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
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
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

European Mars Lander Crashed Due to Data Glitch, ESA Concludes

By Mike Wall, Senior Writer | May 27, 2017 07:00am ET
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, Staff Writer | May 27, 2017 07:00am ET
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, Managing Editor | May 26, 2017 05:45pm ET
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, Contributor | May 26, 2017 02:00pm ET
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, Senior Writer | May 26, 2017 07:45am ET
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).

An 'Edgy' Suggestion on Where to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse

By Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist | May 26, 2017 07:42am ET
On Aug. 21, many Americans won't even have to leave their homes to see one of the rarest, most beautiful and most exciting of nature's sky events: a total eclipse of the sun. For the first time since 1918, the dark shadow of the moon - the umbra - will sweep across the contiguous states from coast to coast.

'WeВ Don'tВ Planet'В Episode 5: The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

By Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist | May 26, 2017 07:30am ET
If you sampled the hundreds of billions of stars in any galaxy and plotted their luminosity (their brightness measured from a fixed distance - so, in other words, their "true" brightness) and their color, you might expect the points to be essentially scattered around randomly.
But the work of Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Russell around 1910 revealed

More Jupiter Weirdness: Giant Planet May Have Huge, 'Fuzzy' Core

By Mike Wall, Senior Writer | May 26, 2017 08:01am ET
Jupiter's deep interior appears to be as strange and otherworldly as the gas giant's storm-studded exterior, new observations by NASA's Juno spacecraft suggest.
Scientists have generally thought that Jupiter either harbors a relatively compact core 1 to 10 times as massive as Earth or no core at all, said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton, who's based at the Southwest Research
Institute in San Antonio.

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