Kepler: a new planetary system & Earth-sized planets

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has given its first results: among more than 1,200 planet candidates, it spotted six planets orbiting a single star, as well as dozens of potential Earth-sized planets.
Extraordinary new planetary system
The team using NASA’s Kepler space telescope announced the largest collection of planets yet spotted orbiting a single …

Global eruption on the Sun

On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. It consisted of over a dozen shock waves, flares, filament eruptions, and coronal mass ejections that covered half of the sun’s surface and took place over a period of 28 hours. It was big, really big.
The event was recorded …

Opportunity: 7 years on Mars

NASA’s rover Opportunity landed on the red planet on January 25, 2004, to explore the area of Meridiani Planum. Seven years later, it is still working, with 26.7 kilometers on the clock. It is getting closer to its destination, a 22 kilometers wide crater, now about 6 kilometers away.
Breaking records
Originally …

Stardust on its way to Tempel 1

An extraordinary mission is being prepared, and yet there are many unknowns. NASA’s Stardust is tearing along space at 10 kilometers per second, 300 million kilometers away from Earth. In front of it, a tiny spot of light is coming closer, the comet Tempel 1. The meeting will take place …

Runaway star

A massive star flung away from its former companion, forming a brilliant bow shock through gas and dust, in this new image below from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope.
The star, named Zeta Ophiuchi, is the bright blue one in the images’s center. It is about 20 times more massive than …

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