Astronauts In March 2020, at a SpaceX processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, where SpaceX successfully tested the Demo-2 mission.

Watch NASA coverage of SpaceX astronaut test flight

Watch the Demo-2 mission launch on May 27, 2020. It’ll carry astronauts to the International Space station, the first launch of astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft, from American soil, since 2011.

A wavering line of dots, in 2 colors.

ALMA spots the twinkling heart of our Milky Way

Astronomers used the ALMA telescope in Chile to observe irregular flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of our Milky Way galaxy: the twinkling heart of the galaxy.

Poster showing Comet SWAN and advertising Virtual Telesocpe's May 27 online event.

View Comet SWAN online

We suspect most of you have not seen this comet, which is rising only shortly before the sun now. Let the Virtual Telescope’s Gianluca Masi show it to you online this week.

A very large volcano on red Mars, with the limb of Mars showing against black space.

Is Mars still volcanically active? New study says maybe

Scientists studying the ancient Martian Tissint meteorite say they’ve found new evidence that Mars was volcanically active a few hundred million years ago … and may still be today.

Diagam showing the inner solar system, asteroid belt and Jupiter and its orbit, with locations of Trojan asteroids indicated.

One of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids has a comet-like tail

Trojan asteroids orbit 60 degrees ahead of and behind Jupiter, in its wide orbit at 5 times Earth’s distance from the sun. Now the 1st Trojan asteroid has been found with a comet-like tail.

Why clouds form near black holes

Clouds in the greater universe are clumpy areas of greater density than their surroundings. Space telescopes have observed these cosmic clouds in the vicinity of supermassive black holes.

Bright plume with planet and stars in background.

More evidence for watery plumes on Europa

Scientists in Europe have found more yet evidence for water vapor plumes on Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa.

Animated map of dark sky

Here’s how SOHO and a skywatcher discovered comet SWAN

Almost every day, the SWAN instrument aboard the sun-watching SOHO spacecraft makes a map of the sky. Anyone with internet access can view the maps and join the search for new comets. To date, 12 comets have been spotted in the SWAN data!

Gray globe with hexagon on top and rings, on black background.

Saturn’s bizarre polar hexagon is really hazy

Researchers in Spain have published a new study revealing details of a multi-layered, sandwich-like haze that hangs above the famous hexagon at Saturn’s north pole.

A potato-shaped rock.

A famous Mars meteorite, now with nitrogen

For the first time, nitrogen-containing organic molecules have been discovered in a Martian meteorite. The famous meteorite – Allan Hills 84001 – was picked up in Antarctica in 1984. The discovery provides more clues about habitable conditions on early Mars.

Reddish globe with a wide dark band, and stars in the background.

This brown dwarf might look a lot like Jupiter

The cloud bands on brown dwarf Luhman 16A were found via instruments known as polarimeters. An astronomer said they’re like “… an astronomer’s polarized sunglasses. But instead of trying to block out that glare, we’re trying to measure it.”

Bumpy, gray squarish object on a black background.

Touching the asteroid Ryugu

It’s a spectacular achievement to rendezvous with an asteroid as it’s whizzing around the sun. It’s even more amazing to collect a sample. That’s what the Hayabusa2 spacecraft did in February 2019. Here’s what researchers learned.

Listen to the sounds of BepiColombo’s Earth flyby

Data sonification uses data to result in a sound, so that you can better perceive what the data show. Here are several audio recordings based on data from the Mercury-bound BepiColombo spacecraft’s Earth flyby on April 9.

Multi-colored rocky planet with smaller gray moon.

Jupiter gives us Pluto in 2020

Jupiter is very bright. Pluto is very faint. But Jupiter can help you find – or at least envision – Pluto in 2020. The moon will pass to the south of Pluto and Jupiter on June 8, 2020. Then Jupiter will meet up with Pluto on June 30, 2020, to stage the second of this year’s three Jupiter/Pluto conjunctions.

Hubble image of galaxy cluster RXC J0142.9+4438.

Cool! A Hubble photo translated to music

There’s no sound in space. But – working with NASA – musicians and scientists turned a Hubble Space Telescope image of a galaxy cluster into music.

Four nights of observations of Comet ATLAS. The 4th image shows a distinctly brighter comet.

Whoa! Comet ATLAS got brighter this week

Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) was getting brighter. Then, sadly, the Hubble Space Telescope caught it apparently disintegrating. Now … surprise. Veteran comet observer Terry Lovejoy reported earlier today that the comet is brightening again!

Vertical beam of light over a gray rocky surface with Earth and stars in background.

Lunar Flashlight to seek ice on the moon

Future astronauts on the moon will need to have water, and now NASA has designed a new CubeSat spacecraft to search for ice in lunar craters using laser beams.

Large light-colored sphere with partial bright white sphere filling up the background.

The mysterious yellow skies of WASP-79b

Scientists studying the huge, hot exoplanet WASP-79b have found that, surprisingly, the planet has yellow skies instead of blue. But why it does is still a mystery.

A black object on a field of stars.

New closest-known black hole lies in a visible star system

Only 1,000 light-years away, the star system can be seen with the unaided eye.

Bluish half circle and smaller yellow half circle on a black background.

4 amazing astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece

The ancients made some jaw-dropping discoveries without modern technology. For example, the size of the moon.