Bizarre alignment of planetary nebulae

Astronomers have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's New Technology Telescope to explore more than 100 planetary nebulae in the central bulge of our galaxy. They have found that butterfly-shaped members of this cosmic family tend to be mysteriously aligned — a surprising result given their different histories and varied properties.

Catching black holes on the fly

NASA's black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has "bagged" its first 10 supermassive black holes. The mission, which has a mast the length of a school bus, is the first telescope capable of focusing the highest-energy X-ray light into detailed pictures.

NASA evaluates four candidate sites for 2016 Mars Mission

NASA has narrowed to four the number of potential landing sites for the agency's next mission to the surface of Mars, a 2016 lander to study the planet's interior. The stationary Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars six months later.

Cassini observes Saturn storm's explosive power

A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet -- has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence.

Milky Way gas cloud causes multiple images of distant quasar

For the first time, astronomers have seen the image of a distant quasar split into multiple images by the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Such events were predicted as early as 1970, but the first evidence for one now has come from the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope system.

NASA’s Hubble spots a cosmic caterpillar

This light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. But the meat of the story is not only what this cosmic caterpillar eats for lunch, but also what's eating it. Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this "wanna-be" star and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape.

NASA says Saturn moon may have rigid ice shell

An analysis of gravity and topography data from the Saturnian moon Titan obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggests there could be something unexpected about the moon's outer ice shell.

Scientist says we may all be Martians

New evidence has purportedly emerged which supports the long-debated theory that life on Earth may have started on Mars.

NASA's space laser to prove increased broadband possible

When NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) begins operation aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., it will attempt to show two-way laser communication beyond Earth is possible, expanding the possibility of transmitting huge amounts of data.

NASA tests limits of 3D printing with powerful rocket engine check

The largest 3-D printed rocket engine component NASA ever has tested blazed to life Thursday, Aug. 22 during an engine firing that generated a record 20,000 pounds of thrust.

NASA to crash test helicopter to study safety

Anybody who says NASA researchers don't know how to have a smashing good time has not met a team at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. They are test engineers whose job it is to make aircraft safer by crashing them.

Chelyabinsk meteorite had previous collision or near miss

The Chelyabinsk meteorite either collided with another body in the solar system or came too close to the Sun before it fell to Earth, according to research announced today (Tuesday 27th August) at the Goldschmidt conference in Florence.

NASA's Spitzer Telescope celebrates 10 years in space

Ten years after a Delta II rocket launched NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, lighting up the night sky over Cape Canaveral, Fla., the fourth of the agency's four Great Observatories continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.

Asteroid zips By Orion Nebula

This image shows the potentially hazardous near-Earth object 1998 KN3 as it zips past a cloud of dense gas and dust near the Orion nebula.

Astronomers take sharpest photos ever of the night sky

Astronomers at the University of Arizona, the Arcetri Observatory near Florence, Italy and the Carnegie Observatory have developed a new type of camera that allows scientists to take sharper images of the night sky than ever before.

NASA releases new asteroid mission images

NASA has released new photos and video animations depicting the agency's planned mission to find, capture, redirect, and study a near-Earth asteroid. The images depict crew operations including the Orion spacecraft's trip to and rendezvous with the relocated asteroid, as well as astronauts maneuvering through a spacewalk to collect samples from the asteroid.

NASA's Fermi celebrates 5 years in space, kicks off extended mission

During its five-year primary mission, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has given astronomers an increasingly detailed portrait of the universe's most extraordinary phenomena, from giant black holes in the hearts of distant galaxies to thunderstorms on Earth.

NASA's Cassini sees Earth waving at Saturn

People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA's Cassini mission on July 19 -- the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a collage from those images which is available here. 

ALMA observes the drama of starbirth

Young stars are violent objects that eject material at speeds as high as one million kilometres per hour. When this material crashes into the surrounding gas it glows, creating a Herbig-Haro object.

Will Mars declare independence from Earth?

If China or the US colonized Mars, would its inhabitants eventually declare independence from Earth?