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Comet Leonard meets M3

Celestial News & Events

See Comet Leonard at its Best

The year's brightest comet is now on display in the predawn sky this week and next. Here's how to find it.

NASA's DART mission

Spacecraft and Space Missions

NASA’s DART Mission Launches for Head-on Collision with an Asteroid

The first-ever planetary defense mission is now on its way to the asteroid Didymos and its moon, Dimorphos.

Portrayal of 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1)

Solar System

Can This Near-Earth Asteroid Help Us Understand the First Interstellar Visitor?

Astronomers have observed an object like ‘Oumuamua — but unlike the first known interstellar visitor, this one is in the solar system.

Chipping the Moon

Solar System

Has a Stray Piece of the Moon Become a Quasi-satellite of Earth?

A quasi-satellite of Earth, named Kamoʻoalewa, might actually be a chip off our Moon.

Twisted glass slab

Solar System

Did a Comet Explode Over South America 12,000 Years Ago?

Huge chunks and twisted slabs of dark glass are strewn across a patch of the Chilean Atacama Desert. Do they have a cosmic origin?

Venusian volcano Idunn Mons in radar data

Solar System

The Case for an Active Volcano on Venus

After decades of studying Venus, many questions remain about our planetary next-door neighbor. One question has particularly intrigued astronomers: which, if any, of Venus’s 1,600 volcanoes are still active?

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Spacecraft and Space Missions

The Roots of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Run Deep

NASA’s Juno mission has obtained measurements that finally say just how deep the Great Red Spot goes.

Earth and Uranus compared

Explore the Night with Bob King

Uranus Queues Up for Opposition

Journey to a remote planet then double back to check in on the latest stirrings of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann before touching the finger of dawn.

Jupiter impact flash Oct. 15, 2021

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Whacked Again? Japanese Astronomers Record Possible Impact

A group of Japanese astronomers just discovered a potential new impact at the planet Jupiter.

Theia's hit-and-run collision, in color

Solar System

Two Impacts, Not Just One, May Have Formed The Moon

The Moon may have formed in a one-two punch, new simulations suggest.

Night Sky Sights

How Bright Will Comet Leonard Get?

We examine circumstances and expectations for the current apparition of Comet Leonard, which may become the year's brightest comet.

New Horizons

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

New Horizons Discovers Kuiper Belt "Twins"

New Horizons has spotted two asteroid pairs in the outer solar system. Their existence sheds light on how planets formed.

Rectified version of the Chang'e 5 panorama

Solar System

China's Lunar Samples Confirm Late Volcanism, Pose New Questions

China's Chang'e 5 mission returned pieces of the Moon in a technological feat last year. Now, scientists are publishing the first analyses of those samples.

Wright Mons on Pluto

Solar System

Plutonian Mounts Aren’t Ice Volcanoes

Careful study of data from the New Horizons mission indicates that an iconic, caldera-looking feature isn’t what it seems.

Illustration of BepiColumbo in front of Mercury

Solar System

BepiColombo First Picture of Mercury (Updated)

BepiColombo is set to make the first of several flybys past Mercury on Friday, October 1st.

Conflagration, Expansion and Fade

Solar System

Comet 29P Undergoes Brightest Outburst in Recent Years

Catch one of the most active small bodies in the solar system during a rare superoutburst.

Arabia Terra from orbit

Solar System

Mars Hosted Supervolcanoes in the Ancient Past

Scientists have found massive ash deposits that formed over millions of years of volcanic super-eruptions, the first evidence for such explosive activity on Mars.

Jupiter, color-enhanced

Solar System

Hail-like “Mushballs” May Fall on All Our Giant Planets

"Mushballs," first inferred to exist on Jupiter, may fall within the atmospheres of all the solar system's giant planets.

Solar System

Misfit Meteorite Sheds Light on Solar System History

Scientists have discovered the first meteorite that doesn't fall into one of two fundamental groups. The meteorite provides a unique glimpse into the era of asteroid formation and migration.

Possible Jovian impact flash

Celestial News & Events

Amateurs Spot New Impact Flash at Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has discovered a possible new impact flash in Jupiter's equatorial region. Observers may yet see the dark impact scar.

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