Half a sphere covered in swirling white and brown clouds.

Is Jupiter a key to finding dark matter?

Jupiter’s large size and cool core make it an excellent target in the search for dark matter. A team of scientists is analyzing gamma-ray data from the Fermi Telescope looking for signs of the elusive substance.

Yellowballs offer insights into star formation

The unexpected discovery of yellowballs by citizen scientists – in 2011 and 2012 – is shaking up astronomers’ ideas about how stars and star clusters form. It’s giving scientists a new window into the birth and evolution of young stars.

Martian hill named to honor Curiosity scientist

NASA has given the name Rafael Navarro Mountain to a hill in Gale Crater on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has been exploring since 2012. Navarro, a mission scientist, died in January 2021 from Covid-19.

Cloud of stars stretching across sky with black tree silhouettes.

Milky Way season has started!

Spring brings flowers to the landscape and photos of the Milky Way to EarthSky! Enjoy these photos of our galaxy taken in 2021, and keep your eye on this space for more to come!

Bright star to the left, with a striped planet in the foreground, featuring a thin crescent on its left side. All in warm yellow/brown colours.

Chemical fingerprint reveals a migrating exoplanet

The chemical fingerprint of exoplanet HD 209458b’s atmosphere reveals as many as 6 molecules and that it has migrated inwards from its birthplace much farther out in its star system.

4-legged boxy device with wide rotor blades on brown landscape with part of rover visible.

Mars helicopter 1st flight postponed to next week

The Mars helicopter – named Ingenuity – now needs a software update, NASA said. The new 1st flight date will be next week, at the earliest.

Artist's depiction of 4 small probes approaching the planet Venus.

Possible life signs in the clouds of Venus

A new analysis of data from the 1978 Pioneer Venus mission, by researchers at Cal Poly Pomona, finds evidence not only for phosphine, but also possible chemical disequilibrium in Venus’ atmosphere, an additional possible sign of biological activity.

Small water drops hitting water surface below.

Raindrop sizes similar on Earth and alien worlds

Whether the raindrop is made of water on Earth, methane on Titan, or liquid iron on an alien world, a new study shows that all raindrops will fall to the ground at a similar size.

Orbits of planets in the inner solar system.

Heads up! Small asteroid to pass very close on April 12

Small asteroid 2021 GW4 will pass extremely close to Earth on Monday, April 12, 2021. It’ll pass just 12,313 miles (19,816 km) from Earth’s surface, or about 5% the Earth-moon distance.

2 galaxies nearly merged, dotted with pink along arms, and centered with 2 brilliant white lights.

Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

New images of the oldest known pairs of quasars, farthest and oldest yet seen, show that their home galaxies are colliding.

The closest extragalactic fast radio burst yet?

Astronomers detected a new, nearby, repeating fast radio burst, originating from a spot near the great spiral galaxy M81.

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Juno finds a new auroral feature on Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft – whose mission in orbit around Jupiter was recently extended to 2025 – has been used to discover a rapidly expanding auroral ring at the very fringes of the Jovian magnetosphere.

Colorful planet with bands in atmosphere and thin rings.

Scientists detect X-rays from Uranus

For the first time, scientists have detected X-rays being emitted by the planet Uranus. The discovery was made by a new analysis of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Purple glow and spots of light on a black background.

An image of a piece of the cosmic web

An international team of astronomers has mapped a piece of the cosmic web without using bright quasars for the first time. They did it by turning a powerful instrument to a single region of the sky for hundreds of hours.

Glowing pink blob, scrabbly green lines, on a black background.

Is the Hyades star cluster being destroyed?

Data from ESA’s Gaia star-mapping satellite have revealed tantalizing evidence that the famous V-shaped Hyades – nearest star cluster to our sun – is being disrupted. The culprit may be a suspected population of dark matter sub-halos. Wow!

Ball of light with tail surrounded by colorful streaks.

Interstellar visitor Borisov could be 1st truly pristine comet yet seen

Comet 2I/Borisov is the 2nd known object to pass near our sun from outside our solar system. Its 2019 pass near our sun might have been its first-ever interaction with a star. If so, it’s among the most pristine, or unspoiled, objects yet known.

Colorful diagram of bent lines passing around object between bright star and Earth.

A new Goldilocks black hole

Astronomers have detected a “Goldilocks” or intermediate-mass black hole. It’s not small, not supermassive – but right in the middle – and it “sheds light” on how the supermassive black holes got so large.

Bright reddish star with three planets and space telescope.

TESS’s exoplanet catalog grows to over 2,200 worlds

When the TESS planet hunter launched nearly 3 years ago, some 4,000 exoplanets were known. NASA confirmed in late March that TESS has discovered over 2,200 additional exoplanet candidates orbiting distant stars.

Striking new image of M106

This spectacular image features spiral galaxy Messier 106 and its diminutive neighbors, as well as a dense field of background galaxies and foreground stars.

Animation of the orbits of Earth and Apophis showing how often they cross each other.

Earth is safe from asteroid Apophis for the next 100 years

Apophis’ flyby in early March 2021 enabled astronomers to conclude there’s no chance this asteroid will strike Earth anytime soon. “A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore,” one scientist said, “and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years.”