Astronomers Happen Upon The Most Distant Lensing Galaxy Ever Discovered

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted an elliptical galaxy 9.6-billion light years from Earth that is so colossal, its gravity bends and magnifies the light from a galaxy behind it. The rare alignment is the most distant example of a lensing galaxy ever discovered, and could yield insights into the… » 8/01/14 8:30am Today 8:30am

This Is Probably The Weirdest Binary Star System Ever Discovered

There's some strange things floating around in our galaxy, but this has to be one of the weirdest. A double star system with misaligned protoplanetary disks around 450 light-years from Earth has been discovered, potentially explaining why some exoplanet orbits can be wildly eccentric. » 7/31/14 4:40pm Yesterday 4:40pm

Here's Our Best Look Yet At Rosetta's "Rubber Ducky" Comet

The Rosetta spacecraft has been chasing comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for more than a decade. Now, with arrival less than a week away, the distance between the spacecraft and its quarry is rapidly shrinking. Meanwhile, Rosetta continues to return clearer and clearer images of the double-lobed "rubber ducky comet." » 7/31/14 9:15am Yesterday 9:15am

We've Observed Mars for Decades, But Still Have No Big Theories

Mars geologist Phil Christensen says we're still short on understanding the red planet. "The devil continues to be in the details," he said at this week's Eighth International Conference on Mars. Astrobiologist David Des Marais said Mars research today adds up to "lots of observations but no overarching… » 7/26/14 1:00pm 7/26/14 1:00pm

Never-Before-Seen Photo of Europa Shows Rivers of Red Ice

The folks at JPL just published a new image of the surface of Europa – Jupiter's watery, chaotic, eruptive, and potentially life-harboring satellite. The photograph illustrates the contrast between the moon's relatively pure water ice (blue-white terrain) and its saltier, and thereby ruddier, surface ice. » 7/09/14 3:40pm 7/09/14 3:40pm

You Are Now Officially Invited to Nominate Names for Exoplanets

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees planetary nomenclature, today invited the public to submit and vote on names for recently discovered exoplanets and their parent stars. Anyone wanting to see a planet named "Gallifrey" or "Waist-Deep Cats" – today is the day you've been waiting for. » 7/09/14 10:31am 7/09/14 10:31am