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Galactic center

Galaxies

Astronomy in Pictures: Unraveling Galaxies and Clyde's Spot

This week in astronomy pictures: Peer into our galaxy's busy core, watch Clyde's Spot unravel at Jupiter, and see a stunning Hubble photo of a lopsided galaxy.

Night Sky Sights

Dawn Delight: Catch the Total Lunar Eclipse on May 26th

On May 26th the Moon will be in total eclipse for the first time in nearly two and a half years. While timing favors western North America, a partial eclipse will be visible across much of the U.S. and Canada at dawn.

Comet spectrum

Solar System

Interstellar and Solar System Comets Share a Surprising Ingredient: Nickel

Cold comets — both natives and the interstellar Comet Borisov — have nickel and iron vapor in their atmospheres, and scientists want to know why.

Zhurong lander

Spacecraft and Space Missions

China's Zhurong Rover Lands on Mars (Update: New Images)

The Zhurong rover has successfully landed on the Red Planet in an ambitious first for China's space agency.

Saturn's interior

Solar System

Helium Rain Inside Saturn Might Shape Its Magnetic Field

A thick inner layer of slowly falling helium blobs might help explain Saturn's almost perfectly aligned magnetic field.

Infrared Jupiter

Solar System

Sights and Sounds of the Solar System

Spacecraft are returning sights and sounds from Venus, Jupiter, and beyond — here's a sampling.

osiris-rex departs

Solar System

NASA's OSIRIS-REX Leaves Asteroid Bennu, Heads for Home

NASA’s asteroid explorer has begun its long journey home with precious cargo onboard: samples of the asteroid Bennu.

Illustration of Perseverance in Jezero Crater

Solar System

Water-Ice Clouds Could Have Warmed Early Mars

New simulations show that the greenhouse effect of high water-ice clouds could have warmed early Mars, permitting the presence of long-ago lakes.

Earth's magnetic field

Spacecraft and Space Missions

The Hubble Space Telescope As Cosmic-Ray Detector

Astronomers, using Hubble Space Telescope as a particle detector, have traced cosmic rays flowing in Earth's geomagnetic field.

Ingenuity

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter: First Flight on Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has made its brief hop into the history books of interplanetary aviation.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Make the Most of Comet ATLAS

Bright comets will be scarce this year, but you can see one of the better ones this month as it races from Aquila to Canes Venatici. In other news, a new, bright nova has flared in Sagittarius.

Theia Impact

Solar System

Bits of Theia Might Be in Earth's Mantle

A "smoking gun" for the ancient calamity that formed Earth’s large Moon may still exist deep in the mantle of our planet.

Comet Borisov

Solar System

Interstellar Comet Was Pristine Sample of Planet Formation

New analysis shows that Comet 2I/Borisov, which zipped nearest the Sun in late 2019, was unlike any comet we’ve seen before.

Apophis radar images in 2021

Solar System

Asteroid Apophis Will Miss Earth in 2068

Radar measurements taken early this month rule out any chance of a collision with Apophis over the next 100 years.

Great Red Spot vs. flake

Solar System

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Gets Smaller — But Stronger

"Flakes" coming off the Great Red Spot have had some wondering if this epic storm is coming to an end. But observations and computer modeling show it's only getting stronger.

The loss of water on Mars

Solar System

Is an Ocean of Mars Water Trapped in the Planet’s Crust?

A new study suggests that by 3 billion years ago, most of the Red Planet’s water was locked away in minerals, and it has stayed there ever since.

Portrayal of 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1)

Solar System

Can We Expect Seven Interstellar Visitors Per Year?

A new study estimates the number of interstellar objects that fly through the inner solar system every year, and it could be quite a lot.

Near-Earth asteroid passing Earth

Solar System

Karma Asteroid Family Might Be Sending Members Near Earth

New simulations have identified the Karma family of asteroids in the main belt as a potential source of near-Earth asteroids.

Zodiacal light

Solar System

Zodiacal Dust Seen from Earth Might Come from Mars

Much of the solar system’s interplanetary dust — seen as zodiacal light from Earth — might come from Mars.

Mars North Pole

Spacecraft and Space Missions

See the Latest Stunning Images from Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover, China's Tianwen 1, and the United Arab Emirates' Hope orbiter share their latest photos from Mars.

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