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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.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Listen: A space lawyer and a planetary scientist discuss the challenges facing nations as humans return to the Moon

NASA is planning to put U.S. astronauts back on the surface of the Moon by the end of 2024. This mission is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a historic few decades in space exploration, as both the U.S. and China have plans to establish...
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Path forward for Thirty Meter Telescope and Mauna Kea begins to emerge

After years of protests that halted the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea and divided communities in Hawaii, a major change in the management of the summit is underway. Since the beginning of this year, a new state-appoint...

Four volcanic hotspots in our solar system

Evidence for current volcanic activity on the planet Venus has recently made the news. But Venus is far from the only world beyond Earth to exhibit signs of volcanic activity. In fact, having volcanic activity (volcanism) on planets is quite common. ...
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Fast radio burst linked with gravitational waves for the first time

We have just published evidence in Nature Astronomy for what might be producing mysterious bursts of radio waves coming from distant galaxies, known as fast radio bursts or FRBs. Two colliding neutron stars — each the super-dense core of an exploded ...

Watch: Hubble captures aftermath of DART spacecraft slamming into asteroid

Last September, NASA crashed the refrigerator-sized DART spacecraft into a small asteroid named Dimorphos at a speed of some 13,000 mph (21,000 km/h). The impact not only successfully changed the trajectory of Dimorphos, which orbits a companion aste...
Monday, March 27, 2023

What is dark matter? This Week in Astronomy with Dave Eicher

Hi folks, tune in every week of 2023 for the best in astronomy from Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher, brought to you by Celestron. This week, we'll discuss dark matter, an invisible and mysterious form of matter that has enormous implications for ...

Rocky exoplanet around TRAPPIST-1 is too hot for an atmosphere

The TRAPPIST-1 star system, located some 40 light-years away, hosts at least seven Earth-like exoplanets. But new measurements taken by the James Webb Space Telescope’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) show at least one of those rocky planets is ...

Ask Astro: How far back in time can the James Webb Space Telescope see?

How far back in time will JWST be able to capture light? How does that compare to the first light generated after the Big Bang? Jim Doty Perry Hall, Maryland The universe is 13.8 billion years old. The oldest light ever observed was seen by NASA&r...
Friday, March 24, 2023

The Sky This Week: Conjunctions galore!

Friday, March 24 The Moon passes 0.1° south of Venus at 6 A.M. EDT, then continues along the ecliptic to pass 1.5° north of Uranus at 9 P.M. EDT. An hour after sunset, all three appear in the western sky amid the stars of Aries the Ram. Bri...

Neighborhood watch: Hubble spots a tiny amorphous galaxy in the local universe

The Hubble Space Telescope has been scouring the heavens from space for more than 30 years, making it one of the greatest success stories in astronomy. Sure, the James Webb Space Telescope has been dominating the headlines lately. But ever since Hub...

Ingenuity helicopter nears 50th flight on Mars

Watching dust kicked up from the martian surface by the rotors of a human-made helicopter never gets old. Neither does point-of-view footage of said helicopter landing safely back on the ground — which has now happened 48 straight times. The Perseve...
Thursday, March 23, 2023

A volcano may have erupted on Venus in 1991

As both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) plan missions to Venus, scientists are continuing to learn about our sister planet — including volcanic activity that may be occurring in the present day. Venus’ landscape is littered with volcanoes th...

Astro for kids: Why does time change when traveling close to the speed of light?

Why does time change when traveling close to the speed of light? Timothy, age 11 Shoreview, Minnesota Imagine you’re in a car driving across the country watching the landscape. A tree in the distance gets closer to your car, passes right by ...
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Asteroid Ryugu samples found to contain uracil, a key component of RNA

How did life come about? The answer to this question goes to the very heart of our existence on planet Earth. Did life simply arise from chemical reactions among organic compounds in a primordial soup left after Earth clumped together from space rubb...
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Scanning Mars for microhabitats that could host microbial life

It may seem counterintuitive, but new research shows that observations taken from a great distance, even from orbit, may allow researchers to zoom in on martian microhabitats for the tiniest forms of life: microbes too small to see with the naked eye...
Monday, March 20, 2023

Observe the Virgo Cluster of galaxies: This Week in Astronomy with Dave Eicher

Hi folks, tune in every week of 2023 for the best in astronomy from Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher, brought to you by Celestron. This week, we'll discuss the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, which has the greatest assortment of galaxies you could imagine....

Next generation Event Horizon Telescope aims to get videos of black holes

In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration produced the first-ever image of a black hole, stunning the world. Now, scientists are taking it further. The next generation Event Horizon Telescope (ngEHT) collaboration aims to create high-...
Friday, March 17, 2023

The Sky This Week: It’s Messier marathon time!

Friday, March 17 Mercury reaches superior conjunction at 7 A.M. EDT. The small planet will return after sunset near the end of March. The waning Moon means evening skies are completely clear for stargazing. After dark, you’ll have some time t...

Run a Messier marathon in honor of co-inventor Don Machholz

Last summer, the global amateur astronomer community was rocked when it lost one of its giants. Don Machholz from Arizona passed away suddenly on Aug. 9, 2022, at the age of 69. Don was a preeminent visual comet hunter with 12 discoveries to his cred...

Sporty new spacesuits revealed for Artemis 3 Moon mission

Since long before the first segment of International Space Station was launched in 1998, NASA astronauts have depended on the same spacesuit technology. However, that will soon change, as NASA has spent the past few years working with the private com...

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