Parachute with white and orange rdial patterns on the inside.

Did you find the message hidden in Perseverance’s parachute?

The striped pattern on the parachute used by the Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a hidden message. Internet sleuths were able to figure it out within a few hours.

Vertical smoke from bright light with a bow front and debris.

Cosmic ray originated in cataclysmic event

Astronomers found a high energy neutrino – a cosmic ray – that apparently originated during a “tidal disruption event,” that is, when a supermassive black hole shredded a distant star.

Crisp white-edge orb with mottling on surface, scattered thin white lines.

Parker Solar Probe captures a glimpse of Venus

The Parker Solar Probe turned its camera on Venus as the spacecraft flew by during a gravity assist.

Very irregular rocky objects in gaseous disk around a bright white star.

Evidence for white dwarfs consuming Earth-like worlds

For the first time, astronomers have detected the vaporized remains of the crusts of long-dead Earth-like and Mars-like planets in the atmospheres of white dwarf stars.

Illustration showing many Earth like plants against stars.

Water worlds may be abundant in our galaxy

A new study suggests that our Milky Way galaxy is filled with planets like Earth, containing continents and oceans. If so, life might be common in the Milky Way.

Astronaut in a white spacesuit against background of ISS.

Watch ISS spacewalk February 28

On Sunday, February 28, 3 astronauts will perform the first in a pair of International Space Station spacewalks to ready the station for solar array upgrades. How to watch live.

Purple fuzzy center with surrounding blue halo-ish gas on a black background.

Why does this galaxy look older than its years?

To the extent that we can see them, galaxies in the very early universe should look relatively young and unformed. But galaxy ALESS 073.1 is a surprise to astronomers: it looks more mature than we’d have any reason to expect. Why?

Earth and moon inside blue zone, round around Earth and trailing off toward moon.

‘Earth wind’ may generate water on the moon

Particles carried from Earth’s poles via our planet’s magnetosphere could be interacting with lunar rocks to create small quantities of water on the moon.

Gas streaming from large blue star to oronge disk with vertical jets coming out of it.

Nearby black hole Cyg X-1 more massive than thought

New research suggests that the famous black hole Cygnus X-1 – first black hole ever detected and one of the closest to Earth – is farther away and much more massive than previously believed.

Composite of many multicolored pairs of stars, moslly in red and yellow hues.

3D map of a million binary stars

A new atlas of nearby binary stars plots more than a million pairs and reveals a profusion of identical twins.

New sights and sounds from the Perseverance rover on Mars!

Check out this amazing new video from NASA’s Perseverance rover, showing its own descent and landing on the surface of Mars last week. Truly, it’s like nothing seen before! Also, the first-ever audio from Mars …

Planet with neon-colored clouds and city-like on the surface, with barbell-shaped orbiting objects nearby.

Can air pollution help us find alien life?

To find alien life in our universe, scientists have considered searches for optical lasers or even giant energy-harvesting structures known as Dyson spheres. Now they’re suggesting a more mundane sort of search, a hunt for air pollution in exoplanet atmospheres.

Rocket with Earth in background, golden telescope deploying as cowlings fall away.

James Webb Space Telescope – Hubble’s successor – to launch in October

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s most complex infrared telescope, built for a wide range of research projects. NASA is now targeting October 31 for its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.

Points of light distorted by black spots with swirls around them.

Swarm of black holes discovered

For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of a throng of black holes crowding near the center of an ancient globular cluster.

The surface of Mars through a circular lens, with the rover's shadow visible.

Touchdown! Perseverance lands successfully on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance mission conducted a picture-perfect landing on Mars today and has already sent back several images.

Long, thin, parallel dark streaks on reddish rocky slope.

Dark streaks on Mars may be caused by salts and melting ice

Researchers at the SETI Institute say that mysterious dark streaks on sun-facing slopes on Mars, debated about for years, may be small landslides caused by a combination of salts and melting ice just below the surface.

Illustration of large rock and distant sun.

Farfarout is farthest object in our solar system yet known

Astronomers have confirmed that an object with the nickname of Farfarout is, to date, the farthest object we’ve seen in the solar system.

Yellow and pink light in horizontal disk on black background, wispy blue strands stretching out from the disk.

Galaxies have magnetic fields, too! Images here

Until recently, magnetic fields in the outskirts of galaxies were too faint to be detected. Although it’s still not clear what causes them or how they’re maintained, astronomers have started to create images of their observations of galaxies’ magnetic fields producing beautiful aurora-like effects. See them here.

What is the Milky Way?

When someone says “Milky Way,” do you think of the starry pathway across our sky, or of the great pinwheel-shaped galaxy in space? Both are correct!

Two galaxies swirling together in a heart shape.

We heart the Earth and sky

This Valentine’s Day, we find so much to love in the many heart-shaped objects created by Mother Nature that can be found right here on Earth or all the way to the deepest reaches of the sky.