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Illustration of WASP-79b

Exoplanets

A Pileup of Perpendicular Planets

In some planetary systems, the direction that a star spins and the direction its planets orbit don’t always line up. A new study explores what we can learn from these nonconformists.

Astronaut stands to the left of American flag on the lunar surface, with hills in the background

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Fifty Years Ago in Photos: Apollo 15 Astronauts Explore the Moon

See photos — some familiar and some rarely seen — from the Apollo 15 mission, which launched place 50 years ago today.

Near-Earth asteroid

Solar System

How Often Do Chicxulub-level Asteroids Hit Earth?

Asteroids of different sizes crashing on Earth originated from different parts of the main asteroid belt, researchers say; the finding has implications for how often such collisions happen.

the PDS 70 circumstellar disk

Exoplanets

Astronomers Detect Potential Moon-forming Disk around an Exoplanet

Astronomers have made the first clear detection of a dusty disk surrounding an exoplanet, which could eventually go on to form moons.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 23 – 31

Saturn and Jupiter shine in the southeast by late evening. The bright Moon passes them on the 24th through 26th. Venus continues to sit patiently, changelessly, low in the west in twilight. Bootes and the Big Dipper mark the western sky after dark; the Summer Triangle emblazons the east.

Mars interior

Solar System

NASA's Insight Reveals First Look Inside Mars

The Insight mission science team has used about 10 deep marsquakes to take stock of the planet's anatomy.

Cratered Floor, Fratcured Rough

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA's Perseverance to Collect First Sample from Mars

Perseverance will soon collect the first of many samples from the Martian surface in a quest to answer whether the planet once hosted life.

Giant flare on a magnetar

Stellar Science

Milky Way Magnetar Spits Gamma Rays on Schedule

A Milky Way magnetar surprises astronomers by burping up gamma rays right when their predictions anticipated.

Cen A jets

Black Holes

Event Horizon Telescope Reveals Curious Jet Structure from Black Hole

Observations of the nearest radio galaxy, Centaurus A, provide the highest-resolution look at the long jets shooting from the galaxy’s supermassive black hole.

Peculiar galaxies

Professional Telescopes

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Is Back in Action

After a tense month, the Hubble Space Telescope resumed operations this past weekend.

Orphan cloud seen in X-rays and visible light

Galaxies

Lost & Found: Milky Way-size "Orphan Cloud"

Astronomers have found a giant gas cloud, likely stripped from its parent galaxy long ago, in a cluster 330 million light-years away.

Venus, Regulus, Mars low in twilight, July 21, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 16 – 24

Venus shines in the western twilight as Mars sinks away. Jupiter and Saturn rise in late dusk. And after dark, Scorpius shows off at its very best in the south.

Dust and gas of Elias 2-27's disk shown in composite

Exoplanets

Gravitationally Unstable Disk May Collapse to Form Planets

Astronomers investigate the spiral arms of a young star's disk and find evidence of a disk so massive that it could collapse to form planets.

NGC 5453 globular cluster

Deep Sky

In Heaven with M7, a Portal Into the Deep

M7 in Scorpius is one of the brightest, most beautiful open clusters in the sky. It's also "home" to a half-dozen other delectable deep-sky sights.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Hubble Trouble: NASA Works to Fix Space Telescope (Updated July 14th)

NASA Engineers are working to reboot the Hubble Space Telescope, after an unexpected anomaly.

close up of corner of jupiter with gaynmede in background

Astronomy & Observing News

Juno’s Ganymede Flyby: Video Update

NASA's Juno flew by Jupiter's Ganymede, the biggest moon in the solar system, on June 7, 2021.

Raised Ridges

Solar System

Mars Helicopter Scouts Risky Terrain for Perseverance Rover

The Ingenuity Mars helicopter has proven itself a valuable asset to Perseverance, scouting out terrain that the rover can't cross.

Exoplanets

NASA’s Kepler Finds Outcast Earths

Astronomers uncovered four new Earth-mass rogue planet candidates by searching for microlensing events observed with Kepler.

The crescent Moon passes Venus and Mars in conjunction, July 11-12, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 9 – 17

Bright Venus and tiny Mars come to conjunction low in the western twilight, as the crescent Moon stands watch. On the other side of the sky, Saturn and Jupiter rise after dark. And before moonlight comes back, delve the deep sky in Scorpius and Sagittarius.

EnVision

Solar System

What Will ESA's EnVision Learn at Venus?

ESA's EnVision mission to Venus adds to the growing number of spacecraft investigating our sister planet. How will they work together to understand our sister planet'?

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