Eight frames showing an artist's concept of a simple round body that's struck, and whose fragments then fall back to it.

Asteroids are harder to destroy than we thought

What if we learned an asteroid was headed toward Earth? How much energy does it take to destroy an asteroid and break it into pieces? More than we thought, it turns out.

An ancient white dwarf star with rings

“This white dwarf is so old that whatever process is feeding material into its rings must operate on billion-year timescales,” said one of the scientists involved in the discovery.

Planet 9 hypothesis gets a boost

A large, unknown Planet 9 in our solar system continues to elude astronomers. But a new review article in Physics Reports explains why some scientists still think they’ll find it.

Neptune and its smallest known moon Hippocamp.

Hubble solves puzzle of Neptune mystery moon

Meet Hippocamp, the smallest known moon of the planet Neptune. Scientists have puzzled over its origin, and over why we see it orbiting where we do. Now, new Hubble data has shed light on these mysteries.

False-color view of Ceres.

Ceres had meltwater reservoirs for millions of years

Life on Ceres, largest body in the asteroid belt? Maybe, at one time. New research points to ancient subsurface reservoirs of salty meltwater that might have lasted millions of years and let life’s chemistry begin.

Touchdown marks on asteroid Ryugu

A new image from Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft reveals a large, dark, irregular spot where the craft landed on asteroid Ryugu’s surface last week.

Earth as seen from space.

New NASA consortium to study how life began

How did life originate on Earth and, possibly, other worlds in space? A new NASA consortium has the goal of probing one of nature’s most perplexing mysteries.

Help name 5 new moons of Jupiter

You can help astronomers select names for 5 newly discovered moons of the planet Jupiter. Look here for contest details and how to enter.

Milky Way in a circle. Inside the circle are red dots indicating stars of the stellar stream

Astronomers find a nearby river of stars

Researchers used Gaia data to find a stellar stream of at least 4,000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about a billion years ago.

Hexagonal dune field on Mars.

Weird hexagonal dune field seen on Mars

Mars has sand dunes, as Earth does. But now, NASA’s Odyssey orbiter has revealed something odd: a large dune field shaped roughly like a hexagon. The finding is expected to provide more clues as to how dunes form in Martian winds.