Space News, updated every weekday

Death Spiral: Doomed Orbiter Sends Close Surface | Video

NASA's LADEE will soon intentionally crash into the Moon. In March the dust-studying probe flew as low as 2 miles above the surface and faster than bullet at 3,690 miles per hour.

'Earth Cousin' Discovery a Milestone in Search for Alien Life

The discovery of the exoplanet Kepler-186f further bolsters the emerging view that Earth is not such a unique place, and that habitable environments may be widespread throughout the galaxy, experts say.

NASA Spacecraft Spies Mars Rover Curiosity at 'Mount Remarkable' from Space (Photos)

A spacecraft circling the Red Planet has spotted NASA's Mars rover Curiosity hard at work on the Martian surface.

Vesta and Ceres: How to Spot the Solar System's Biggest Asteroids

Here's how to see two of the three largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, in the night sky this month. Although Vesta is about half the size of Ceres, it appears brighter in our sky, because its surface is whiter than that of Ceres, reflecting a lot more of

New Earth-Size Planet and Siblings | Theoretical Animation

Data from the Kepler Mission, plus Keck and Gemini North Telescopes confirm Kepler 186f (about 1.1X Earth’s diameter) to orbit near the edge of habitability around an M-dwarf star with 4 other known planets.

WATCH LIVE TONIGHT @ 7:30 pm ET: Jupiter and Mars Dominate the Spring Sky

The bright planets Jupiter and Mars are shining bright in the spring night sky, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will host a live discussion on the bright planets tonight. You can watch the Observatory Nights special here

Cousin of Earth: Planet Kepler-186f May Be Habitable for Life (Op-Ed)

It's the brass ring that teams of astronomers from hither to yon have tried to grab: Discovering a planet that sports an environment similar to our own. Finding Earth's cousin. And now, a team of researchers may have done it.

Earth-Size Planet Kepler-186f, a Possibly Habitable Alien World (Gallery)

The alien planet Kepler-186f is a planet only slightly larger than Earth orbiting inside the habitable zone of its red dwarf star. See images and photos of the Kepler-186f planet discovery in this gallery.

Found! First Earth-Size Planet That Could Support Life

Scientists have discovered Kepler-186f, the first Earth-size alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star. The so-called 'Earth cousin' just might have liquid water and the right conditions to support life.

Exoplanet Kepler-186f: Earth-Size World Could Support Oceans and Life (Infographic)

A rocky planet that could have liquid water at its surface orbits a star 490 light-years away.

10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life

Ten of the alien worlds that represent our best hope for alien life beyond the solar system, according to the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

New Earth-Size Planet Could Have Water | Video

Planet-hunters have new evidence of a planet, about 1.1x Earth’s size, in orbit around another star. Kepler 186f, the outermost world of a 5-planet system, revolves about 3x closer to its star than Earth does to our Sun. More-->

5 Exoplanets Most Likely to Host Alien Life

A look at the five exoplanets most likely to host life as we know it, a list topped by the newfound Earth-size world Kepler-186f.

5 Erupting Volcanoes Seen from Space (Photo)

Five volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula are seen erupting from space on one satellite pass by Landsat 8.

Space History Photo: Right Side of Control Panel

The close-up of the right side of the control panel in the Plum Brook Facility shows the controls for the manual operation of the shim rods.

NASA Will Unveil New Discovery from Planet-Hunting Kepler Telescope Today @ 2pm ET

NASA will announce a new discovery by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope today, and you can following the unveiling live online. Space agency officials and scientists will host a live news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

Hubble Galactic Family Photo Captures Distant Kissing Cousins | Video

This 14-hour exposure surfaces a wide range of galaxy types halfway across space-time to the beginning of the universe.Some are colliding and combining. The image depicts energy at visible and infrared wavelengths.

NASA Moon Probe Will Bite the Lunar Dust Soon: What It Taught Us

A NASA probe orbiting the moon will literally bite the lunar dust within the next week or so when it crashes into the moon's far side.

ALMA: Large Array Looks Through Dust To See Starbirth

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a telescope array that peers through stardust to see planetary systems under construction.

Mars Puts on Dazzling Show for Amateur Astronomers (Photos)

Stargazers took a set of stunning images of Mars during a fortuitous alignment that occurs every two years. The bright rust coloration of Mars is known for is due to iron-rich minerals.

NASA Wants Ideas to Recycle Precious Oxygen on Deep-Space Voyages

When humans leave Earth to explore planets like Mars and other hostile environments in outer space, they'll need to supply their own breathable oxygen. NASA is now seeking proposals for systems to safely and efficiently regenerate air on those long trips.

Milky Way, Auroras & Thunderstorms Star in Amazing Time-Lapse Video

Auroras dance, the Milky Way dazzles and lightning sparks in the night sky over some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah have to offer as seen in this magnificent new time-lapse film.

'LIGO: A Passion for Understanding' — The Minds Behind the Film

Filmmaker Kai Staats joins leading researchers from the LIGO team to share the motivations behind "LIGO: A Passion for Understanding."

Saturn Shines Near the Moon Tonight: How to See It

If your weather is clear, look toward the eastern sky tonight (April 16) about 10:30 p.m. your local time. You should see the bright moon rising, and just below and to its left will be a bright star-like object.

Space History Photo: X-1E Loaded in B-29 Mothership on Ramp

Bell Aircraft Corporation's X-1E is loaded under the Boeing B-29 mothership.

Blood Moon Photos: Total Lunar Eclipse Pictures from April 15, 2014

See amazing images of the "blood moon" that appeared April 14-15, 2014.

'Meteor Smoke' Clouds Linked To Weather In Opposite Hemispheres | Video

Noctilucent clouds are seeded by meteorites burning up in the atmosphere and form at Earth's polar regions. Researchers have found correlations with the appearance of these clouds and Earth's climate.

Rosy Cosmic Cloud Glows with Stars in New Telescope View (Video, Photo)

A distant group of hot, young stars cause a cloud of hydrogen gas to glow a rosy red 7,300 light-years from Earth in the latest amazing view from a telescope in Chile.

Explosive Surprise: Huge Volcanoes Shook Mercury for Billions of Years

Explosive volcanic eruptions apparently shook and shaped Mercury's surface for billions of years, a new study finds, surprising scientists who had thought the phenomenon was impossible on the sun-scorched planet.

Nebula Glows 'Red' From Hot Young Stars Heat | Video

The powerful radiation emitted from the stellar nursery of nebula Gum 41 illuminates the surrounding gas. ESO's MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope imaged the nebula through blue, green and red filters along with a special filter that pulls out the red glow.

Sombrero Galaxy: Hidden Double in a Hat

The Sombrero Galaxy, also called M104 or NGC 4594, is about 28 million light-years from our planet in the constellation Virgo. It is so named because the halo surrounding its disc is unusually large, making it look like a sombrero.

Fiery Voyage Over ALMA | Space Wallpaper

This beautiful space wallpaper, taken during a time lapse set at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is another dramatic Ultra High Definition photograph from the ESO Ultra HD Expedition.

Chilean Port City Fire Seen from Space (Photo)

A fire ravaging the scenic city of Valparaiso, Chile, is visible from satellite on April 13, 2014. So far, 15 people have died in the fire, and thousands of homes have been destroyed.

China's President Xi Wants More Military Use of Space: Report

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly asked his nation's air force to hasten its integration of air and space capabilities. Some of the Chinese media framed Xi's request as a response to actions by the United States and other world powers.

Geologic Wonder: See the Grand Canyon from Space

In a new image taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, the Grand Canyon stretches across the Colorado Plateau. Entrance to the National Park is free this weekend, April 19 and 20, 2014.

The Search for Gravitational Waves: New Documentary on Project LIGO Launches (Watch Online)

A newly released documentary brings the hunt for ripples in the fabric of space-time — called gravitational waves — into focus, and you can watch it live on

Tax Day in Space: How NASA Astronauts Pay Uncle Sam

The Tax Man cometh for Americans today (April 15), and not even astronauts in space can escape their earthly annual taxes. It's a safe bet American astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson on the International Space Station took care of their taxes.

On The Moon For A Lunar Eclipse? | Artist Impression

You would see is a solar eclipse (on the Earth-facing side). A 'Ring of Fire' would circle Earth and a reddish hue would blanket your abode. - Lunar Eclipse From Earth Time-Lapse:

Space History Photo: Pilot Milt Thompson and the M2-F2 Lifting Body

Milt Thompson climbs into the cockpit of the M2-F2 lifting body research aircraft.

Cold War Relic Now Flying Climate Change Study Missions | Video

The large 4 engine turboprop P-3B Orion airplane was built for the Navy in the 1960's. Today it is flying low over glaciers for NASA's Operation Icebridge.

NASA Signs Over Historic Apollo-Era Launch Pad to SpaceX

One of NASA's most historic launch pads is now under new management. Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is now under the control of SpaceX, the company led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. Primary Section: spaceflight

Blood Moon Photos: Spectacular Total Lunar Eclipse Views by Stargazers (Video, Images)

Stargazers around the world were awed by last night's total eclipse of the moon. Observers in a North America, South America, Hawaii and parts of Alaska got a spectacular show as the moon turned blood red during the first total lunar eclipse of 2014.

Total Lunar Eclipse of April 15: Complete Coverage of the Blood Moon

The first total lunar eclipse of 2014 will occur overnight on April 14-15, and mark the beginning of a lunar eclipse tetrad - a group of four back-to-back total lunar eclipses. is offering complete coverage of the total lunar eclipse.

WATCH NOW: 'LIGO, A Passion for Understanding' Documentary Premiere

On Tuesday (April 15), will premiere a new documentary "LIGO, A Passion for Understanding" by filmmaker Kai Staats, which follows scientists using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) to hunt for gravitational waves.

Moon Turns Red - Lunar Eclipse Time-Lapse Video

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, CA captured this time lapse imagery of the ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipse, from moments before Earth completely blocked the Moon's view of the Sun until full totality when the moon is fully bathed in ‘umbral shadow.’

Latest Saturn Photos From NASA's Cassini Orbiter

See images of the ringed planet from NASA's Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn.

NASA Photo May Show Birth of New Saturn Moon (Image)

Photographs taken by NASA's Cassini probe in April 2013 show a bright arc about 750 miles long and 6 miles wide at the edge of Saturn's outermost ring. This arc was probably created by the gravity of a small, icy object nearby — possibly a newborn moon.

Webcast Replays: Blood Moon, 1st Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014

NASA, the online Slooh community telescope and the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will provide live views of Monday night's total lunar eclipse, as well as Mars' closest approach to Earth since 2012. Here's how to watch live.

Under a Blood Moon: 1st Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014 Wows Stargazers (Photos)

The moon took on an eerie blood-red hue early Tuesday during the first total lunar eclipse of 2014, a celestial sight that wowed potentially millions of stargazers across North and South America. See photos of the amazing total lunar eclipse here.

Whirlpool Galaxy: Exploding With Supernovas

The Whirlpool Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that is relatively close to Earth — about 30 million light-years away.

Universe Today

SpaceX Dragon launch to ISS Marches Towards April 18 Liftoff after Helium Leak Forces Scrub – Watch Live

NASA and SpaceX are marching forward towards a Friday, April 18 liftoff attempt for the Falcon 9 rocket sending a commercial Dragon cargo craft on the company’s third resupply mission to the International Space Station following the scrubbed launch attempt on Monday, April 14 – forced by the discovery of a Helium gas leak inside […]

Kepler Has Found the First Earth-Sized Exoplanet in a Habitable Zone!

It’s truly a “eureka” moment for Kepler scientists: the first rocky Earth-sized world has been found in a star’s habitable “Goldilocks” zone, the narrow belt where liquid water could readily exist on a planet’s surface without freezing solid or boiling away. And while it’s much too soon to tell if this really is a “twin […]

Ceres and Vesta Converge in Virgo, Watch it Happen With Just Binoculars

Don’t let them pass you by. Right now and continuing through July, the biggest and brightest asteroids will be running on nearly parallel tracks in the constellation Virgo and so close together they’ll easily fit in the same binocular field of view. (...)Read the rest of Ceres and Vesta Converge in Virgo, Watch it Happen […]

New Hubble View Shows Objects a Billion Times Fainter Than Your Eyes Can See

While this image isn’t as deep as the Hubble Deep Field, this 14-hour exposure by the Hubble Space Telescope shows objects around a billion times fainter than what can be seen with the human eyes alone. Astronomers say this image also offers a remarkable depth of field that lets us see more than halfway to […]

SpaceX Leases Historic Launch Complex 39A from NASA for new Era of Commercial Space Launches

The keys to NASA’s historic launch Pad 39A that propelled humanity’s first man to walk on the Moon – Neil Armstrong – during the history making flight of Apollo 11, have been handed over to new owners, namely the private aerospace firm SpaceX for a new purpose – serving as a commercial launch facility. NASA […]

Um, You Can See a Car on Mars

First of all, I completely stole this headline from NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowski (AKA The Mohawk Guy) on Twitter. Second, this is just a great image of the Curiosity rover sitting on Mars, including views of its tracks and where it did a wheelie or two. Plus, where the rover now sits is a very […]

Astronauts to Reveal Sobering Data on Asteroid Impacts

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… three to ten times more, in fact. A new visualization of data from a nuclear weapons warning network, to be unveiled by B612 Foundation CEO […]

German Impact Crater Could Have Hosted Early Life On Earth

Could life thrive in the devastated rock left behind after a meteorite impact? A new study hints that possibly, that could be the case. Researchers discovered what they think are geological records of biological activityinside ofNrdlinger Ries, a crater in Germany that is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) wide. (...)Read the rest of German Impact […]

Speedy Satellite Beams Pictures Of Massive Floods Only Weeks After Reaching Orbit

After dodging space debris and living to tell the tale, Sentinel-1A is now being put through its paces for its primary mission: to beam back pictures of the Earth as quickly as possible, to provide officials with the information they need during natural disasters or weather events. The picture above gives a taste of what […]

Shiny: Astronaut Wears ‘Firefly’ T-Shirt In First Instagram From Space

And now, time for some thrilling heroics. NASA astronaut Steve Swanson sent out the first Instagram from space last week wearing none other than a Firefly T-shirt. There’s something to be said about a space-faring guy evoking images of Captain Mal doing the impossible in the plucky Serenity spaceship, isn’t there? We’re happy the epicness […]

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone': NASA

Washington (AFP) April 17, 2014
The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward - an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science. The exoplanet, located some 5

Satellite telecom vulnerable to hackers: researchers

Washington (AFP) April 17, 2014
Security flaws in many satellite telecommunications systems leave them open to hackers, raising potential risks for aviation, shipping, military and other sectors, security researchers said Thursday. A paper released by the security firm IOActive found "multiple high risk vulnerabilities" in all the satellite systems studied. "These vulnerabilities have the potential to allow a maliciou

Russian Rockets used by the US

Bethesda MD (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
Since the end of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, U.S. and Russian relations have deteriorated significantly due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. One of the important questions on many minds is: "What will be the impact of this crisis on the U.S. space program?" So far, joint U.S.-Russian activities related to the International Space Station (ISS) appear to be normal, i.e., NASA pays Rus

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

Seattle WA (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, sometimes it helps. That's because such "tilt-a-worlds," as astronomers sometimes call them - turned from their orbital plane by the influence of companion planets - are less likely than

NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad

Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
NASA Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site. NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida's central east coast. It wil

Unexpected Teleconnections in Noctilucent Clouds

Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
Earth's poles are separated by four oceans, six continents and more than 12,000 nautical miles. Turns out, that's not so far apart. New data from NASA's AIM spacecraft have revealed "teleconnections" in Earth's atmosphere that stretch all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again, linking weather and climate more closely than simple geography would suggest. For example,

SpaceX Launch of NASA Cargo to Space Station Set for Friday

Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
NASA and SpaceX are targeting a 3:25 p.m. EDT launch on Friday, April 18, of SpaceX's third cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m. The company's April 14 launch to the orbiting laboratory was scrubbed due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon s

NASA Astronauts Will Breathe Easier With New Oxygen Recovery Systems

Hampton VA (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
For NASA's long-duration human spaceflight missions, travelers will need to recycle as much breathable oxygen in their spacecraft environments, as possible. To turn that need into a reality, NASA is seeking proposals for lightweight, safe, efficient and reliable systems for regenerating oxygen on future human exploration missions. The first of two phases of this new NASA solicitation will

First radar vision for Copernicus

Paris (ESA) Apr 17, 2014
Launched on 3 April, ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images of Earth. They offer a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide for Europe's ambitious Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Rather aptly, the first image shows Brussels in Belgium, the seat of the European Commission. The European Co

Egyptian sensing satellite placed in orbit

Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 17, 2014
An Egyptian land remote sensing satellite, Egyptsat, launched from Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday has successfully separated from Soyuz-U launch vehicle and entered terrestrial orbit, Interfax-AVN was told at the press service of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). "At 8:28 pm the satellite successfully separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle," a spokesman said. Soyuz-U to

Saturn's rings reveal how to make a moon

London, UK (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
Writing in the journal Icarus this week, Professor Carl Murray from Queen Mary's Astronomy Unit reports that recently discovered disturbances at the very edge of Saturn's outer bright A ring result from a small icy object that formed within the ring and which may be in the process of migrating out of it. They have nicknamed the object, 'Peggy'. "We hadn't seen anything like this before," e

ISEE-3: An Old Friend Comes to Visit Earth

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 17, 2014
It launched in 1978. It was the first satellite to study the constant flow of solar wind streaming toward Earth from a stable orbit point between our planet and the sun known as the Lagrangian 1, or L1. Monitoring that wind helped scientists better understand the interconnected sun-Earth system, which at its most turbulent can affect satellites around Earth. In 1984, it was given a n

Russia investigates top space official for abuse of office

Moscow (AFP) April 16, 2014
The head of the famed Russian space-rocket company Energia that makes the Soyuz spacecraft faces a criminal investigation into alleged abuse of office, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Vitaly Lopota, president of Energia, is suspected of approving unauthorised loans to an international space consortium, Russia's equivalent of the FBI said in a statement. Lopota is one

Pushy neighbors force stellar twins to diverge

Ithaca NY (SPX) Apr 16, 2014
Much like an environment influences people, so too do cosmic communities affect even giant dazzling stars: Peering deep into the Milky Way galaxy's center from a high-flying observatory, Cornell astronomers have discovered identical, rare stars whose diverging dusty and gaseous garb are strictly influenced by an intrusive cluster of neighbors. Scarce, short-lived, hyperbright stars called

The Path to Mars

Washington DC (SPX) Apr 16, 2014
I have had several opportunities the past few weeks to testify before Congress and explain to the American people the ambitious exploration plan NASA has been implementing the past few years. It is a plan that reflects a steady stepping stone approach to meet President Obama's challenge of advancing deep space technologies through our Asteroid Redirect Mission and sending humans to Mars in the 2