During tests of NASA’s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a comet was seen streaking across the sky—a fortuitous event that showcased the power of this new planet-seeking telescope.
The Rosetta orbiter ended its mission in September 2016, but science fans continue to unearth and reprocess some of its incredible images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Check out this one, above.
The Rosetta mission’s Philae lander descended toward the two-and-a-half-mile-wide comet at a human’s walking pace. For seven tense hours, scientists in Darmstadt, Germany monitored its radio signal. They would have no idea whether they’d done everything correctly until after the moment of touchdown. If all went well,…
Remember that cigar-shaped interstellar object that whizzed through our Solar System last year? It was pretty weird, right? Well, new research shows ‘Oumuamua is even stranger than we realized.
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was one for the ages, providing an unprecedented look at this oddly shaped celestial object. The Rosetta probe captured nearly 100,000 images over the course of its mission, all of which are now freely available to the public in a…
Pluto may not be a planet, but it remains one of the most intriguing objects in the outer Solar System. Its unexpected chemical composition has confounded scientists for years, but a new theory may finally hold the answer. Pluto, according to a pair of Southwest Research Institute scientists, is basically an overgrown…
I think I’m going to let this one speak for itself:
Around the same time our ancestors left Africa, a dim red dwarf star came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun, marking the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System. New research suggests Scholz’s Star, as it’s known, left traces of this interstellar encounter by perturbing some comets in the outer Oort Cloud.
There’s already a strange story behind comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, or just 41P: It took almost 100 years to identify and occasionally flares. And now, its spin is rapidly slowing down.
Scientists know of 750,000 or so asteroids and comets—and all of them are part of this fine solar system. That is, all of them but one. And as new research shows, it’s weird as hell.
Behold C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), or “K2" for short. At a jaw-dropping distance of 1.5 billion miles (2.4 billion km) from the Sun, it’s the farthest active inbound comet ever documented by astronomers.
Is it an asteroid? A comet? Both? Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new details about a strange binary asteroid that’s performing double-duty as a comet. It’s the first time scientists have ever seen such a thing.
Xenon is a peculiar element. It certainly has one of the most mysterious names (from the Greek xenos, or “stranger”). As a noble gas, it refuses to bond with other elements except under exotic conditions. And its uses are all about as creepy as its name: Folks use it for its eerie glow, to detect radiation, or in its…
Japan’s Proximate Object Close Flyby with Optical Navigation (PROCYON) has been lost in space ever since its ion thrusters blew out in 2014. Since then, the tiny spacecraft has done its best to be useful, orbiting the Sun by itself. A new study reveals the PROCYON made some impressive observations on Comet…
A glowing green ball of ice and rock is zipping past the Earth and on December 31st, it can be spotted near the crescent moon—in a dark sky, with the aid of some good binoculars. But for those hoping this comet will veer off course and take aim straight at our sorry planet? Sorry, 2016 isn’t that merciful.
With the historic Rosetta mission now over, the ESA has compiled a four-minute simulation showing the spacecraft’s complete journey as it weaved around Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
The historic Rosetta mission has finally come to an end. Over the past two years, the probe’s many instruments have scanned virtually every nook and cranny of this weirdly shaped rock, unleashing a treasure trove of new information about comets in general, and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in particular.
The Rosetta spacecraft has spent three years peering at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from orbit—but this week, its watch will end. Tomorrow, Rosetta begins a controlled descent to its final resting place on the edge of an enormous pit, where it’ll remain frozen until the space rock itself is destroyed, or until the…
In just seven days, the Rosetta spacecraft will smash into Comet 67P. A new visualization shows how it’ll go down.
Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have captured unprecedented images of a comet in the process of disintegration. It’s our clearest view yet of this celestial phenomenon in action.