Reddish boulders and sand dunes under pinkish sky.

Water in the shadows of boulders on Mars?

A new study from the Planetary Research Institute suggests that briny water could temporarily form on Mars’ surface in the shadows of boulders for just a few days each Martian year.

VLT sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope is in northern Chile. Astronomers used it to capture the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The new images show how the apparent shape of this star is changing.

An image of bluish space, with streaks of sunlight crossing it, and with a single dot - Earth - within one of the sunbeams.

Today, 30th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot

On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft acquired one of the most iconic images ever taken from space, an image of our planet Earth seen from Saturn. The image is now known as the Pale Blue Dot.

Black and white spiral and bright circles, with text annotations.

Mysterious fast radio burst repeats in 16-day rhythm

For the first time, a fast radio burst has been found to be repeating, in a regular 16-day cycle. The baffling detection from the CHIME radio telescope deepens the mystery of these bizarre intergalactic objects.

A white ball representing a star, with distorted-looking lines around it.

What is a neutron star?

Neutron stars are born in supernova explosions. They are stars with a couple of times our sun’s mass, squeezed into a sphere the size of an earthly city.

Splotches of bright colors and sparkly lights.

New clues in the search for the universe’s oldest galaxies

An astronomer reports on a very old galaxy cluster – labeled XLSSC 122 – whose light has taken 10.4 billion years to travel across the universe to us.

Liftoff! Solar Orbiter launches successfully

ESA’s sun-exploring Solar Orbiter will be the first spacecraft ever to fly over the sun’s poles. It’ll study the origin of the solar wind, which has the potential to affect earthly technologies.

Full disk image of Pluto taken by New Horizons.

Pluto’s icy heart makes winds blow

A “beating heart” of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto’s winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a new study.

Bluish-green globe and bluish globe with streaks, side-by-side.

Why Neptune and Uranus are different

We think of Uranus and Neptune almost as twins. In some ways, they are very similar. But a new study by researchers at PlanetS explains why, in some aspects, they are also radically different.

Artist's concept of spacecraft near sun.

NASA to broadcast Sunday’s Solar Orbiter launch

Solar Orbiter – aka SolO – will take the first direct images of the sun’s poles. Following Sunday’s launch, the spacecraft will take a loopy path through the inner solar system, borrowing thrust from the powerful gravitational fields of Earth and Venus.

Viewing map for space launch Sunday, February 9, 2020.

In the US East? Look up for Sunday’s resupply mission launch

A Cygnus resupply spacecraft headed for the International Space Station is scheduled to launch on Sunday, February 9, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. How and when to watch live in the sky, or on NASA TV.

Congratulations, Christina Koch!

Astronaut Christina Koch has returned to Earth after a record-breaking stay of 328 days aboard the International Space Station. She now holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Blue and red rings on a black background.

Beautiful outcome of a fight between sibling stars

In a cosmic ‘stellar fight,’ a red giant star engulfed its smaller binary companion star. The chaos, however, created a beautiful space image.

Mountain against blue sky with a pink stripe

What is Earth’s shadow, and when can you see it?

Like all worlds orbiting suns, our planet Earth casts a shadow. Here are some times to look for it.

Tarantula Nebula seen through the eyes of Spitzer

Stunning new Spitzer Space Telescope image of the Tarantula Nebula in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud dwarf galaxy. Spitzer ended its 16-year mission on January 30.

An artist’s conception of the slender pen-shaped Explorer 1 in orbit.

Today in science: Launch of Explorer 1

Can you believe it’s been 62 years since the United States launched its 1st satellite? Explorer 1 advanced the space race between the US and the Soviet Union. It led to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts.

Square of caramel corn-like granuals.

Newest solar telescope releases its 1st images

The clarity of these images from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii is thanks to the telescope’s 4-meter mirror, the world’s largest for a solar telescope. “It’s the biggest jump in our ability to study the sun since Galileo’s time,” a scientist said.

A bright spot on the sun's surface that is sending a stream of particles into space.

How likely are space super-storms?

A new analysis shows that “severe” space super-storms happened 42 years out of the last 150, and “great” super-storms happened 6 years out of 150. These storms can disrupt modern electronics, aviation and satellite systems and communications.

Are solar storms dangerous to us?

Activity on the sun affects Earth’s magnetic field. It can cause geomagnetic storms, the same events that create the beautiful aurorae, or northern and southern lights. Are these storms dangerous?

A spacecraft near the sun.

ESA’s Solar Orbiter will launch next month

We know our sun is surrounded by a great bubble-like heliosphere, which sets our solar system apart from the rest of interstellar space. ESA’s Solar Orbiter – due to launch in February 2020 – will probe how the sun creates and controls this heliosphere.