New Photos Highlight One Of Our Galaxy's Grandest Star Factories

This spectacular image was captured by the Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, and released today by the European Southern Observatory. To the right of the photograph is nebula NGC 3576. On the left is star cluster NGC3603, home to the Milky Way's highest known concentration of massive stars. » 8/20/14 1:39pm Wednesday 1:39pm

A Rare Chunk Of Giant Asteroid Vesta Has Been Stolen

Giant asteroid Vesta is the second-biggest object in our solar system's asteroid belt, and the origin of an estimated 5% of Earth's meteorites. Yesterday, an especially rare chunk of Vesta recovered from the Netherlands in 1925 was reported stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands. » 8/20/14 12:26pm Wednesday 12:26pm

Here's What It Looks Like When You Throw Out the Garbage in Space

A few days ago, the Cygnus spacecraft, which had ferried supplies to the space station, was filled with debris and released into space, later burning up in Earth's atmosphere during a destructive reentry. The ESA has just posted video of the release maneuver. Taking out the trash has never looked so exciting. » 8/20/14 10:27am Wednesday 10:27am

Can Congress Grant Private Companies The Right To Mine Asteroids?

U.S. companies are eyeing asteroids as the next frontier in lucrative mining ventures. But, they say, their plans are stymied by the vague status of private ownership in space. Earlier this summer, members of Congress introduced a bill to protect property rights for commercial exploitation of asteroids. Is that legal? » 8/14/14 12:00pm 8/14/14 12:00pm

The Earth Looks Like A Living Creature In This Amazing NASA Video

We've all seen images of extreme weather from space. But none of those could prepare us for this video just released by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio. Using real data, this simulation's volume-rendered clouds depict seven days in 2005 when a category-4 typhoon developed off the coast of China. » 8/11/14 12:40pm 8/11/14 12:40pm

Should We Be Exploring The Oceans Instead Of Space?

For some, the irony is almost too much to bear. While Congress is eager to fund a $2 billion expedition to search for oceans beneath Europa, some 95% of Earth's oceans are unexplored. Given the role of oceans in regulating climate, and their untapped potential for food and health, is it time to rethink our priorities? » 8/11/14 8:00am 8/11/14 8:00am

The Supersonic Nazi Rocket Concept Designed to Bomb Any City in 1 Hour

When WWII ended, American engineers examined a trove of Nazi concepts for rocket-powered weapons and airplanes. One of the most terrifying was Eugen Sänger's antipodal bomber, a manned supersonic plane designed to reach any city on Earth in one hour. Thank heavens it never worked. » 8/09/14 5:09pm 8/09/14 5:09pm

Sunday Night Will Be An Extraordinary Time For Skygazing

The biggest, brightest full moon of 2014 rises this Sunday. That's exciting in and of itself (though not nearly as exciting as some headlines would suggest), but Sunday's "supermoon" also happens to coincide with the Perseid meteor shower, one of the largest and most dependable meteor displays of the year. » 8/08/14 1:00pm 8/08/14 1:00pm

Images of Charon Orbiting Pluto Guide A Spacecraft To Its Destination

An animation of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was created using a series of images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft as it continues its long journey to the distant planetoid. Taken from a distance of 422-429 million km, the images are not for scientific study, but for optical navigation between worlds. » 8/07/14 2:40pm 8/07/14 2:40pm

There are a lot of critics of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA has been working on a mission to redirect a near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, where astronauts will travel and return with samples. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is touted as part of the path to landing people on Mars. But there are a lot of critics of the mission. » 8/07/14 2:15pm 8/07/14 2:15pm

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