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Space

View larger. | Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 km) away, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 km). Image via NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.
Science Wire | Jul 31, 2015

First maps of Charon and Pluto

The names aren’t official. A New Horizons team member explained, “We are working with these data. You can’t just keep on saying, ‘Oh, that canyon up to the left.'”

View larger. | Artist conception of an aurora over the polar region of a brown dwarf. Image via Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan, Caltech.
Science Wire | Jul 29, 2015

Found! First aurora beyond solar system

Found on a brown dwarf some 18 light-years away, this aurora is 10,000 times more powerful than any astronomers have witnessed before.

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Science Wire | Jul 28, 2015

New names and insights about Ceres

The Dawn spacecraft is now moving to its third mapping orbit. Nothing new on the bright spots yet, but the crater that contains them has a new name: Occator.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 5.52.04 PM
Science Wire | Jul 28, 2015

Video: Summer Blue Moon

On July 31, the moon becomes full for the second time this month. Modern folklore says the second full moon is a Blue Moon. New video from NASA.

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Science Wire | Jul 27, 2015

Tiny, but still densest known galaxies

Smaller in width than our Milky Way, their stars are packed 10,000 to a million times more densely than in our sun’s neighborhood. Imagine the night sky!

View larger. | Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 km) away, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 km). Image via NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.
Science Wire | Jul 27, 2015

Latest images of Pluto’s flowing ice

Latest images from NASA’s July 14, 2015 flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft, showing evidence of an active surface on Pluto with flowing nitrogen ice.

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Science Wire | Jul 27, 2015

Infographic: Pluto!

Pluto info at a glance, from our friends at space-facts.com.

Moon shot with blue filter via our friend Jv Noriega
Science Wire | Jul 26, 2015

Next Blue Moon is July 31

The moon was full on July 2, and it’ll be full again on July 31. The second of two full moons in a calendar month is often called a Blue Moon.

Artist's concept of a pulsar punching a hole in a stellar disk
Science Wire | Jul 26, 2015

Pulsar punches hole in stellar disk

Two stars in a double system are not playing nice. One star, a pulsar, has punched a hole in the disk of the other, sending debris outward at 7% of light speed!

Photo by Justin Ng
Tonight | Jul 23, 2015

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

With little or no moon to ruin the show, this is a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower. It’ll peak on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13.

Artist's concept of Kepler 452b, an older, bigger cousin to Earth.  Image via NASA
Science Wire | Jul 23, 2015

Kepler-452b is older, bigger Earth cousin

The Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone – or zone where liquid water can exist – around a sunlike star.

A snapshot image from a computer simulation of a star disrupted by a supermassive black hole. The red-orange plumes show ... [more]
Image courtesy of J. Guillochon (Harvard University) and E. Ramirez-Ruiz (University of California at Santa Cruz)
Science Wire | Jul 23, 2015

What black holes like to eat

Astronomers have caught a monster black hole in the act of eating a star. But, they say, stars are not standard fare for black holes.

A second range of ice mountains has been discovered on Pluto.  Image via New Horizons spacecraft as it passed near on July 14, 2015.
Science Wire | Jul 22, 2015

More ice mountains in Pluto’s heart

A second range of ice mountains has been found on Pluto, in images from New Horizons.

View larger. | Pluto moons Nix and Hydra, imaged by New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015.
Science Wire | Jul 22, 2015

Closest views yet of Nix and Hydra

Pluto has five known moons, and it’s a bit surprising that New Horizons hasn’t found any new ones yet. Newly released images show small moons Nix and Hydra.

360º view around the point of Philae's final touchdown. The three feet of Philae’s landing gear can be seen in some of the frames. Superimposed on top of the image is a sketch of the Philae lander in the configuration the lander team believed it was in November 2014.  Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA
Science Wire | Jul 20, 2015

Philae comet lander falls silent

The Rosetta team is hoping that a software patch will help re-establish reliable contact with the little Philae lander, lodged somewhere on the comet’s surface.

Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. T
Science Wire | Jul 20, 2015

Unprecedented $100 million SETI initiative

Breakthrough Listen initiative, announced Monday, will scan the nearest million stars, plus stars in 100 other galaxies, for signs of an advanced civilization.

Image credit:  JD Hancock
Science Wire | Jul 20, 2015

Intelligent life in the universe?

Scientific arguments suggest that alien civilizations should be common in our galaxy. If so, where is everybody? That question is known as the Fermi paradox.

Sun's path through the zodiac.
FAQs | Jul 20, 2015

Dates of sun’s entry into each Zodiac constellation

Dates of sun’s entry into each zodiacal constellation and the corresponding ecliptic longitude (sun’s position in degrees, east of the March equinox point).

Image Credit: NASA
Science Wire | Jul 20, 2015

This date in science: Apollo 11 and first footsteps on moon

Today is the 46th anniversary of humanity’s historic first steps on the moon. The story in pictures, here.

SG Collins explains why moon landings not faked
Blogs | Videos | Jul 20, 2015

Video: Moon hoax not

SG Collins explains why the Apollo moon landings on the moon in the late 1960s and early ’70s could not have been faked.

View larger. | The image was taken at approximately 6:30 a.m. EDT (10:30 UTC) on July 14, 2015, about 1.5 hours before closest approach to Pluto, from a range of 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers).  Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Science Wire | Jul 19, 2015

Mountain with a moat on Charon

Latest image release from New Horizons team shows Pluto’s moon Charon a strange mountain rising out of a depression. They’re calling it a “mountain in a moat.”