Space exploration

Unusual discovery: Stars with three planet-forming discs of gas

Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute in Germany have discovered a spectacular system consisting of two stars with three rotating planet-forming accretion discs around them. This is a binary star system where each star has its own planet-forming disc and in...

October 12, 2016

Juno takes first-ever images of Jupiter's north pole, sees weather activity unlike anything seen before

NASA's Juno spacecraft has executed the first of 36 orbital flybys on August 27, 2016, when it came about 4 200 km (2 500 miles) above Jupiter's swirling clouds. It was Juno's first flyby with instruments switch on and it sent back first-ever images of...

September 02, 2016

Solar Probe Plus to fly into the Sun's upper atmosphere and touch the star

NASA's Solar Probe Plus mission has moved one step closer to its launch, scheduled for summer 2018, after passing a design review. After the successful review, the mission will transition to final assembly and implementation. It is the first mission into the...

August 09, 2016

New dark spot discovered on Neptune

A new dark spot, dark vortex in the atmosphere, has been discovered on Neptune and confirmed this month by the Hubble Space Telescope. Though similar features were seen during the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in 1989 and by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994, this...

June 23, 2016

Juno's arrival is getting closer

On the fourth of July, many Americans will be looking skyward in celebration of their nation’s independence. On the same date, NASA, and astronomers worldwide will also look skyward in celebration of another great achievement – Juno’s arrival to...

June 22, 2016

Juno spacecraft just a few weeks away from Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission, launched August 5, 2011, is now just a few weeks and about 17.8 million km (11.1 million miles) away from Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Its mission team is using these last weeks to evaluate and re-evaluate every portion...

June 10, 2016

The highest quality Pluto close-up mosaic from the New Horizons mission

NASA's scientists have produced a mosaic of all the highest-resolution images of Pluto collected by the New Horizons spacecraft. The collection of images with a resolution of about 80 m (260 feet) per pixel now extends across the planet's hemisphere that...

May 31, 2016

Organic molecules crucial for life found in Rosetta's comet

Scientists analyzing data acquired by ESA's comet chaser Rosetta while orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko have discovered organic molecules regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth. The ingredients include the amino acid glycine (C2H5NO2),...

May 31, 2016

Interstellar spacecraft within a human reach

Yuri Milner, a billionaire from Russia, announced his proposal on developing a lightweight spacecraft capable of journeying about 40 trillion km through space toward Alpha Centauri, our nearest star and it's planets, at a conference held in New York City on...

April 13, 2016

A mysterious discovery: Supermassive black holes spinning out aligned radio jets

A team of scientists from the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape in South Africa have discovered that supermassive black holes in the distant universe are spinning out radio jets in the same direction. This is the first time researchers found...

April 12, 2016

New Mars' gravity map released

A new map of Mars' gravity was released this month, providing a glimpse into the hidden interior of the planet. The map, most detailed to date, was derived using Doppler and range tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from three NASA...

March 21, 2016

Colossal 'super spiral' galaxies discovered

Scientists using archived NASA data have discovered a strange new kind of galactic beast in the cosmic wilderness. Dubbed "super spirals," these unprecedented galaxies dwarf our own spiral galaxy, the Milky Way, and compete in size and brightness with the...

March 21, 2016

ESA and Roscosmos launch ExoMars mission

In a joint space exploration effort, ESA and Roscosmos have successfully launched their ExoMars 2016 mission to planet Mars. The spacecraft was launched aboard Russian Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 09:31 UTC on March 14, 2016. It will...

March 14, 2016

10 years of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at Mars on March 10, 2006. During the next six months, MRO used hundreds of dips into the top of the Martian atmosphere to gradually adjust the size of the orbit and stabilize at nearly circular orbit at 250 to...

March 11, 2016

Visualizing milestones of the ExoMars 2016 mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) has established the ExoMars programme to research the question if life ever existed on Mars. The programme will investigate the Martian environment through two missions. The first one, consisting of an Orbiter plus and Entry, Descent...

February 18, 2016

Einstein's general theory of relativity confirmed: Gravitational waves observed for the first time

Gravitational waves, the ripples in the spacetime fabric, were observed for the first time, the scientists confirmed on February 11, 2016. The waves resulted from a cataclysmic event of two black holes merging in the distant universe. Their existence, first...

February 12, 2016

Isolated hills on Pluto floating in the sea of frozen nitrogen

NASA's New Horizons missions collected images and data indicating the isolated hills on Pluto may be fragments of water ice from the planet's surrounding uplands. The hills are thought to float in a sea of frozen nitrogen and move just like the icebergs in...

February 09, 2016