Colored star trails, with a single pinpoint captured in the center: the mini-moon

New image of Earth’s new mini-moon

Late in the day on Thursday, astronomers released this new image of 2020 CD3, a small object now confirmed to be orbiting Earth temporarily. It was apparently captured into Earth orbit 3 years ago. Its fate, here.

Spacecraft on a brown surface.

Marsquakes: InSight lander shows active faults in planet’s crust

The results from NASA’s Mars InSight lander’s first 10 months on the Martian surface have been published in a series of papers.

Image of bright star Pollux against a backdrop of fainter stars.

Pollux: The brighter twin star

Pollux, the brightest star in the constellation Gemini, blazes in a golden light next to its bluish-white heavenly twin, Castor, in the evening skies of the Northern Hemisphere’s spring.

Hazy orange-ash globe on black background.

Cosmic rays and Titan’s organic molecules

A new study from researchers in Tokyo helps explain how cosmic rays affect prebiotic organic chemistry in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan.

Image of bright star Castor against a backdrop of fainter stars.

Castor is six stars in one

The bright bluish-white star, Castor, in the constellation Gemini, appears to our eyes as a single star. But it’s actually a family of 6 stars.

Large red sphere and smaller sphere connected by blue filaments on black background.

Using radio waves to discover and study exoplanets

A new study from researchers in the Netherlands shows how scientists can detect exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars, and learn about their environments, from the radio waves generated by auroras on those worlds.

Airy-looking, cosmic-looking painting, dotted with round holes of various sizes.

What is dark matter?

Dark matter doesn’t emit light. It can’t be directly observed with any of the existing tools of astronomers. Yet astrophysicists believe it and dark energy make up most of the mass of the cosmos. What dark matter is, and what it isn’t. here.

Sideways snowman shape on a black background.

Why does Arrokoth look like a snowman?

Meet Arrokoth – the most distant object yet visited by earthlings – seen by the New Horizons spacecraft in early 2019. It’s very old, one of the first generation of objects in our solar system. Here’s why it looks like a snowman.

John Glenn was the 1st American to orbit Earth

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the 1st American to orbit Earth and the first American space hero.

Artist's concept of a reddish, dusty galaxy.

Why did this galaxy blaze with stars, then become inactive?

Astronomers report on the very distant galaxy XMM-2599. It existed when the universe was very young, yet contains some 300 billion stars. It must have formed stars at a very rapid rate and then stopped. Why?

Today in science: Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto

On this date 90 years ago, Clyde Tombaugh was searching for a 9th planet when he discovered Pluto. In doing so, he unknowingly opened the door to the vast “3rd zone” of our solar system, known today as the Kuiper Belt.

Animated GIF image of 2020BX12 and its satellite.

Moon found orbiting near-Earth asteroid

Isn’t this cool? Scientists at the famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico made this rare find just days after resuming post-earthquake operations. It’s a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid 2020 BX12.

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.