Satellite swarm could blast away asteroids

Scottish engineers have come up with a new way of dealing with asteroids that threaten the Earth - firing lasers at them from a swarm of small satellites flying in formation.

Jupiter boosts drama of Earth's meteor displays

We've got Jupiter to thank for the spectacular meteor showers associated with Halley's comet, says an Armagh Observatory astronomer.

Runaway planets hurtling through universe

Runaway planets could be hurtling through space at up to 30 million miles an hour, torn from their suns by a black hole.

European space freighter launched successfully

Europe's launched its heaviest-ever cargo to the International Space Station, carrying food, water, air and fuel, as well as experiments and spares.

The sand dunes of Mars



A unique, previously unseen landform could potentially provide scientists with a window into the geological history of Mars.



Dawn probe spots unusual features on giant asteroid

Scientists studying images of the giant asteroid Vesta are working to explain the existence of a number of bright spots.

Astronomers spot 'emerald-cut' galaxy

Astronomers have discovered a weird rectangular galaxy within a group of 250 galaxies some 70 million light years away.

The mystery of Mercury’s core

The MESSENGER spacecraft recently completed its study of the planet Mercury which it orbited for one Earth-year.

Life on 'habitable' exoplanet probably couldn't spread

Any life on the 'super-Earth' Gliese 581-d is unlikely to make it off the planet and onto others within its solar system.

Swift satellite throws light on origins of supernovae

X-ray and ultraviolet observations from NASA's Swift satellite have given new infoprmation about the origins of Type Ia supernovae.

The volcanoes of Io

A team of US scientists has managed to formulate the first complete global geologic map of Io, the innermost of Jupiter's largest moons. 


Cosmic rays alter chemistry of lunar ice

A bombardment of cosmic rays on the moon's surface could be creating  complex carbon chains similar to those that form the foundations of biological life.

The planetary pileups of popular solar system orbits

Some orbits are apparently more popular than others in young solar systems emerging around baby stars - which often results in "planet pileups" and "planet deserts."

Soon-to-be record-breaking skydiver makes test jump

Everything is set for daredevil Felix Baumgartner to set a world record that has stood for more than 50 years.

Date set for first private flight to ISS

The first docking of a commercial spaceship with the International Space Station could take place as early as next May.

Early Earth had periodic organic haze

The early Earth flipped back and forth between a hydrocarbon-free atmosphere and a hydrocarbon-rich one similar to that of Saturn's moon, Titan.

The glittering stars of Messier 9

Messier 9 can best be described as a globular cluster, a roughly spherical swarm of stars that lies approximately 25,000 light-years from Earth.

Asteroid near miss expected next year

A newly discovered asteroid will come so close to Earth next year that it actually passes below many man-made satellites.

DARPA seeks fleet of disposable spy satellites

The Pentagon's calling for proposals for a fleet of cheap, disposable satellites to give soldiers access to battlefield maps and images.

Quasars found acting as gravitational lenses

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found several  quasars acting as gravitational lenses, making it easier to study the galaxies in which they're contained.