What Lit Up The Universe? Astronomers May Be On The Brink Of An Answer

Most scientists can see, hear, smell, touch or even taste their research. But astronomers can only study light — photons traveling billions of light-years across the cosmos before getting scooped up by an array of radio dishes or a single parabolic mirror orbiting the Earth. » 8/28/14 9:20am 8/28/14 9:20am

First Close-Up Photos Of The Solar System's "Most Crazy Bonkers Comet"

In March 2004, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft left Earth in pursuit of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Today, more than 10 years and four billion miles later, Rosetta became the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. The probe is now soaring through space in tandem with its target – and the view is… » 8/06/14 9:50am 8/06/14 9:50am

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 7/31/14 9:15am

Venus Has Space Weather Explosions That Are Larger Than the Planet

A common space weather phenomenon on the outskirts of the magnetosphere, the magnetic bubble that surrounds the earth (and protects the surface of the planet from solar radiation) are "hot flow anomalies." These are, in effect, enormous explosions. NASA researchers recently discovered that the same phenomenon occurs… » 6/08/14 10:40am 6/08/14 10:40am

Was That Just a Gamma Ray Burst in Andromeda?! (Updated: No, but still…

The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission just saw something bright in the Andromeda Galaxy. It was either a Gamma-Ray Burst or an Ultraluminous X-Ray Object, but either way it will be the closest event we've ever observed. ...unless it's just a known X-ray object, a programming bug, and a thunderstorm.. » 5/27/14 8:23pm 5/27/14 8:23pm

Stellar Carnage as Neutron Stars Collide

When two neutron stars collide, they viciously shred each other before merging into a black hole punctuated by a gamma ray burst. A new supercomputer simulation sets a mismatched pair of neutron stars in a death-spiral to investigate the process. The merger completes in seconds, ringed by a halo of diffuse gas. » 5/13/14 2:15pm 5/13/14 2:15pm

Could This Be The Signal Of Dark Matter?

Sometimes a strange signal comes from the dark and it takes a while to figure out what that signal means. In this case, scientists analyzing high-energy gamma rays emanating from the galaxy's center found an unexplained source of emission that they say is "consistent with some forms of dark matter." » 4/05/14 7:30am 4/05/14 7:30am

Patrick Stewart Beams Down To Join Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Cosmos

This Sunday, two talents who've spent their lives among the stars will join forces as Stewart star in an animated Cosmos segment. He'll be the voice of 19th century astronomer William Herschel, who explains to his young son about how time and gravity affect light — or, in layman's terms, SPACE GHOSTS. » 3/26/14 1:40pm 3/26/14 1:40pm

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