China’s Chang’e 5 moon craft on a new mission: the sun

China’s Chang’e 5 moon mission successfully returned moon rocks to Earth in December 2020 for the first time in 44 years. It’s now headed toward an Earth-sun Lagrange point, with the goal of making sun observations.

Iodine thruster could help clear space junk

A commercial nanosat called SpaceTy Beihangkongshi-1 – launched November 2020 – has successfully used an iodine thruster to change its orbit around Earth. This new thruster might help clear space junk by steering small satellites, at the end of their missions, back into Earth’s atmosphere where they’d burn up.

Will an iceberg twice the size of NYC break off Antarctica this year?

A crack on the Antarctic ice shelf grew dramatically in late 2020 into 2021. Scientists are watching to see if the rapidly accelerating crack will cause the shelf to rip apart before Antarctica’s sunlit summer season – going on now – comes to an end.

Come to know Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters

The Pleiades star cluster – aka the Seven Sisters or M45 – is visible from virtually every part of the globe. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars.

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NASA mole failed to dig deep into Mars failed. What’s next?

The mission team for NASA’s InSight lander called off its attempts to try to dig deeper into Mars with the heat probe known as “the mole.” Meanwhile, the rest of the mission gained an extension to December 2022.

China’s huge FAST telescope to open to international observers

FAST’s 500-meter (1,640-foot) dish makes it the world’s largest single-dish radio observatory. It’s expected to open to international observers in 2021.

What is a waxing gibbous moon?

A waxing gibbous moon is in the sky when darkness falls. It lights up the early evening. It appears more than half lighted, but less than full.

SpaceX’s 1st Starlink launch of 2021 went off without a hitch Wednesday

SpaceX launched 60 more of its Starlink satellites on January 20, 2021. SpaceX ultimately intends to launch tens of thousands of these satellites, to provide global internet access. Here’s why astronomers are concerned.

NASA’s moon rocket test Saturday didn’t go as planned

This final test of NASA’s SLS megarocket was needed to launch the first uncrewed mission in the Artemis program – Artemis 1 – by the end of 2021. Now the program’s schedule is uncertain.

What to expect from Mars in 2021

Many saw Mars around last October, when Earth was passing between it and the sun. It was bright in our sky then and in the sky all night. What’s ahead for Mars in 2021?

Lenticular clouds look like UFOs

See photos of rare lenticular clouds, sometimes called UFO clouds, and learn how they form.

Check out these new Sun Science stamps!

The US Postal Service announced that they’ll be releasing a series of stamps highlighting images of the sun captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

What is a 1st quarter moon?

The first quarter moon occurs halfway between new moon and full moon. One quarter of the moon is visible from Earth, meaning that you see half the daylit side of the moon.