These 2 outbound comets are likely from another solar system

Hyperbolic comets fly through our solar system at high speed before heading out to interstellar space, never to return. A new study from astronomers in Japan identifies 2 hyperbolic comets that likely originated outside our solar system.

Astronaut outside the ISS, Earth in the backfround.

Watch ISS spacewalk January 20

Two astronauts will exit the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday for the 2nd of 3 spacewalks scheduled in January.

Limb of Earth in space with sun and stars in background.

A new way to detect oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres

In recent years, astronomers have pondered the search for biosignatures, or signs of life, in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets. Will the James Webb Space Telescope – due to launch in 2021 – be able to detect them? A new technique says yes.

An image of Betelgeuse taken at sub-millimeter wavelengths taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

How far is Betelgeuse?

Recent speculation that Betelgeuse might be on the verge of going supernova prompted many to ask: how far away is it? But getting a distance measurement for this star has been no easy task.

Artist's concept of swirling waves.

It’s probably nothing: Gravitational wave burst detected near Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse has dimmed recently, prompting some to wonder if it’s about to explode. An explosion might trigger a gravitational wave burst. Betelgeuse is still there. The nearby gravitational wave burst probably means nothing for this star. Still … 

Time-exposure image shows streaks of stars; the asteroid, which is being tracked by the telescope, appears as a point.

Meet 2020 AV2, the 1st asteroid entirely within the orbit of Venus

It’s difficult to see objects whose orbits are within that of Venus, because those objects always stay near the sun in our sky. Now, though, astronomers have spotted one!

Crab Nebula: Visualize an exploded star

A new NASA video combines visible, infrared and X-ray views of the famous Crab Nebula, a star that exploded into view in our sky 1,000 years ago.

Rippling ice and storms at Mars’ north pole

This image is part of a wider system of depressions that spiral outward from the very center of Mars’ north pole. Seen in context, you can see rippling troughs that curve and bend and slice outwards from the pole counterclockwise.

Spiral of pink, blue, and white lights against a black background.

New Hubble view of gigantic galaxy

The Hubble Telescope released this glorious image of the spiral galaxy UGC 2885 on January 6. This image was made in part as a tribute to dark matter pioneer Vera Rubin.

Yellow-orange donut shape against a black background.

What are black holes?

Black holes are among the most bizarre and enigmatic objects in the modern universe. Click in for a black hole introduction.

Galaxy with close-up illustration of a green spiral.

Astronomers find wandering black holes in dwarf galaxies

They found massive black holes in 13 dwarf galaxies, which are now among the smallest galaxies known to host such massive black holes. In roughly half the galaxies, the black hole isn’t at the galactic center, but instead is “wandering.”

Dark blue oval with pinkish blobs and yellowish blobs.

An impending Milky Way collision is already giving birth to new stars

A newly found young star cluster on the outskirts of our Milky Way seems to be made of material from the Magellanic Clouds. It appears the collision between the Clouds and our Milky Way may already be starting.

Two white blobs - the stars - one larger and one smaller. The larger one is sending material to the smaller one.

These 2 stars in Sagitta will merge and explode by this century’s end

When the 2 stars in the binary star system V Sagittae come together – around the year 2083, astronomers say – they’ll create a star explosion called a nova. Then V Sagittae will temporarily outshine all the stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

New view of Milky Way’s center

The SOFIA flying telescope has captured a new panoramic image of the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The image shows a region more than 600 light-years across, revealing unprecedented details within the center’s dense swirls of gas and dust.

Three planets near star.

‘Super-puff’ exoplanets are like cosmic cotton candy

New observations of “super-puff” exoplanets by the Hubble Space Telescope have provided scientists with more clues about these enigmatic and strange worlds.

A bright red star on the left. A slightly dimmer red star on the right.

Betelgeuse: What’s up?

The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, a bright star in the constellation of Orion, has been making headlines due to a recent drop in brightness. Is an explosion imminent? If it happens, will Earth be affected?

What is the asteroid belt?

The asteroid belt is a region of our solar system – between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter – in which many small bodies orbit our sun. Here’s a good basic introduction.

Colored surface regions with brightest spot in center.

Wow! More evidence for active volcanoes on Venus

We’ve known for some time that Venus has vast lava plains, fields of small lava domes, and large shield volcanoes. But does it still have active volcanoes? A new study involving lava flows on Venus suggests that, yes, it does.

Amazing photo of a meteor streaking right in front of Venus

EarthSky’s 2020 meteor shower guide

All you need to know about major meteor showers in 2020.

Dark skies for 2020’s Quadrantid meteors

2020’s first major meteor shower is the Quadrantid shower. Best time to watch is probably late night January 3 until dawn January 4. Northerly latitudes are favored. No moon in the predawn hours (2 a.m. until dawn) this year!