Giant Galaxy Cluster "El Gordo" Is Even Bigger Than We Thought

We already knew that this ancient galaxy cluster (nicknamed "El Gordo") was the largest of the distant galaxies that we had spotted, but it turns out we've been massively underestimating its size. How did astronomers figure it out? Simple. They weighed it. » 4/03/14 6:00pm 4/03/14 6:00pm

NASA captures unprecedented 360-degree views of Saturn's auroras

Like Earth, Saturn features active and radiant auroras at its poles. To date, our impressions of these fantastic features have been fleeting and sporadic at best. But now, using several pairs of telescopic eyes, NASA has caught its best glimpse yet of these massive, swirling auroras. » 2/12/14 1:20pm 2/12/14 1:20pm

Neptune's Long Lost Moon Reappears

Neptune has a moon called Naiad that was discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989 when the space probe made its flyby — but it hasn't been heard of since. Now, some 24 years later, astronomers have finally been able to spot it from Earth, and they did so using archived photographs. » 10/09/13 9:30am 10/09/13 9:30am

How to Spot Comet ISON in the Early Morning Sky

OK, you’ve waited patiently for "Comet of the Century" ISON to brighten and reappear in the dawn sky. Now it has. Now you’re chomping at the bit for a look at it in your telescope. Before you set the alarm and venture into the night, let’s prepare for what to expect. The better you know your target, the easier it will be … » 9/04/13 11:09am 9/04/13 11:09am

Hubble Snaps Breathtaking New Picture of ISON, “Comet of the Century"

When Comet ISON's trajectory brings it scorchingly close to the Sun later this year, astronomers believe it could emerge from its close encounter as one of the brightest comets ever seen from Earth. Now, Hubble has captured a stunning image of the approaching ice-ball in flight, against a backdrop bursting with nearby… » 7/17/13 8:20am 7/17/13 8:20am

Astronomers have discovered a blue planet beyond our solar system

In a major breakthrough, researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have seen the true color of a planet outside our solar system. HD 189733b, as the gas giant is called, is blue. A deep, vibrant, cobalt blue. And just wait til you hear why it's that color. » 7/11/13 11:26am 7/11/13 11:26am

Colliding galaxies take on the shape of a penguin guarding its egg

The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured this stunning image of a spiral galaxy in the midst of a collision with its elliptical companion. But as you can clearly see, this celestial encounter has warped the spiral galaxy into something altogether different. » 6/21/13 7:20am 6/21/13 7:20am

What the heck is this strange red rectangle doing in our galaxy?

It's not often that a nebula looks quite so much like a cheesy special effect from some forgotten '70s sci-fi movie, but the Red Rectangle Nebula qualifies. After all, this seems to betray a total misunderstanding of basic science, because aren't nebulae meant to be, well, round? And is any nebula that blood-red? » 5/26/13 1:00pm 5/26/13 1:00pm

Every burst of star formation can reshape the universe

One of the most violent and wondrous cosmic events is starburst, in which hundreds of millions of stars are born all at once. These are far rarer nowadays than they were in the early universe, but they do still happen... and the massive energy released during these periods can alter the future histories of entire… » 5/12/13 5:00pm 5/12/13 5:00pm