News From Space

Astronomers from the University of Warwick have observed an exoplanet orbiting a star in just over 18 hours, the shortest orbital period ever observed for a planet of its type. It means that a single year for this hot Jupiter — a gas giant similar in size and composition to Jupiter in our own solar system — passes […]
With the launch period for NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover opening in just a few months, the six-wheeler is reaching significant pre-launch milestones almost daily at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rover had some components removed prior to being shipped from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to the Cape in […]
Eight and a half years into its grand tour of the solar system, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft was ready for another encounter. It was January 24, 1986, and soon it would meet the mysterious seventh planet, icy-cold Uranus. Over the next few hours, Voyager 2 flew within 81,433 kilometers (50,600 miles) of Uranus’ cloud tops, collecting data that revealed 2 […]
REXIS, a shoebox-sized student instrument, was designed to measure the X-rays that Bennu emits in response to incoming solar radiation. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, like visible light, but with much higher energy. REXIS is a collaborative experiment led by students and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, […]
Scientists at the University of California Riverside (UCR) have devised new analytical tools to break down the enigmatic history of Mars’ atmosphere — and whether life was once possible there. A paper detailing the work was published in late February in the journal Science Advances. It could help astrobiologists understand the alkalinity, pH, and nitrogen content […]
On the farside of the Moon, China’s Chang’e-4 lander and Yutu-2 rover have resumed work for the 15th lunar day after “sleeping” during the extremely cold night. According to the Xinhua News Agency the lander woke up at 6:57 a.m. Tuesday, February 18 (Beijing time), and the rover at 5:55 p.m. Monday, February 17. Reportedly, both were in normal […]
Using the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) instrument, a team of scientists — including University of California Irvine (UCI) astronomer Paul Robertson — has confirmed that an object previously detected by the Kepler space telescope is an exoplanet, a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. The team’s findings were published recently in The Astronomical Journal. […]
A new understanding of Mars is beginning to emerge, thanks to the first year of NASA’s InSight lander mission. Findings described in a set of six papers published on February 24 reveal a planet alive with quakes, dust devils, and strange magnetic pulses. Five of the papers were published in Nature. An additional paper in Nature […]
NASA has selected a new mission to study how the Sun generates and releases giant space weather storms — known as solar particle storms — into planetary space. Not only will such information improve understanding of how our solar system works, but it ultimately can help protect astronauts traveling to the Moon and Mars by providing better […]
After more than 16 years studying the universe in infrared light, revealing new wonders in our solar system, our galaxy, and beyond, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope’s mission has come to an end. Mission engineers confirmed at 2:30 p.m. U.S. Pacific Standard Time (5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) Thursday the spacecraft was placed in safe mode, ceasing all science […]