Saturn's Massive Phoebe Ring Even Larger Than Previously Thought

Image of the Phoebe ring taken in 2009, overlaid in tan colors. The ring is much larger than Saturn's other more visible rings and is also tilted with respect to the other rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/U

Image of the Phoebe ring taken in 2009, overlaid in tan colors. The ring is much larger than Saturn’s other more visible rings and is also tilted with respect to the other rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/U. Virginia

Saturn is truly the “Lord of the Rings” and one of the most majestic places in the […]

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Volcanic Activity On a Super-Earth Exoplanet

Artist’s conception of super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, before and after volcanic activity on its day side. The surface may be partially molten. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Discovering new exoplanets has become rather routine in the last few years, but determining just what conditions exist on any of them is naturally more difficult, since […]

Hot 'Super-Earths' Provide Clues to Water in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Artist’s conception of super-Earth 55 Cancri e, one of the few exoplanets so far which astronomers are able to study the atmosphere of. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Some of the most interesting exoplanets discovered so far are the “super-Earths,” rocky worlds which are significantly larger and more massive than Earth but still smaller than the […]

NASA's Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of Ultra-Compact, Burned-Out Galaxies

An odyssey of exploration began on 25 April 1990, when Steve Hawley gingerly pulled Discovery’s robot arm away from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in […]

'End of Days' for Europe's Ambitious GOCE and Planck Missions to Explore Earth and the Cosmos


The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will bid a fond farewell to the GOCE and Planck missions this week. Both missions have contributed enormously to our understanding of Earth and the Universe. Photo Credit: ESOC

Two ambitious science missions—one circling Earth closer than any other research satellite, the other orbiting […]

Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 10 Years of Astronomical Discovery

The infrared vision of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that the Sombrero galaxy—named after its appearance in visible light to a wide-brimmed hat—is in fact two galaxies in one. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ten years ago tonight, NASA’s fourth “Great Observatory”—the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)—was boosted into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force […]

Comet ISON Fizzes Like a Soda Pop

Photo Credit: NASA / SST

Coming soon to a region of space near you: comet ISON, which is expected to put on a spectacular show toward the end of the year. Currently, ISON is about 258 million miles from the Sun, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Its tail already stretches out more than three-quarters of […]

It's an Alien Blue World—But Nothing Like Earth

Artist’s conception of exoplanet HD 189733b—a “deep blue dot” reminiscent of Earth from a distance. Image Credit: NASA / ESA / M. Kornmesser

The planets and moons in our Solar System come in a wide variety of colors, and the natural beauty can be breathtaking. Now, the true color of a much more distant […]

Hubble Space Telescope Reveals Evidence of Farthest Known Planet From Its Star

A gap in the protoplanetary disk of dust and gas whirling around TV Hydrae uncovered evidence of an unseen, growing planet, according to astronomers studying Hubble data. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Debes (STScI), H. Jang-Condell (University of Wyoming), A. Weinberger (Carnegie Institution of Washington), A. Roberge (Goddard Space Flight Center), G. Schneider (University […]

Hubble and Herschel Make Surprising Deep-Space Finds

The Ring Nebula, with its dying progenitor star clearly visible. Photo Credit: NASA

New data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory have provided new insights into the shape and structure of the far-off Ring Nebula—whose fate has important ramifications for the future of our own Sun—and may have begun the […]