The Royal Observatory in Greenwich has announced its shortlist for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. From nebulas and auroras through to starbursts and solar eclipses, these photographs will rekindle your sense of wonder.
Some 380 light years away in the constellation Scorpius lies a star that has puzzled astronomers for over 40 years. Called AR Scorpii, the star flashes brightly and fades again every couple minutes, like a lightbulb on a dimmer switch. Now, astronomers have identified the cause of the flickering, and it’s a reminder…
Here’s some knowledge that’ll make you feel like a microbe: Our Milky Way galaxy, a collection of hundreds of billions of stars and worlds, is but a tiny nucleus buried deep inside an enormous blob of million-degree gas that’s spinning at a rip-roaring 400,000 miles per hour.
Ceres, the tiny asteroid belt world we’ve come to know and love through NASA’s Dawn mission, seems to delight in mysteries, from flickering bright spots to unexpected ocean minerals. Now, astronomers have discovered yet another puzzle while examining images of Ceres’ surface. Something has been erasing its craters.
Seventy-one days from now, the Rosetta spacecraft will end its historic mission by crashing onto the surface of its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Mission planners have now selected the spacecraft’s final, mission-ending destination—and it’s a good one.
A spacecraft parked in orbit at a distance of one million miles has captured the mother of all timelapse videos—an entire year on Earth. Enjoy.
Venus’s unusually thick atmosphere is typically regarded as a barrier that prevents us from gazing upon its tortured surface. By studying subtle shifts in weather patterns, however, scientists have learned that these clouds also offer important clues as to what lies beneath.
The MeerKAT radio telescope isn’t even finished being built, but it’s already released its first image: a small patch of sky showcasing 1,300 galaxies.
The astronomical map you see here doesn’t depict stars, it shows galaxies—1.2 million of them, to be exact, a new record for astronomers. This extraordinary new 3D scan of the universe provides yet more evidence that a mysterious substance known as dark energy is likely causing the universe to expand at an…
This image taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft is one of the first to be taken by the probe since it entered Jupiter’s orbit last week.
Astronomers working with the Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the deepest view yet of the heart of the Orion Nebula. Wow.
Millions of years ago, a pair of exploding stars showered our planet with radioactive fallout. Had those supernovae popped off a bit closer to home, Earth’s biosphere would have been toast. But even at a distance of 300 light years, the stellar events might have had an impact on the evolution of life here.
Say hello to 2015 RR245, a 440-mile-wide dwarf planet located approximately 7.5 billion miles from the sun. It takes 700 years to make a complete orbit, making it one of the most remote known objects in the entire solar system of significant size.
Three hundred and twenty light years away in the Centaurus constellation sits one of the strangest planets humans have ever laid eyes on. It’s four times as massive as Jupiter and orbits twice as far out as Pluto—around one of its three suns.
Mission controllers at NASA are currently working to return the Curiosity Mars rover to full activity after a computer glitch that caused the rover to enter into a precautionary stand-down over the weekend.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft made all the headlines this past Fourth of July as it successfully went into orbit around Jupiter after a five-year journey—and deservedly so. But not many people realized the significance of the name.
Saturn’s moon Titan is a frigid hellscape by Earth standards, but it’s also one of the most hopeful spots for discovering alien life in our solar system. A new scientific paper hints that conditions on Titan’s surface might be favorable for the chemistry of life to emerge.
Phobos and Deimos, Mars’ lumpy, runty moons, were once pegged as captured asteroids. But the truth is shaping up to be far more interesting. These ruddy satellites could be the lone survivors of a giant impact that eviscerated half of Mars’ surface billions of years ago.
Before it powered down in preparation for the big engine burn last night, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured some absolutely stunning footage of the four Galilean satellites in orbit around Jupiter.
Tonight is the night, my fellow space nerds. After five years and 445 million miles, NASA’s Juno mission is about to arrive at Jupiter, becoming the second spacecraft in history to orbit the gas giant. We hope.