How a Total Solar Eclipse Helped Prove Einstein Right About Relativity

By Ian O'Neill, Space.com Contributor | May 29, 2017 07:00am ET
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On Aug. 21, the continental U.S. will be treated to a total solar eclipse that will dazzle the nation as it progresses from coast to coast, starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina.
The event will be a great opportunity to revisit a groundbreaking experiment that occurred during a total solar eclipse, and helped confirm Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The European Space Agency has referred to this celestial event as "probably the most important eclipse in the history of science."

Space telescope to observe 'big eaters' in universe

China's new space telescope to be launched soon will probe many mysteries of the universe, including the belching "big eaters" - active galactic nuclei at the most remote edges of the universe.
Scientists have discovered that almost every galaxy has a supermassive black hole with a mass several million to several billion times that of the Sun at its center. With their mighty gravitational attraction, the supermassive black holes engulf the surrounding gas and dust.

Curious Kids: What Plants Could Grow in the Goldilocks Zone of Space?

By Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland | May 28, 2017 07:00am ET
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Almost every star has planets в─" so there are more planets in our galaxy than there are stars. Credit: T. Pyle/NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Cassini Takes Most Dangerous Saturn Ring Dive Yet

By Sarah Lewin, Staff Writer | May 28, 2017 06:58am ET
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Saturn's D ring is visible as the faint gray line arcing up to the top right of the image in this view from Saturn's Cassini spacecraft, taken in 2014. Over the course of four plunges, Cassini will be getting much more familiar with the ephemeral ring. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

China's space telescope to survey Milky Way

Many black holes and neutron stars are thought to be hidden in the Milky Way. Since they don't emit visible light, or are covered by dust, only X- ray telescopes can find them.
China will soon launch its first X-ray space telescope, the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), with the aim of surveying the Milky Way to observe celestial sources of X-rays.
"Our space telescope has unique capabilities to observe high-energy

European Mars Lander Crashed Due to Data Glitch, ESA Concludes

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | May 27, 2017 07:00am ET
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Zoomed-in view of the crater gouged out by Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander when it crashed on Oct. 19, 2016. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took the photo on Nov. 1, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
The reason Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander failed to touch down safely last fall is that conflicting data confused the craft's onboard computer, according to the newly completed crash investigation.

NASA's Lunar Orbiter Survives 'Speeding Bullet' Meteoroid

By Calla Cofield, Space.com Staff Writer | May 27, 2017 07:00am ET
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This image taken by a camera on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows evidence that the instrument was struck by a small meteoroid. Credit: Malin Space Science Systems/Arizona State University
A newly released photograph from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was taken at the same moment that the spacecraft was struck by a meteoroid traveling faster than a bullet, the agency announced this week.

NASA Sun Observatory Sees Partial Solar Eclipse in Space

By Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor | May 26, 2017 05:45pm ET
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The moon crosses the sun in during a partial solar eclipse in space in this view from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in space. The lunar transit lasted nearly an hour, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun's disk at the eclipse's peak. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng, producer

Citizen Scientists Identify Prehistoric Supernova

By Samantha Mathewson, Space.com Contributor | May 26, 2017 02:00pm ET
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More than 700 volunteer citizen scientists have helped identify more than 30,000 celestial objects, including a star explosion that occurred 970 million years ago, hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs emerged on Earth.
When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it creates a bright stellar explosion, also known as a supernova. The Australian National University (ANU) has invitied citizen scientists to join the hunt for supernovas.

Jupiter's Rings from the Inside! First-Ever View Captured by Juno

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | May 26, 2017 07:45am ET
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Humanity now has a new perspective on Jupiter's rings, thanks to NASA's Juno spacecraft.
During its initial data-collecting dive over Jupiter's poles on Aug. 27, 2016, Juno captured the first-ever photo of the giant planet's faint ring system from the inside, mission team members revealed Thursday (May 25).

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