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Earth will give this spacecraft a gravity boost today

OSIRIS-REx – bound for a 2018 encounter with asteroid Bennu – will sweep in close to Earth on Friday. It’ll be closest today just before 16:52 UTC (12:52 p.m. EDT).

Mercury’s poles icier than thought

The scorching hot surface of Mercury – our sun’s innermost planet – seems an unlikely place to find ice. But a new study suggests otherwise.

More evidence of water on Mars

Planetary researchers say a large sedimentary basin, named Aeolis Dorsa, contains some of the planet’s most spectacular and densely packed river deposits.

Aging star blows off smoky bubble

A strikingly beautiful view of a delicate bubble of expelled material around the exotic red star U Antliae helps astronomers understand how stars evolve during the later stages of their life-cycles.

Astronomers find a pitch-black planet

Exoplanet WASP-12b has the unique capability to trap 94 percent of the visible starlight falling into its atmosphere. The result is a world as black as fresh asphalt.

Venus’ mysterious night side revealed

Researchers using Venus Express spacecraft data report “stationary waves” and slowly moving features in the planet’s upper clouds, during Venus’ long and mysterious night.

Goodbye, Cassini!

The Cassini spacecraft has become part of Saturn, the planet it studied so spectacularly and so long. Cassini’s last images and final moments, here.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2017

A whole series of awesome meteor showers is about to start. Click in for information on how to watch the Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids and Geminids!

More Cassini legacy: Titan’s bonkers atmosphere

Cassini’s legacy will endure. Click for a video about the atmosphere of Saturn’s large moon Titan, which might resemble that of an early Earth.

Juno sees Jupiter up-close and personal

A series of images from the Juno spacecraft’s 8th close flyby of the gas giant planet

Does organic material in comets predate our solar system?

“If cometary organic molecules were indeed produced in interstellar space—and if they played a role in the emergence of life on our planet—might they not also have seeded life on many other planets of our galaxy?”

Cassini makes ‘goodbye kiss’ flyby of Titan

NASA said Cassini’s final flyby of Titan – Saturn’s large moon – went as planned. The spacecraft is now on a course that’ll take it inside Saturn’s atmosphere, for a fiery end to its mission, on September 15.

Pluto craft wakes from hibernation today

And last week mission scientists filed a flight plan for New Horizons’ next flyby – of the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 – in early 2019. It’ll be farthest encounter yet between an earthly spacecraft and distant solar system body.

NASA ponders Saturn mission legacy

A statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Cassini mission success at Saturn, and on where solar system exploration will go from here.

Cassini milestones before the final plunge

Milestones for Cassini’s final week at Saturn. Today’s distant flyby of the large moon Titan will slow down the spacecraft enough so that – on Friday – Cassini will make its final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

Most detailed color images of Saturn’s rings, ever

As we prepare to say goodbye to Cassini at Saturn – one of the longest-running and most awesome space missions ever – here’s yet another first, a finely seen section of Saturn’s inner-central B Ring, in natural color.

Ultraviolet light key to life search, too?

Too little UV light, and life might not ever start. Too much, in the form dramatic UV flares from stars, and the atmospheres of orbiting planets might undergo damage.

X-ray astronomy and planet-hosting stars

X-ray astronomers explored how quickly young stars settle down after blasting the space around themselves – including any possible planets – with energetic radiation.

What drives Jupiter’s brightest auroras?

The sun drives Earth’s auroras. But Jupiter’s brightest auroras may be accelerated by processes within the giant planet’s own magnetic field.

Pluto features get names

The 14 geological features are the first to be officially named, following the New Horizons spacecraft’s close flyby of Pluto in July 2015.