The Brood X cicadas are emerging now

Some areas of the United States are starting to report the emergence of the Brood X cicadas after their 17-year absence.

Astronomers photograph giant exoplanet in unusual large orbit

A giant gas exoplanet in an unusually large orbit has been directly imaged by astronomers via the Young Suns Exoplanet Survey (YSES). It is 20 times as far from its star as Jupiter is from our sun.

The fiery fate of China’s Long March 5B rocket

The core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket – which launched the Tianhe space station module – plummeted into the Indian Ocean on May 8, 2021. In a statement issued that day, new NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized China’s handling of the re-entry.

Warp drives: Physicists give chances of faster-than-light space travel a boost

If humanity wants to travel between stars, people are going to need to travel faster than the fastest-moving stuff known in our universe: light. New research suggests that it might be possible to build warp drives and beat the galactic speed limit.

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Swimming up sky and up river

A couple of charts from master chart-maker Guy Ottewell, showing Mercury in the sky now and throughout 2021. Plus a word about a lost whale …

Natural radio signal buzzes in Venus’ atmosphere

New measurements from Parker Solar Probe – the first new direct measurements of Venus’ atmosphere in nearly 30 years – showed an unexpected natural radio signal being emitted by Venus’ ionosphere. The probe made the discovery while using Venus as a “gravity slingshot” to come closer to the sun.

How do you measure the mass of a star?

Binary stars – a star system consisting of two stars – are extremely useful. They give all the information needed to measure the stars masses’. Here is how.

These 5 multi-star systems have habitable zones

Astronomers have identified 5 multi-star systems that have stable habitable zones. This means that any rocky worlds that may exist in those zones could potentially have life.

History of Mars’ habitability preserved in ancient dunes

On Earth, scientists study rock layers and the fossils embedded in them to learn about ancient life. A new study focused on red Mars – the desert planet – did something similar. It looked at the record of changing habitability preserved in ancient dune fields.

Mars might support microbial life, deep underground

New research suggests that the Mars underground has the right ingredients for present-day microbial life.

Spica, bright beacon of Virgo, is a whirling pair of egg-shaped stars

Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, is a very close, scorching-hot pair of stars, whirling around one another. One may go supernova as it nears the end of its lifetime.

Chinese rover Zhurong to attempt to land on Mars this month

The Chinese Tianwen-1 mission’s Zhurong rover will attempt to land on the surface of Mars in mid-May 2021.

NASA expects upcoming space telescope to find 100,000 new worlds

NASA’s Roman space telescope mission – launching sometime in the mid-2020s – is expected to find at least 100,000 new exoplanets orbiting other stars, say astronomers.