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Next Launch GPS IIF-7 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 1 Aug 14 3:27:00 GMT

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NASA's X-Ray Space Telescope Celebrates 15 Years

Composite Chandra image of four supernovae: the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58. Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory, NASA’s space telescope which observes the universe using X-rays, has now completed its 15th year of operations, and astronomers are celebrating the anniversary with a series of special images from the orbiting observatory.

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'Mega-Earth' Planet Discovered Orbiting Distant Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-10c (foreground) and Kepler-10b. Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

Astronomers on Monday made a “big” announcement about exoplanets, and it is big—literally. Another new world has been discovered, which is quite routine now these days, but this one is different, and unexpected: a planet which is more than twice as large [...]

Hazy Sunsets on Titan Provide Clues to Atmospheres on Alien Exoplanets

Artist’s conception of the Cassini spacecraft observing a sunset on Titan. Such studies can also help astronomers understand the atmospheres of exoplanets. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturn’s moon Titan is one of the murkiest places in the Solar System; its thick smog-like hydrocarbon haze in the upper atmosphere shrouds the entire moon, much like Venus’ perpetual cloud [...]

Kepler Phase 2: Planet-Hunting Space Telescope's New Mission Proposal Approved

Illustration of how the new K2 mission will work, using solar pressure to help stabilize the telescope. Image Credit: NASA Ames / W. Stenzel

There is some good news for planet-hunters this week: The proposed K2 mission extension for the Kepler Space Telescope has been been approved by NASA. The approval, based on a recommendation from [...]

Big Discovery: First Earth-Sized Exoplanet in Habitable Zone of Another Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-186f in orbit around its red dwarf star. Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Today was another big day for those interested in space exploration and in the search for other Earth-like, alien worlds in particular: The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting another star in the habitable zone has been discovered, it was [...]

Exoplanet Bonanza: Kepler Confirms More than 700 New Worlds

Illustration showing multiple-transiting planetary systems, such as those found by Kepler. Image Credit: NASA

There was more exciting exoplanet news this week from the Kepler mission: the space telescope has confirmed 715 new exoplanets! This brings the current total number of such worlds to 1,766, of which 961 have been found by Kepler. There are [...]

ESA's 'Mission: Impossible' Sees First Light: Gaia Opens Her Eyes to the Galaxy

One of the first images taken by the Gaia space telescope during the commissioning phase of its mission, showing the star α Aquarii, also known as Sadalmelik, in the constellation of Aquarius. Image Credit: ESA/Airbus DS

Originally perceived by astronomers as a space mission that was unlikely to ever happen, the European Space Agency’s [...]

Three new exoplanets discovered in star cluster

Artist’s conception of one of the newly-found planets in the Messier 67 star cluster. Image Credit: ESO

Three more exoplanets have just been found, adding to a long and rapidly growing list, but their location makes them a bit more unique - they orbit three different stars in a star cluster rather than other isolated stars [...]

James Webb Space Telescope Flight Instruments and Primary Mirror Segments Ready for Assembly

The amazing mirrors that will fly aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will allow the James Webb Space Telescope to see farther away and further back in time to detect the light from the very first and most distant stars and galaxies. In this photo, an engineer’s crystal clear reflection is seen on the [...]

Carbon Worlds May Be Waterless, Finds NASA Study

This artist’s concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface. The one on the right is rich in carbon — and dry. Chances are low that life as we know it, which requires liquid [...]