Outer Space

The 55-faceted gemstone is believed to be the largest cut black diamond in the world.

A Huge Black Diamond, Purportedly From Outer Space, Is Now Up for Sale

The gem known as the 'Enigma' is expected to fetch around $7 million at auction, though experts are skeptical of its cosmic origin

The launch of new satellites later this year could make the job of identifying stranded whales from space even more effective.

Satellites Can Spot Beached Whales From Space

Very high resolution satellites give scientists a new way to find out when and where a large-bodied whale, such as a humpback or a sperm, is stranded

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra (left) performs blood draw on European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake for the recent study.

Space Is Destroying Astronauts' Red Blood Cells

The discovery could complicate long-term space travel, including future Mars missions

An artist’s redendering of MethaneSAT, a satellite that will be launched this year and will be able to find leaks of the greenhouse gas.

A New Generation of Satellites Is Helping Authorities Track Methane Emissions

Efforts to identify leaks of the harmful greenhouse gas are improving with advances in technology

Researchers examined 24 Martian sediment samples collected from six exposed locations in the Gale Crater that contained mudstones of an ancient lake.

'Intriguing' Carbon Isotopes on Mars Could Be From Cosmic Dust, UV Radiation or Ancient Life

NASA scientists compared the data to chemical signatures of biological processes on Earth and found some similarities to billion-year-old microbes

Stargazers watch Comet Neowise shoot across the sky on July 19, 2020 outside of Los Angeles, California.

Ten Dazzling Celestial Events to See in 2022

Stargazers in North America can look forward to meteor showers, lunar eclipses and a stunning multi-planet lineup this year

Using data and data visualization software that mapped the asymmetrical bubble, the research team calculated that at least 15 supernovae have gone off over millions of years and pushed gas outward, creating a bubble where seven star-forming regions dot the surface.
 

A Star-Producing, Cosmic Bubble Shrouds Our Solar System

Researchers created a 3-D model of Earth's galactic neighborhood

Five cats pile onto a Starlink satellite dish in a snowy yard.

Outdoor Cats Are Using $500 Starlink Satellite Dishes as Self-Heating Beds

The devices—developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX—have a warming feature to prevent snow built up from disrupting the signal

A close-up shows Tianwen-1's gold body, a solar array that powers the craft, and various antennas in full with Mars as its backdrop.

China's Mars Orbiter Takes Selfies From Outer Space

The images were snapped using a camera deployed from the spacecraft, which floated away into the vastness of the cosmos

One reader wonders what graffiti was like before spray paint.

Ask Smithsonian

What Did Graffiti Look Like Before Spray Paint and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

The telescope has five layers that dissipate heat from the sun. The sunshield's outer layer can reach 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and the last can drop to -394 degrees.

The James Webb Space Telescope Just Cleared Its Most Challenging Hurdle

The tennis court-sized sunshield fully unfurled itself this week, accomplishing the riskiest and most complicated aspect of the telescope's deployment

If found to be made of metal and a planetesimal, Psyche could reveal what the inside of planets like Earth looks like underneath the layers of mantle and crust, and further help researchers understand how the Solar System formed.

This Metal-Rich, Potato-Shaped Asteroid Could Be Worth $10 Quintillion

In August, NASA is sending an orbiter to the space object, which may be the partial remains of planet-forming material made of nickel and iron

Exploding meteors, also called airbursts, happen with a chunk of space rock smashes into Earth's dense atmosphere. 

Boom Heard in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day Was Likely an Exploding Meteor

The energy released during the blast is as powerful as 30 tons of TNT

An artist’s conception of the James Webb Space Telescope at work.

The James Webb Telescope Successfully Launches Into Space

A rocket carrying the $10 billion dollar invention blasted off Christmas morning and powered up as planned, providing astronomers with a long-awaited gift

Two reseach teams analyzed a sample of the Ryugu's surface.

What Five Grams of 'Primordial' Stardust From an Asteroid Tell Scientists About How the Early Solar System Formed

Ryugu is a carbonaceous, water-rich space rock with a unique, dark coloration and porous composition

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

Webb’s 18 mirror segments can lock into the largest telescopic mirror humankind has ever built.

Future of Space Exploration

The Five Big Ways the James Webb Telescope Will Help Astronomers Understand the Universe

The highly awaited observatory is set to break new ground in many areas of astronomical research

Jovian moon Ganymede, is the only moon known to have a magnetic field. On its most recent flyby of the moon, the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft snapped the most detailed images of Ganymede on June 7, 2021.

 

Jupiter's Moon Ganymede Sounds Like Dial-Up Internet

The 50-second audio track was pieced together from data collected by NASA's Juno Spacecraft

A region within Mars's Valles Marineris (pictured) called the Candor Chaos had a large amount of hydrogen about a meter below the surface.

Beneath Canyons on Mars, Astronomers Find Potentially 'Water-Rich Area the Size of the Netherlands'

A Martian orbiter located a large reserve of hydrogen in a mountainous area of the Red Planet

On April 25, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from the cargo bay of Space Shuttle Discovery.

A Look Back at Hubble's Interstellar Success

At the launch of the Webb Space Telescope, the legacy of America’s favorite eye in the sky is best remembered with a look at a Smithsonian artifact

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