These official exoplanet artworks are the next best thing to visiting

Chances are, none of us will live long enough to travel to a planet in another star system. But at least, we can gaze upon dozens of exoplanets right now — thanks to official artworks created by NASA and some of the world's greatest high-tech observatories. Check out our favorite official exoplanet art below. » 2/11/14 3:00pm 2/11/14 3:00pm

A Wonderful Interview with Frank Drake

In June 2012, SETI Institute Board Member Andrew Fraknoi sat down with astrophysicist Frank Drake, father of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, for a fantastic 45-minute interview about Drake's current projects at SETI and the history of his research – including the work that led to the famous equation of » 2/04/14 10:30am 2/04/14 10:30am

The closest supernova observed in 25 years is getting brighter

Three days ago, a white dwarf went supernova in nearby Galaxy M82. A starburst galaxy, M82 is a popular target for telescopes on account of its brightness. But its newly formed supernova, which astronomers have named SN 2014J, just became the brightest object in all the galaxy – and it's only going to get brighter. » 1/24/14 6:50am 1/24/14 6:50am

Putting an age on Saturn's ring system

When, exactly, Saturn acquired its iconic ring-system is a longstanding point of debate among planetary scientists. Some maintain the structures formed relatively recently, while others argue they formed long ago. Now, newly collected data suggest the rings likely formed 4.4-billion years ago, lending strong support to … » 12/13/13 9:30am 12/13/13 9:30am

Hell Yes: NASA Aims to Revive Kepler Mission with Clever Plan

The Kepler telescope was relieved of planet-hunting duties back in August, when researchers determined that failed alignment hardware, necessary for the spacecraft's proper function, was beyond saving. At the time, NASA said it was open to ideas on how the otherwise functional spacecraft might be put to new use. Now,… » 11/27/13 7:40am 11/27/13 7:40am

Astronomers have discovered a tilted solar system

Astronomers have discovered the first known example of a "tilted" solar system – that is, a star whose equator tilts steeply away from the plane in which its planets orbit. It's an unprecedented find, one that could help explain how some planets wind up in wonky orbits. » 10/18/13 2:20pm 10/18/13 2:20pm

Astronomer recreates the solar system from Lord of the Rings lore

Several years ago, Central Connecticut astrophysics professor Kristine Larsen figured out the structure of the solar system from J.R.R. Tolkien's work, using hints scattered throughout the books as well as her own knowledge of Tolkien's source material (which is, not surprisingly, our own solar system). » 10/10/13 9:49am 10/10/13 9:49am

How is the Government Shutdown affecting NASA?

As of 12:00 am this morning, the American Government is offline. Federal employees, besides those deemed absolutely necessary to the essential operations of cabinet-level departments and federal agencies, have been furloughed indefinitely. Among the federal divisions deemed unessential during the shutdown is NASA.… » 10/01/13 9:15am 10/01/13 9:15am

Habitable moons beyond our solar system? Astronomers say it's possible.

Astronomers believe that hidden deep within the wealth of data collected by NASA’s Kepler mission are minuscule signatures confirming the presence of exomoons. With such a promising discovery on the horizon, researchers are beginning to address the factors that may deem these alien moons habitable. » 9/26/13 1:20pm 9/26/13 1:20pm