Early universe "warmed up" later than previously believed

A new study from Tel Aviv University reveals that black holes, formed from the first stars in our universe, heated the gas throughout space later than previously thought. They also imprinted a clear signature in radio waves which astronomers can now search for. The work is a major new finding about the origins of the universe.

Kepler finds a very wobbly planet

Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.

NASA's Mars Rover eyes possible westward route

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover reached the edge of a dune on Jan. 30 and photographed the valley on the other side, to aid assessment of whether to cross the dune.

Searching space dust for life's ingredients

While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life. Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life.

ExoMars orbiter core module completed

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter module consisting of the spacecraft structure, thermal control and propulsion systems was handed over by OHB System to Thales Alenia Space France at a ceremony held in Bremen, Germany, today.

Getting ready for asteroids

With a mandate from the UN, ESA and other space agencies from around the world are about to establish a high-level group to help coordinate global response should a threatening asteroid ever be found heading towards Earth.

Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts

Fruit flies bred in space are offering scientists a clue as to how astronauts' immune systems may be damaged during prolonged space travel.

Asteroid diversity points to a "snow globe" solar system

Our solar system seems like a neat and orderly place, with small, rocky worlds near the Sun and big, gaseous worlds farther out, all eight planets following orbital paths unchanged since they formed.

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover checks for smoother route

The team operating NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is considering a path across a small sand dune to reach a favorable route to science destinations. A favorable route would skirt some terrain with sharp rocks considered more likely to poke holes in the rover's aluminum wheels.

Where the wild stars are

A storm of stars is brewing in the Trifid nebula, as seen in this view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The stellar nursery, where baby stars are bursting into being, is the yellow-and-orange object dominating the picture. Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut a cavity into three sections, hence the name Trifid nebula.

Rogue asteroids may be the norm

To get an idea of how the early solar system may have formed, scientists often look to asteroids. These relics of rock and dust represent what today's planets may have been before they differentiated into bodies of core, mantle, and crust.

Universe's early galaxies grew massive through collisions

It has long puzzled scientists that there were enormously massive galaxies that were already old and no longer forming new stars in the very early universe, approx. 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

First weather map of brown dwarf

ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team has made a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is informally known as Luhman 16B and is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs forming a pair only six light-years from the Sun.

Space droids battle to save Earth from comet

A comet heading towards Earth threatens humanity’s existence – that was the virtual scenario of this year’s Zero Robotics tournament. Secondary-school students from across Europe controlled miniature satellites on the International Space Station in a competition to save our planet.

NASA spacecraft take aim at nearby supernova

An exceptionally close stellar explosion discovered on Jan. 21 has become the focus of observatories around and above the globe, including several NASA spacecraft. The blast, designated SN 2014J, occurred in the galaxy M82 and lies only about 12 million light-years away.

10 years on Mars leads to liveable mud

Some of the oldest minerals ever analyzed by NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover show that around four billion years ago Mars had liquid water so fresh it could have supported life. The findings were announced in a special 'Exploring Mars Habitability' edition of the journal Science released last week to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Mars Opportunity Rover and its twin, Spirit, landing on the red planet.

New findings from an old Mars Rover

New findings from rock samples collected and examined by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity have confirmed an ancient wet environment that was milder and older than the acidic and oxidizing conditions told by rocks the rover examined previously.

Hubble, Hubble, seeing double!

In this new Hubble image two objects are clearly visible, shining brightly. When they were first discovered in 1979, they were thought to be separate objects — however, astronomers soon realized that these twins are a little too identical!

In the brain, timing is everything

Suppose you heard the sound of skidding tires, followed by a car crash. The next time you heard such a skid, you might cringe in fear, expecting a crash to follow — suggesting that somehow, your brain had linked those two memories so that a fairly innocuous sound provokes dread.

Sneak preview of survey telescope treasure trove

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured this richly detailed new image of the Lagoon Nebula. This giant cloud of gas and dust is creating intensely bright young stars, and is home to young stellar clusters.