Many modern electronics leak radio signals, which interfere with the long, faint wavelengths of light studied by radio observatories. And for decades, this invisible light pollution has pushed radio obse...
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ancient Mars may have once had rings, then moons, then rings …

For a long time after their discovery in 1877, scientists assumed Mars’ two puny moons — Deimos and Phobos — were captured asteroids. This belief persisted until evidence revealed both moons formed at the same time as the Red Planet...
Monday, June 1, 2020

‘Mother of Hubble’ honored as namesake of upcoming NASA space telescope

NASA will name the upcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) after Nancy Grace Roman, the space agency’s first female executive and first chief of astronomy. The telescope, still under development, is expected to launch in the mid-...
Sunday, May 31, 2020

In historic first, SpaceX's Crew Dragon successfully delivers NASA astronauts to the space station

Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, made history on Saturday, May 30, when its Crew Dragon capsule safely reached space carrying two NASA astronauts. It was the first time a private company put a human into orbit. On Sunday, May 31, Crew Drago...
Friday, May 29, 2020

The Sky This Week from May 29 to June 5

Friday, May 29 The famous Summer Triangle asterism is rising in the northeast as the Sun sets. By two hours after sunset, all three of its stars — Vega in Lyra, Deneb in Cygnus, and Altair in Aquila — have cleared the horizon, although Al...

Retired astronauts discuss the future of spaceflight ahead of SpaceX Crew Dragon launch

Saturday’s planned SpaceX Crew Dragon launch will mark the beginning of a new chapter in human spaceflight. For the first time, a private aerospace company will launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). It’ll al...
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Death from above: 7 unlucky tales of people killed by meteorites

When we stargaze, we bask in photons that have traveled for many millennia before reaching our eyes. To us, the stars appear fixed on a so-called celestial sphere that encapsulates our entire earthly existence. The truth, of course, is that no such ...
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Astronauts first trip on SpaceX's Crew Dragon pushed back to Saturday

At T-minus 17 minutes until launch, NASA decided the Florida weather wasn’t going to cooperate in time for astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken to safely make a historic launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. When it does eventuall...
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

With kids at home, Earth School wants to send them on a "quest"

Today, over 1.5 billion children are unable to go to school. Beyond public health and the economy, coronavirus is disrupting how we engage and educate younger generations ⁠— and a group of global environmental education experts have started a p...

SpaceX's Crew Dragon launch: What to know about the historic mission

On Wednesday, an American-built rocket will blast American astronauts from American soil for the first time in nearly a decade. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will lift off for the International Space Station (ISS) from launchpad 39A at Florida’s K...
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