Astronomy

A split image showing an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, taken in 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, taken in 2019).

A New Solar Cycle Promises Calm Space Weather

Experts say the sun’s next decade will likely feature a low number of events like solar flares that can disrupt power grids and satellites

A new study suggests the Nebra Sky Disc is 1,000 years younger than previously assumed.

New Research

Is This Ancient Map of the Cosmos Younger Than Previously Thought?

A controversial new analysis of the Nebra Sky Disc suggests the artifact dates to the Iron Age, not the Bronze Age

A lower resolution copy of a 3,200 megapixel image of Romanesco broccoli. The photo was taken by a camera being built to help the Vera Rubin Observatory's telescope study space.

Scientists Tested Out the World's Largest Digital Camera on a Piece of Broccoli

Soon, it’ll photograph the cosmos. But first, scientists used it to snap a highly-detailed picture of an ordinary vegetable

This month's selections include A Traitor to His Species, The Tsarina's Lost Treasure and The Daughters of Yalta.

Books of the Month

Catherine the Great's Lost Treasure, the Rise of Animal Rights and Other New Books to Read

These five September releases may have been lost in the news cycle

This illustration depicts what Andromeda's gaseous halo might look like if it were visible to humans on Earth. At three times the size of the Big Dipper, the halo would be "easily the biggest feature on the nighttime sky," per the NASA statement.

Andromeda's Halo of Gases Is Bumping Up Against Our Own, Scientists Say

Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope mapped the gaseous halo that surrounds the Andromeda Galaxy

An artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter

How Three New Tools Will Revolutionize Our Understanding of the Sun

Two spacecrafts and a telescope are set to jumpstart a new age of solar astronomy

In the background, an image taken from the Northern Hemisphere of Comet NEOWISE on July 18, 2020. Inset, the Hubble Space Telescope's most recent snapshot of NEOWISE, taken on August 8 as it careens away from Earth.

Hubble Snapshots Reveal That Comet Neowise Survived Its Trip Around the Sun

A close-up taken in August shows the 11,000-mile-wide cloud of dust and gas that shrouds the comet

Here, scientists at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory use the visible, green wavelength of light to shoot lasers at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The laser facility at the Université Côte d’Azur in Grasse, France, developed a new technique that uses infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, to beam laser light to the Moon.

Scientists Shot Lasers at a Lunar Orbiter for a Decade. Then, One Bounced Back

The success might help scientists troubleshoot problems with a data-collection project that dates back to the Apollo era

US satellite SpaceX Starlink 5 is seen in the night passing above Denmark, on April 21, 2020.

How Will Amazon’s Planned Satellite Megaconstellation Impact the Night Sky?

The company plans to launch 3,236 satellites, but astronomers are worried about possible ramifications

To understand the ozone's composition, scientists analyzed sunlight that filtered through the Earth's atmosphere and reflected off the moon.

Scientists Use Moon as Mirror in Hunt for Extraterrestrial Life

The Hubble Telescope captured reflections of ultraviolet light to test for ozone layers

New research posits that Johannes Vermeer painted View of Delft in September 1659 or 1658.

Art Meets Science

Astronomy Offers Fresh Look at Vermeer's 'View of Delft'

Analysis of sunlight and shadows suggests the Dutch masterpiece portrays the city around 8 a.m. in early September 1659 or 1658

An artist’s rendering of the mysterious object, which has a mass about 2.6 times that of the sun and was consumed by a black hole some 23 times the mass of the sun. Astronomers say it's less massive than any known black hole and more massive than any known collapsed star, called a neutron star.

Distant Black Hole Collides With a Mysterious Object

Scientists detect what is either the heaviest known neutron star or the least massive black hole ever recorded

Summer solstice sunrise over Stonehenge

Virtual Travel

How to Livestream Stonehenge's Summer Solstice Celebrations

Annual event at the Neolithic monument will be broadcast virtually in place of an in-person gathering

A near-infrared, color image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the sun glinting off of north polar seas on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Similar glints were spotted from Earth in 2000 at Titan's equator but Cassini found no evidence of liquid there.

New Research

Bright Patches on Saturn’s Largest Moon Are Dried-Up Lake Beds

New study tackles a 20-year-old mystery about Titan, the second-largest moon in the solar system

Monitor local animal populations, identify plants, transcribe women astronomers' notes, bird-watch and more.

Education During Coronavirus

Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online

From astrophysicists to entomologists, many researchers need the help of citizen scientists to sift through immense data collections

Scientists have recorded footage of a black hole shooting hot gas and energy into space

Watch This Black Hole Spew Gas and Energy Into Space

A new video shows a black hole, about 10,000 light years away from Earth, shooting enormous jets of matter

Kathy Sullivan, left, and Victor Vescovo, right

Astronaut Kathy Sullivan Becomes First Woman to Reach Deepest Part of the Ocean

Sullivan is now the first person to have both walked in space and descend to the furthest reaches of the seafloor

At the center of the swirl, a bright yellow spot is has a characteristic twist that indicates the birth of a new exoplanet.

New Research

This Very Large Telescope Snapped an Exoplanet's Baby Photos

The fiery swirl looks like a "Doctor Who" title card, but it’s actually a photograph of a planet-in-progress 520 light year away

An artist's rendering of what a moon base might look like

Astronauts Could Use Their Own Pee to Build a Moon Base

A compound in human urine can be used to create 'lunar concrete,' new research suggests

Artist’s impression of the triple system with the closest black hole.

Astronomers Discover the Closest Known Black Hole

The newfound 'invisible' object is only 1,000 light years from home