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Georgina Torbet

Georgina Torbet

Space Writer

Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She specializes in current and future exploration of Mars. She has previously written about science, technology, and security topics for websites like SlashGear, Engadget, and Futurism. She has a master's degree in neuroscience and a PhD in psychology.

An artist’s concept of the Voyager spacecraft.

Voyager 1 probe has nine lives, is operating its four instruments once again

Having suffered through a tricky glitch, the incredible Voyager 1 spacecraft is now back to operations, with data coming in from all four of its instruments.
This artist’s concept shows two young stars nearing the end of their formation. Encircling the stars are disks of leftover gas and dust from which planets may form. Jets of gas shoot away from the stars’ north and south poles.

Well-known star turns out to be not one star, but twins

Observations from the James Webb Space Telescope revealed that a particular star turned out not to be a single star at all, but actually a pair.
A red giant star and white dwarf orbit each other in this animation of a nova similar to T Coronae Borealis. The red giant is a large sphere in shades of red, orange, and white, with the side facing the white dwarf the lightest shades. The white dwarf is hidden in a bright glow of white and yellows, which represent an accretion disk around the star. A stream of material, shown as a diffuse cloud of red, flows from the red giant to the white dwarf. When the red giant moves behind the white dwarf, a nova explosion on the white dwarf ignites, creating a ball of ejected nova material shown in pale orange. After the fog of material clears, a small white spot remains, indicating that the white dwarf has survived the explosion.

A cosmic explosion will create a bright new star in the sky

A cosmic explosion expected this summer will be visible from Earth even with the naked eye and will result in a new star.
The specks in this scene were caused by charged particles from a solar storm hitting a camera aboard NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Curiosity uses its navigation cameras to try and capture images of dust devils and wind gusts, like the one seen here.

Auroras and radiation from solar storms spotted on Mars

If we ever want to send people to visit the red planet, we're going to need to learn more about radiation and how it's affected by events like solar storms.
SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew in orbit.

Data from Inspiration4 astronauts suggests short space trips aren’t harmful to health

New research that was conducted on the four civilian astronauts of the Inspiration4 mission shows the effects of short-duration spaceflight on the human body.
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams aboard, approaches the International Space Station for an autonomous docking as it orbited 257 miles above the South Pacific Ocean.

Boeing Starliner arrives safely at the ISS, but it sprung more leaks along the way

Boeing's Starliner made it safely to the International Space Station carrying two NASA astronauts, but had some problems on its journey.
starship fourth test flight screenshot 2024 06 145159

SpaceX Starship rocket survives reentry mostly intact in fourth test flight

The mighty Starship rocket that SpaceX intends to use to transport astronauts to the moon and beyond has made another largely successful test flight.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a Boeing Starliner spacecraft launches NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Boeing Starliner successfully launches carrying two NASA astronauts

The Boeing Starliner spacecraft has finally launched, taking off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
This image shows China's Chang'e 6 lander on the surface of the moon.

China’s Chang’e 6 mission blasts off from lunar surface carrying moon rocks

China's Chang'e 6 mission has scooped up samples from the moon and has now taken off from the lunar surface, headed back to Earth.
An STS-125 crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis captured this image of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on May 19, 2009.

Hubble will switch to a new mode to preserve its troublesome gyros

The beloved Hubble Space Telescope will soon be changing the way it operates to deal with a dodgy gyroscope.
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is seen on the launch pad of Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Saturday, June 1, 2024

First crewed flight of the Boeing Starliner scrubbed once again

The planned crewed launch of the Boeing Starliner was scrubbed at 3 minutes and 50 seconds before liftoff due to a problem with the ground system.
Fly across Nili Fossae with Mars Express.

Fly over the trenches of Mars in stunning video of Nili Fossae

A new video from the European Space Agency (ESA) was constructed using data from the Mars Express mission and shows a flyover of Mars's Nili Fossae trenches.
The first of two CubeSats for the PREFIRE mission sits on a launch pad in Māhia, New Zealand, shortly before launching on May 25, 2024 at 7:41 p.m. NZST (3:41 a.m. EDT).

Two tiny NASA satellites are launching to study Earth’s poles

NASA has launched the first part of a two-satellite mission called PREFIRE to study Earth's poles, with the second satellite set to launch this Saturday.
JADES (NIRCam Image with Pullout). The NIRCam data was used to determine which galaxies to study further with spectroscopic observations. One such galaxy, JADES-GS-z14-0 (shown in the pullout), was determined to be at a redshift of 14.32 (+0.08/-0.20), making it the current record-holder for the most distant known galaxy. This corresponds to a time less than 300 million years after the big bang.

James Webb discovers the most distant galaxy ever observed

Researchers using James Webb have discovered the most distant known galaxy to date. It existed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
Artist's view of EarthCARE on board a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Equipped with four instruments, the Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite mission has been designed to make a range of different measurements that together will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s climate.

How to watch Europe launch a new Earth observation satellite tonight

The European Space Agency will launch a satellite called EarthCARE to observe clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere tonight. Here's how to watch the launch.
This image is released as part of the Early Release Observations from ESA’s Euclid space mission. All data from these initial observations are made public on 23 May 2024 – including a handful of unprecedented new views of the nearby Universe, this being one. This breathtaking image features Messier 78 (the central and brightest region), a vibrant nursery of star formation enveloped in a shroud of interstellar dust. This image is unprecedented – it is the first shot of this young star-forming region at this width and depth.

Euclid space telescope captures stunning images of far-off galaxies

New images from the European Space Agency's Euclid telescope show a range of cosmic objects, from bustling stellar nurseries to enormous galaxy clusters.
TOI-1798, a system that is home to two planets. The inner planet is a strange Super-Earth so close to its star, one year on this alien world lasts only half an Earth day.

Exoplanet catalog details over 100 worlds beyond our solar system

A new catalog of exoplanets from two telescopes shows the incredible variety of planets that exist beyond our solar system.
This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Psyche spacecraft headed to the metal-rich asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft launched in October 2023 and will arrive at its destination in 2029.

Why the Psyche spacecraft’s futuristic electric thrusters glow blue

NASA's Psyche mission is on its way to visit a metal asteroid between Mars and Jupiter, and it recently kicked on its new blue-glowing electric thrusters.
Gliese 12 b, which orbits a cool, red dwarf star located just 40 light-years away, promises to tell astronomers more about how planets close to their stars retain or lose their atmospheres. In this artist’s concept, Gliese 12 b is shown retaining a thin atmosphere.

Astronomers discover rare ‘exo-Venus’ just 40 light-years away

Astronomers have discovered a rare type of planet called an exo-Venus with a similar temperature to Earth, located in our cosmic back yard.
Boeing's Starliner spacecraft at the space station during an uncrewed test flight.

First crewed test flight of Boeing Starliner delayed again, with no new launch date set

NASA had been hoping to perform the first crewed launch of the troubled Boeing Starliner capsule this weekend, but now the launch has once again been delayed.
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a triple-star star system.

Hubble catches a baby star pulsating in a triple star system

A gorgeous new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a triple star system, including HP Tau, that's less than 10 million years old.
NS-25 astronauts during training at Launch Site One. (May 18, 2024)

First Black astronaut candidate finally reaches space at age 90

NASA's first Black astronaut candidate, Ed Dwight, was selected for training in 1961 but never got the chance to travel to space -- until now.
Jupiter’s moon Europa was captured by the JunoCam instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft during the mission’s close flyby on Sept. 29, 2022. The images show the fractures, ridges, and bands that crisscross the moon’s surface.

Stunning images of Jupiter’s moon Europa show it has a floating icy shell

NASA's Juno mission has imaged Jupiter's intriguing moon Europa, a top target of habitability research due to its liquid water ocean beneath a thick icy crust.
An artist's impression of the Rosalind Franklin rover on Mars.

NASA to help with the launch of Europe’s unlucky Mars rover

Europe's unlucky Mars rover, known as Rosalind Franklin, has gotten a boost thanks to a new cooperation agreement with NASA.
A coronal aurora appeared over southwestern British Columbia on May 10, 2024.

How your aurora photographs are helping NASA study solar storms

The most dramatic solar storm in decades wasn't only notable for the gorgeous colors seen in the sky -- it's also a way for scientists to learn about the sun.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash toward the middle of the image – on May 10, 2024. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in gold.

Extreme solar storms create gorgeous views of auroras across the planet

The sun has been unusually active this week, leading to stunning views of auroras across Europe and parts of the U.S. this weekend.
This cloudy, ominous structure is CG 4, a cometary globule nicknamed ‘God’s Hand’. CG 4 is one of many cometary globules present within the Milky Way, and how these objects get their distinct form is still a matter of debate among astronomers. This image was captured by the Department of Energy-fabricated Dark Energy Camera on the U.S. National Science Foundation Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a Program of NSF NOIRLab. In it, the features that classify CG 4 as a cometary globule are hard to miss. Its dusty head and long, faint tail vaguely resemble the appearance of a comet, though they have nothing in common. Astronomers theorize that cometary globules get their structure from the stellar winds of nearby hot, massive stars.

Dark Energy Camera captures the gorgeous ‘God’s Hand’ globule

A stunning new image from the Dark Energy Camera shows an unusually shaped structure in the Gum Nebula called a cometary globule.
This artist’s concept shows what the exoplanet 55 Cancri e could look like. Also called Janssen, 55 Cancri e is a so-called super-Earth, a rocky planet significantly larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, which orbits its star at a distance of only 2.25 million kilometres (0.015 astronomical units), completing one full orbit in less than 18 hours. In comparison, Mercury is 25 times farther from the Sun than 55 Cancri e is from its star. The system, which also includes four large gas-giant planets, is located about 41 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cancer.

James Webb telescope peers at the atmosphere of a rocky hell world

The James Webb Space Telescope recently investigated an exoplanet that could have the first atmosphere of a rocky planet discovered outside the solar system.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

First crewed launch of Boeing Starliner rescheduled to later this week

Following the last-minute scrub of the first crewed test flight of the Boeing Starliner, NASA will make another launch attempt on May 10 at the earliest.
A graphic displaying Boeing’s spacesuit for Starliner astronauts.

Here are the new spacesuits astronauts will wear for tonight’s Starliner launch

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams have been suiting up in new spacesuits ahead of the first crewed Boeing Starliner test flight tonight.
The Orion crew module for NASA’s Artemis II mission.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has ‘critical issues’ with its heat shield, report finds

NASA intends to use its Orion capsule to send astronauts to the moon, but a report has found that issues with the capsule's heat shield could be a safety risk.
Image of a piece of space debris seen from Astroscale's ADRAS-J satellite.

Japanese satellite chases down space junk

A satellite from Japanese company Astroscale has taken an up-close image of a piece of space debris it has been chasing down.
This mosaic is made up of more than 100 images captured by NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter, which operated around Mars from 1976 to 1980. The scar across the center of the planet is the vast Valles Marineris canyon system.

NASA selects 9 companies to work on low-cost Mars projects

NASA is expanding its plans for Mars, looking at not only a mission to bring back a sample but also smaller, lower-cost missions to enable exploration.
This artist’s concept shows what the hot gas-giant exoplanet WASP-43 b could look like. WASP-43 b is a Jupiter-sized planet circling a star roughly 280 light-years away, in the constellation Sextans. The planet orbits at a distance of about 1.3 million miles (0.014 astronomical units, or AU), completing one circuit in about 19.5 hours. Because it is so close to its star, WASP-43 b is probably tidally locked: its rotation rate and orbital period are the same, such that one side faces the star at all times.

James Webb observes extremely hot exoplanet with 5,000 mph winds

Astronomers using the James Webb telescope have modeled the weather on a distant exoplanet, revealing winds whipping around at speeds of 5,000 miles per hour.