There is only one planet we know of, so far, that is drenched with life. That planet is Earth, as you may have guessed, and it has all the right conditions for critters to thrive on its surface. Do other planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, also host life forms?
A comet’s journey through the solar system is perilous and violent. A giant ejection of solar material from the sun could rip its tail off. Before it reaches Mars - at some 230 million miles away from the sun - the radiation of the sun begins to boil its water, the first step toward breaking apart.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new moon orbiting the distant blue-green planet Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the giant planet.
Two NASA spacecraft have provided the most comprehensive movie ever of a mysterious process at the heart of all explosions on the sun: magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection happens when magnetic field lines come together, break apart and then exchange partners, snapping into new positions and releasing a jolt of magnetic energy.
Many young stars known to host planets also possess disks containing dust and icy grains, particles produced by collisions among asteroids and comets also orbiting the star. These debris disks often show sharply defined rings or spiral patterns, features that could signal the presence of orbiting planets.
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, determined the true colour of a planet orbiting another star. If seen up close this planet, known as HD 189733b, would be a deep cobalt blue, reminiscent of Earth's colour as seen from space.
One might expect that collisions between the remains of monstrous stars, with masses reaching 200-300 times that of our Sun, would be among the most spectacular phenomena in the Universe.
It has long been assumed that our solar system, like a comet, has a tail. Just as any object moving through another medium – for example, a meteor traveling through Earth’s atmosphere – causes the particles to form a stream trailing off behind it.
Astronomers used the new ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) telescope in Chile – the most powerful radio telescope in the world – to view the stellar womb which, at 500 times the mass of the Sun and many times more luminous, is the largest ever seen in our galaxy.
With drives on July 4 and July 7, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has departed its last science target in the "Glenelg" area and commenced a many-month overland journey to the base of the mission's main destination, Mount Sharp.
Hundreds of individual lava flows are seen frozen in time on the flanks of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System.
An international group of astronomers that includes UC Santa Barbara astrophysicist Crystal Martin and former UCSB postdoctoral researcher Nicolas Bouché has spotted a distant galaxy hungrily snacking on nearby gas.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has driven more than half of the distance needed to get from a site where it spent 22 months to its next destination.
A new study provides the first conclusive proof of the existence of a space wind first proposed theoretically over 20 years ago.
Hovering about 70 light-years from Earth –– that's "next door" by astronomical standards –– is a star astronomers call HD 97658, which is almost bright enough to see with the naked eye.
Finding extrasolar planets has become so commonplace that it seems astronomers merely have to look up and another world is discovered.
We know it's out there, debris from 50 years of space exploration — aluminum, steel, nylon, even liquid sodium from Russian satellites — orbiting around the Earth and posing a danger to manned and unmanned spacecraft.
Data from Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space.
More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered. The 10,000th near-Earth object, asteroid 2013 MZ5, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, by the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope, located on the 10,000-foot (3,000-meter) summit of the Haleakala crater on Maui.
Gliese 667C is a very well-studied star. Just over one third of the mass of the Sun, it is part of a triple star system known as Gliese 667 (also referred to as GJ 667), 22 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion).