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Latest by G. Torbet

SpaceX's Starship spacecraft during a test in June 2023.

SpaceX Starship grounded by FAA until 63 fixes are made

The FAA has completed its investigation in the explosive test flight of the Starship in April and made a list of 63 corrective steps required before it can fly.
A team of legged rovers explores a rugged surface.

This team of legged robots could be the future of Mars exploration

We've sent wheeled rovers and even helicopters to Mars, but to explore its hidden depths, it will take robotic legwork.
Aditya-L1 ready for launch.

India will launch its first solar probe, Aditya-L1, this weekend

Following the success of its historic recent moon landing, India's space agency is launching its first solar probe this weekend.
Expedition 69 Flight Engineers (from left) Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos and Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, both from NASA, are pictured in the SpaceX pressure suits they will wear when they return to Earth aboard the company’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft in September.

How to watch the Crew-6 astronauts return to Earth this weekend

Following a six month stay in space, four astronauts are readying to return home from the International Space Station this Sunday. Here's how to watch.
Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) captured this detailed image of SN 1987A (Supernova 1987A). At the center, material ejected from the supernova forms a keyhole shape. Just to its left and right are faint crescents newly discovered by Webb. Beyond them an equatorial ring, formed from material ejected tens of thousands of years before the supernova explosion, contains bright hot spots. Exterior to that is diffuse emission and two faint outer rings. In this image blue represents light at 1.5 microns (F150W), cyan 1.64 and 2.0 microns (F164N, F200W), yellow 3.23 microns (F323N), orange 4.05 microns (F405N), and red 4.44 microns (F444W).

James Webb telescope captures stunning view of a famous supernova remnant

The James Webb Space Telescope has provided one of the most detailed views yet of the stunning supernova remnant SN 1987A, created from a destructive explosion.
The graceful winding arms of the grand-design spiral galaxy M51 stretch across this image from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. Unlike the menagerie of weird and wonderful spiral galaxies with ragged or disrupted spiral arms, grand-design spiral galaxies boast prominent, well-developed spiral arms like the ones showcased in this image. This galactic portrait is a composite image that integrates data from Webb’s Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI).

James Webb captures the magnificent Whirlpool Galaxy in two wavelengths

A new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the Whirlpool Galaxy, a galaxy so picturesque it is designated a grand-design spiral galaxy.
Moonrise over the Syr Darya river in Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Nov. 13, 2016.

Tonight is your chance to observe a rare blue supermoon

Just in time for the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, tonight will see a rare astronomical phenomenon called a blue supermoon.
Artist's illustration of TEMPO.

Pollution-tracking NASA satellite shares its first images of air quality

NASA has shared the first images from it's air pollution tracking satellite, TEMPO, which measures pollution by observing wavelengths of light.
Neptune observed with the MUSE instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

Neptune has a dark spot of its own, and it has been imaged from Earth

Jupiter isn't the only planet with a giant spot - Neptune has one too.
The galaxy ESO 300-16 looms over this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble captures a sparkling cloud galaxy located right next door

An image from the Hubble Space Telescope shared this week by NASA shows a nearby galaxy to us, ESO 300-16.
A rocket is launched to the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crew-7 astronauts launch on mission to the International Space Station

At 3:27 a.m. today, Saturday August 26, four astronauts of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission launched on a journey to the International Space Station .
xrism launch livestream artist impression of pillars 1

How to watch the XRISM X-ray mission launch on Sunday

On Sunday, August 27, a joint European and Japanese X-ray mission called XRISM will launch to uncover the mysteries of the high-energy universe.
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured this video of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's 54th flight on Aug. 3, 2023. After performing a preflight "wiggle check" with its rotors, the helicopter takes off, hovers at an altitude of 16 feet (5 meters), and rotates to the left, before touching back down. The mission conducted the short pop-up flight to check Ingenuity's navigation system.

See Ingenuity helicopter take to the air in video captured by Perseverance rover

NASA has released a video taken by the Perseverance rover on Mars showing its companion, the helicopter Ingenuity, in flight.
A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the Luna-25 mission.

Russian spacecraft crashes into the moon, ending lunar landing hopes

A Russian spacecraft has crashed into the moon. The plan had been for the Luna-25 spacecraft to land on the moon's surface in the area around the south pole.
Chandrayaan-3 Mission: View from the Lander Imager (LI) Camera-1 on August 17, 2023 just after the separation of the Lander Module from the Propulsion Module.

Indian spacecraft snaps images of the moon’s surface ahead of landing attempt

An Indian spacecraft which is approaching the moon's south pole recently snapped images of the lunar surface.
neptune moons dance avoidance

Clouds on Neptune might be created by the sun, strangely enough

Researchers used Hubble to observe Neptune's clouds to investigate a mystery: why sometimes the planet had plentiful clouds and at other times had barely any.
The lenticular galaxy NGC 6684 bathes this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in a pale light. Captured with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, this galaxy is around 44 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pavo. Pavo – the Latin name for peacock – is a constellation in the southern sky and one of four constellations collectively known as the Southern Birds.

Hubble images our ghostly neighborhood galaxy NGC 6684

A program called Every Known Nearby Galaxy is using Hubble to observe every galaxy located within 10 megaparsecs of Earth that has not yet been imaged.
Artist conception of the system, where the smaller star induces breaking surface waves in the more massive companion.

Wild ‘heartbreak’ star has waves three times the height of the sun

An enormous new type of star that researchers are calling a heartbreak star has waves on its surface that are three time the size of our sun.
Artist’s impression of the planet Beta Pictoris b orbiting its star.

Watch a video of an exoplanet orbiting its star — made from 17 years of observations

Astronomers have created a video of an exoplanet called Beta Pictoris b, located 63 light-years away in the constellation Pictor, orbiting its star.
This annotated artist’s concept of NASA’s InSight lander on Mars points out the antennas on the spacecraft’s deck.

Mars is spinning faster every year and no one knows exactly why

The InSight lander mission ended last year, but its data reveals some surprises about Mars, including the fact that the planet is rotating faster every year.
A bright Perseid meteor streaked down on August 7, 2010, over buildings at the Stellafane amateur astronomy convention in Springfield, Vermont.

How to watch the 2023 Perseid meteor shower this weekend

This weekend sees the opportunity to catch the best meteor shower of the year, as the Earth passes through a cloud of debris from a comet called Swift–Tuttle.
A massive galaxy cluster called WHL0137-08 contains the most strongly magnified galaxy known in the universe’s first billion years: the Sunrise Arc, and within that galaxy, the most distant star ever detected, nicknamed Earendel.

James Webb captures image of the most distant star ever discovered

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the most distant star ever discovered, named Earendel.
An illustration shows how NASA's Habitable Worlds Observatory would measure the atmosphere of distant planets.

What comes after Webb? NASA’s next-generation planet-hunting telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope only launched recently, but scientists are already plotting a planet-hunting telescope that will help find worlds like our own.
JWST/NIRcam composite image of the Ring Nebula. The images clearly show the main ring, surrounded by a faint halo and with many delicate structures. The interior of the ring is filled with hot gas. The star which ejected all this material is visible at the very centre. It is extremely hot, with a temperature in excess of 100,000 degrees. The nebula was ejected only about 4000 years ago. Technical details: The image was obtained with JWST's NIRCam instrument on August 4, 2022. Images in three different filters were combined to create this composite image: F212N (blue); F300M (green); and F335M (red).

James Webb telescope captures the gorgeous Ring Nebula in stunning detail

A new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the stunning Ring Nebula -- a gorgeous structure of dust and gas located in the constellation of Lyra.
The irregular galaxy NGC 6822.

See how James Webb instruments work together to create stunning views of space

New images from the James Webb Space Telescope show incredible views of the dusty galaxy NGC 6822 - and the different views captured by Webb instruments.
Curiosity Rover

Curiosity rover battles up a 23-degree slope in its exploration of Mars

The Curiosity rover is slowing making its way up Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall mountain on Mars. But heaving up a mountain can be tricky for a little rover.
A coronal mass ejection as seen by SOHO on 28 October 2021. This event is an example of a rare ‘ground level enhancement’. During these events, particles from the Sun are energetic enough to pass through the magnetic bubble that surrounds Earth and protects us from less energetic solar outbursts. This was only the 73rd ground level enhancement since records began in the 1940s, and none have been recorded since.

A solar eruption was detected on Earth, the moon, and even Mars

Scientists recently reported on a solar event that was detectable not only on Earth, but also on the moon and Mars.
Webb’s infrared image of the galaxy cluster El Gordo (“the Fat One”) reveals hundreds of galaxies, some never before seen at this level of detail. El Gordo acts as a gravitational lens, distorting and magnifying the light from distant background galaxies. Two of the most prominent features in the image include the Thin One, located just below and left of the image center, and the Fishhook, a red swoosh at upper right. Both are lensed background galaxies.

James Webb image shows the majesty of the most massive known galaxy cluster

A recent image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the most massive galaxy cluster we know of, one so large that it is nicknamed El Gordo, or the fat one.
Euclid’s Near-Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument is dedicated to measuring the amount of light that galaxies emit at each wavelength. It will image the sky in infrared light (900–2000 nm) to measuring the brightness and intensity of light. This image was taken during commissioning of Euclid to check that the focused instrument worked as expected. This is a raw image taken using NISP’s ‘Y’ filter. Because it is largely unprocessed, some unwanted artefacts remain – for example the cosmic rays that shoot straight across, seen especially in the VIS image. The Euclid Consortium will ultimately turn the longer-exposed survey observations into science-ready images that are artefact-free, more detailed, and razor sharp.

See the incredible first images taken by the dark matter-hunting Euclid telescope

The recently-launched Euclid space telescope just took some of its first images, giving a taste of what is to come from this dark matter investigation tool.
The spiral galaxy NGC 1532, also known as Haley’s Coronet, is caught in a lopsided tug of war with its smaller neighbor, the dwarf galaxy NGC 1531. The 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 — captures the mutual gravitational influences of a massive- and dwarf-galaxy merger.

Spiral galaxy caught in the act as it’s about to eat its dwarf galaxy neighbor

An image from the Dark Energy Camera shows an act of galactic cannibalism, with a spiral galaxy devouring a nearby dwarf galaxy that wandered into its path.
This artist's illustration shows a planet (dark silhouette) passing in front of the red dwarf star AU Microscopii.

Hubble watches an extreme exoplanet being stripped by its star

A Neptune-sized planet orbits close enough to its star that it is bombarded by dramatic flares which cook the planet with radiation and strip its atmosphere.
A high-resolution image of a tightly bound pair of actively forming stars, known as Herbig-Haro 46/47, in near-infrared light.

James Webb captures vast structure created by newborn stars

Newborn stars are often active and glow brightly, but on rare occasions they create something epic: a vast two-lobed structure called a Herbig-Haro object.
The tranquil spiral galaxy UGC 12295.

Hubble observes a galaxy that hosted an epic supernova explosion

This week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a stunning view of a spiral galaxy called UGC 12295, located nearly 200 million light-years away.
The ESA' Euclid telescope has a mission to map the dark matter in the universe.

Euclid dark matter telescope arrives at its destination orbit

The Euclid space telescope has arrived at its orbit around the sun, where it joins the James Webb Space Telescope and the Gaia space telescope.