NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected both methane in Mars’s atmosphere and carbon-bearing organic compounds in its rocks. But it’s unclear where these molecules come from — or whether there’s any biological connection.
NASA’s MAVEN mission has discovered a new population of particles in Mars’s upper atmosphere. It’s also found a plume of particles escaping from the planet’s poles, confirming atmospheric loss is happening today.
An early outcome from Rosetta's scrutiny of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is that the isotopes in its water have distinctly different ratios than those on Earth.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft spent 14 months photographing Vesta from close range. Now geologists have completed a global map of the asteroid's surface geology.
Right on cue, New Horizons spacecraft has awakened from its final electronic hibernation. Seven months from now, it will make the first-ever visit to Pluto.
Japan's second asteroid-sample mission launched successfully on December 3rd after weather delays. If successful it will reach asteroid 1999 JU3 in 2018, explore for 18 months, and then return to Earth with souvenirs.
A newly processed image from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft shows Europa’s breathtaking beauty and tortured surface in greater detail than ever before.
Amateur astronomers have confirmed the presence of a large, bright storm cloud on the ice giant Uranus.
Scientists think they've figured out what causes the mysterious ruddy coloring in the giant planet's enormous oval storm.
With its battery power failing, Philae became the "little lander than could" and managed to return results from all 10 of its science instruments before slipping into hibernation.
After free-falling toward Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for seven hours, ESA's Philae lander bounced on the surface twice before finally coming to rest.
A fresh look at a nagging problem — asteroids moving in comet-like orbits — concludes that asteroids must make up about 4% of the vast, distant Oort Cloud of comets. When a telescope atop Hawaii's Haleakala swept up a fast-moving object in August 1996, astronomers didn't know what to make of it. Designated 1996...
The Rosetta spacecraft reached its objective, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in August. Since then, one instrument has been "smelling" the mix of gases escaping from the comet's nucleus.
Mars-orbiting spacecraft escaped unscathed by Comet Siding Spring's close approach to the Red Planet — and unique scientific observations are now streaming back to Earth.
New IRIS results show a Sun rife with twisting and snapping magnetic fields, data that will elicit clues on what bakes the puzzlingly hot corona.
NASA scientists have found three potential Kuiper belt objects in the nick of time, saving the Pluto-bound probe from missing out on half of its mission.
On October 19th, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) passes breathtaking close to Mars — as a small army of spacecraft (five of them orbiting the planet) watch.
Images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show dozens of small, curious features that might be volcanic eruptions in the past 50 to 100 million years. Countless astronomers, both amateur and professional, have spent untold hours scrutinizing the Moon through telescopes for hints of volcanic activity. Numerous claims of "transient lunar phenomena" (TLP) have been...
It's a historic day for India's maturing space program, as its first-ever interplanetary explorer successfully slipped into orbit around the Red Planet.
On September 21st, after a 33-minute-long rocket firing, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slipped into orbit around the Red Planet.
European space officials have decided to drop their Philae lander on November 11th onto the small end of the already-active Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Success is hardly assured.
Now two years into its exploration of Mars, NASA's big rover has reached the base of the huge mound that scientists hope will reveal the Red Planet's history.
With a subtle beauty all its own, the earthshine we see glowing in the lunar night invites us to consider Earth's many connections to the Moon.
On August 25, 1989, a NASA spacecraft made its fourth and final planetary encounter. What it revealed 25 years ago about the Neptunian system is still amazing and still profound.
Seize the moment and bookend your next clear night with two fine telescopic comets: Jacques at dusk and Oukaimeden at dawn.