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Latest by G. Torbet

An illustration shows a rocket tossed in the air from the surface of Mars and igniting.

NASA’s wild plan to launch a rocket from Mars is ‘like something from an amusement park’

How do you launch a rocket from Mars? NASA's jaw-dropping plan involves pitching it in the air and igniting it aloft.
An artist's concept of the Lucy Mission.

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will soon make its first flyby of an asteroid

The Lucy spacecraft is on its way to the orbit of Jupiter to study the Trojan asteroids there. But first it will make a flyby of an asteroid called Dinkinesh.
Two NASA personnel carry a container holding the sample gathered from the Bennu asteroid.

NASA mission collected at least 70 grams of material from asteroid Bennu

NASA has collected at least 70 grams of material from asteroid Bennu in its first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx.
Orionid meteors appear every year when Earth travels through an area of space littered with debris from Halley’s Comet.

How to watch the Orionid meteor shower tonight, in person or online

The Orionid meteor shower will peak tonight, Saturday October 21. Here's how to watch.
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with the Psyche spacecraft onboard is launched from Launch Complex 39A, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s Psyche mission launches to explore a metal asteroid

NASA has successfully launched its Psyche spacecraft on a mission to visit a metal asteroid.
ESA's star-surveying Gaia mission has released a treasure trove of new data as part of its ‘focused product release’. As part of this data release Gaia explored Omega Centauri, the largest globular cluster that can be seen from Earth and a great example of a ‘typical’ cluster.

Gaia discovers half a million new stars in the epic Omega Centauri cluster

This week saw the release of a treasure trove of data from ESA's Gaia mission, a space-based observatory that is mapping out the Milky Way in three dimensions.
The flight transceiver for NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications technology demonstration can be identified by its large tube-like sunshade on the Psyche spacecraft, seen here inside a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Meet the new NASA communications system that’s hitching a ride in today’s Psyche launch

The launch of NASA's Psyche mission to visit a metal asteroid will include an extra bonus, as the spacecraft will carry a test of a new communications system.
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with the Psyche spacecraft onboard is seen at sunset at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. Psyche is targeted to launch from the Florida spaceport at 10:19 a.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 13.

Weather conditions are looking good for today’s Psyche launch

After postponing from its original launch date due to bad weather, the conditions are now looking favorable for NASA to launch its Psyche mission today.
Two NASA personnel carry a container holding the sample gathered from the Bennu asteroid.

Measure twice, laser once. Meet the scientists prodding NASA’s first asteroid sample

Now that NASA has wrangled a chunk of asteroid back to Earth, a team of scientists is busy photographing, crushing, and even shooting lasers at the dust.
annular solar eclipse 2023 livestream m17 092 1

How to watch the annular solar eclipse this week, in person or online

This week, skywatchers across the U.S. will have the chance to see an annular solar eclipse, also known as a ring of fire eclipse. Here's how to watch.
This new infrared image of NGC 346 from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) traces emission from cool gas and dust. In this image blue represents silicates and sooty chemical molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. More diffuse red emission shines from warm dust heated by the brightest and most massive stars in the heart of the region. Bright patches and filaments mark areas with abundant numbers of protostars. This image includes 7.7-micron light shown in blue, 10 microns in cyan, 11.3 microns in green, 15 microns in yellow, and 21 microns in red (770W, 1000W, 1130W, 1500W, and 2100W filters, respectively).

James Webb captures a gorgeous stellar nursery in nearby dwarf galaxy

A gorgeous new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows a stunning sight from one of our galactic neighbors.
(June 9, 2023) — NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg rides the Canadarm2 robotic arm while maneuvering a roll-out solar array toward the International Space Station’s truss structure 257 miles above the Pacific Ocean. In the rear, is the SpaceX Dragon crew vehicle that docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on March 3 carrying four SpaceX Crew-6 crew members.

How to watch two astronauts spacewalk to check the ISS for microbes

Two astronauts will perform a spacewalk from the International Space Station, collecting samples from the station's exterior to use in scientific research.
An artist’s concept of one of the brightest explosions ever seen in space.

Hubble observes mysterious bright explosion in the middle of nowhere

The Hubble Space Telescope recently observed something strange: an extremely bright, extremely fast flash of light that popped up in the middle of nowhere.
This artist's-concept illustration depicts the spacecraft of NASA's Psyche mission near the mission's target, the metal asteroid Psyche.

How to watch NASA’s Psyche mission launch to a metal asteroid this week

NASA will launch its latest mission, Psyche, this week. The spacecraft will visit a strange asteroid which is thought to be made almost entirely of metal.
Dust blankets the solar panels of the Mars Insight lander, shortly before its demise.

How one NASA lander decoded secrets lying beneath the surface of Mars

Using new instruments and clever science, the Mars Insight lander left us with incredible new insight into the belly of the red planet.
Artist's impression of the Euclid mission in space.

Euclid’s navigation problems have been fixed with new software upload

A software fix has been uploaded to the Euclid space telescope, and its navigation system is now working as intended.
A short-wavelength NIRCam mosaic of the inner Orion Nebula and Trapezium Cluster.

Zoom into an incredibly detailed James Webb image of the Orion nebula

A new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the majesty of the gorgeous Orion nebula in tremendous detail.
The symmetrical, onion-like layers of shell galaxy NGC 3923 are showcased in this galaxy-rich image taken by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Dark Energy Camera mounted on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. A nearby, massive galaxy cluster is also captured exhibiting the phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

A galaxy with layers like an onion shines in Dark Energy Camera image

A new image taken by the Dark Energy Camera shows a galactic onion, a shell galaxy with multiple layers that are spread out over 150,000 light-years.
mars 2020 perseverance rover

Perseverance rover catches footage of a dust devil on Mars

Many weather events we experience on Earth can be found on other planets too, including whirlwinds, and the Perseverance rover recently captured footage of one.
Tthis image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features a glistening scene in red. It reveals a small regio

Hubble snaps an autumnal nebula glowing orange from young, hot stars

A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a nebula in the gorgeous colors of autumn, just in time for leaf-changing season.
Graphic rendering of the Euclipd space telescope.

Dark matter hunting telescope Euclid has a problem with its guidance system

The Euclid space telescope, launched in July this year to investigate the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, has run into issues during commissioning.
The Cygnus Loop nebula forms a bubble-like shape that is about 120 light-years in diameter.

Hubble investigates the gorgeous remnants of a supernova

Scientists are using data from Hubble data of the famous Cygnus Loop supernova remnant to study how these remnants change over time.
This artist's rendering shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu using a mechanical arm to touch the asteroid's surface.

OSIRIS-REx mission returns asteroid sample to Earth in NASA first

The OSIRIS-REx mission released its capsule containing a sample taken from the asteroid Bennu early this morning, and it landed in the Utah desert.
NASA astronaut and Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio poses for a portrait while working inside the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory module.

How to watch record-setting NASA astronaut return to Earth this week

This Wednesday, record-breaking NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will return to Earth from the International Space Station. Here's how to watch.
This artist’s concept shows NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface.

Here’s the first image of OSIRIS-REx as it approaches Earth with asteroid sample

This weekend will see the landing of NASA's first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx, and telescopes on the ground have been able to track it.
Webb’s NIRCam (Near Infrared Camera) captured a picture of the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

James Webb spots carbon dioxide on Europa, supporting theory of habitability

Europa is one of the most likely places in the solar system to support life beyond Earth, and now new findings could make that possibility more likely.
Shrouded in permanent darkness, the interior of Shackleton crater near the moon’s south pole is revealed in this stunning mosaic. The crater itself was captured by ShadowCam, a NASA instrument designed to peer into the shadowy parts of the lunar surface that has been orbiting the moon for almost a year on the South Korean spacecraft Danuri. The surrounding areas were imaged by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Portions of three of the 13 potential landing regions for astronauts during Artemis III can be seen in this image.

Here’s where NASA will land astronauts on the moon

A new image of the moon's far side shows the region selected for the landing of NASA's Artemis III mission, which aims to return humans to the lunar surface.
An illustration shows a spacecraft from NASA's DART mission approaching the asteroid it was intended to redirect.

Is that asteroid a problem? Meet the planetary defense squad that decides

Earth is surrounded by potential threats like asteroids and comets, but a team of NASA scientists is always on the lookout.
Combined observations from NASA’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and Hubble’s WFC3 (Wide Field Camera 3) show spiral galaxy NGC 5584, which resides 72 million light-years away from Earth. Among NGC 5584’s glowing stars are pulsating stars called Cepheid variables and Type Ia supernova, a special class of exploding stars. Astronomers use Cepheid variables and Type Ia supernovae as reliable distance markers to measure the universe’s expansion rate.

New James Webb data shows that the crisis in cosmology persists

In the last few decades, one big question has created a crisis in the field of cosmology: How fast is the universe expanding?
Galactic Center X-ray

Five new images from Chandra reveal cosmic objects in X-ray wavelength

A series of five new images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory show the beauty of space as seen in the X-ray wavelength.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s high resolution, near-infrared look at Herbig-Haro 211 reveals exquisite detail of the outflow of a young star, an infantile analogue of our Sun. Herbig-Haro objects are formed when stellar winds or jets of gas spewing from newborn stars form shock waves colliding with nearby gas and dust at high speeds.

James Webb captures the stunning outflows from an infant star

A gorgeous new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows a dramatic sight created by the outbursts of energy coming from a very young star.
Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe.

Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe work together on a puzzle about our sun

The sun's corona, or its outer atmosphere, is hundreds of times hotter than its surface, and it's still not clear exactly what that should be the case.
This illustration shows what exoplanet K2-18 b could look like based on science data. K2-18 b, an exoplanet 8.6 times as massive as Earth, orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18 in the habitable zone and lies 120 light years from Earth.

James Webb sees evidence of an ocean-covered ‘Hycean’ exoplanet

James Webb has once again peered into the atmosphere of an exoplanet, and this time it has identified indications that the planet could be covered in ocean.
This bottom up view shows the Soyuz MS-24 rocket’s first stage boosters as the spacecraft stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

How to watch three astronauts launch to the ISS on Friday

On Friday, September 15, a crew of three astronauts will be launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket headed for the International Space Station. Here's how to watch.