The COSMOS Legacy Survey shows data that have provided evidence for the existence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ICE/M.Mezcua et al.; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Illustration: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes Scientists have taken major steps in their hunt to find black holes that are neither very small nor…

View More Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes

These simulated views of the ultrahot Jupiter WASP-121b show what the planet might look like to the human eye from five different vantage points, illuminated to different degrees by its parent star. The images were created using a computer simulation being used to help scientists understand the atmospheres of these ultra-hot planets. Ultrahot Jupiters reflect almost no light, rather like charcoal. However, the daysides of ultrahot Jupiters have temperatures of between 3600°F and 5400°F (2000°C and 3000°C), so the planets produce their own glow, like a hot ember. The orange color in this simulated image is thus from the planet's own heat. The computer model was based on observations of WASP-121b conducted using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Vivien Parmentier/Aix-Marseille University (AMU)

Water Is Destroyed, Then Reborn in Ultrahot Jupiters

Water Is Destroyed, Then Reborn in Ultrahot Jupiters Imagine a place where the weather forecast is always the same: scorching temperatures, relentlessly sunny, and with…

View More Water Is Destroyed, Then Reborn in Ultrahot Jupiters

Illustration of Pioneer Venus Multiprobe approaching Venus. Image credit: NASA/ Paul Hudson

40 Years Ago, Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Launched to Study the Cloud-Shrouded Planet Venus

40 Years Ago, Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Launched to Study the Cloud-Shrouded Planet Venus On August 8, 1978, the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft launched to study…

View More 40 Years Ago, Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Launched to Study the Cloud-Shrouded Planet Venus

taken on July 25 by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The angular extent of the widest field of view is six degrees. Visible in the images are the comet C/2018 N1, asteroids, variable stars, asteroids and reflected light from Mars. TESS is expected to find thousands of planets around other nearby stars. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s Planet-Hunting TESS Catches a Comet Before Starting Science

NASA’s Planet-Hunting TESS Catches a Comet Before Starting Science Before NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) started science operations on July 25, 2018, the planet…

View More NASA’s Planet-Hunting TESS Catches a Comet Before Starting Science

Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of the supernova remnant HBH3 in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The puffy, white feature in the image is a portion of the star forming regions W3, W4 and W5. Infrared wavelengths of 3.6 microns have been mapped to blue, and 4.5 microns to red. The white color of the star-forming region is a combination of both wavelengths, while the HBH3 filaments radiate only at the longer 4.5 micron wavelength. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC

The Fading Ghost of a Long-Dead Star

The Fading Ghost of a Long-Dead Star Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of one of the larger supernova remnants in the…

View More The Fading Ghost of a Long-Dead Star

Four members of the observation team scan the sky while waiting for the start of the 2014 MU69 occultation, early on the morning of June 3, 2017. The target field was in the Milky Way, seen here from their observation site in the Karoo desert near Vosburg, South Africa. They used portable telescopes in an attempt to observe MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object (now nicknamed Ultima Thule) and the next flyby target of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, pass in front of a star. New Horizons team members will attempt similar observations of Ultima this week in Colombia and Senegal. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Henry Throop

New Horizons Team Prepares for Stellar Occultation Ahead of Ultima Thule Flyby

New Horizons Team Prepares for Stellar Occultation Ahead of Ultima Thule Flyby Successfully observing an object from more than four billion miles away is difficult,…

View More New Horizons Team Prepares for Stellar Occultation Ahead of Ultima Thule Flyby

Radiation from Jupiter can destroy molecules on Europa’s surface. Material from Europa’s ocean that ends up on the surface will be bombarded by radiation, possibly destroying any biosignatures, or chemical signs that could imply the presence of life. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Radiation Maps of Jupiter’s Moon Europa: Key to Future Missions

Radiation Maps of Jupiter’s Moon Europa: Key to Future Missions New comprehensive mapping of the radiation pummeling Jupiter’s icy moon Europa reveals where scientists should…

View More Radiation Maps of Jupiter’s Moon Europa: Key to Future Missions

Proton aurora at Mars. First, a solar wind proton approaches Mars at high speed and encounters a cloud of hydrogen surrounding the planet. The proton steals an electron from a Martian hydrogen atom, thereby becoming a neutral atom. The atom passes through the bowshock, a magnetic obstacle surrounding Mars, because neutral particles are not affected by magnetic fields. Finally, the hydrogen atom enters Mars' atmosphere and collides with gas molecules, causing the atom to emit ultraviolet light. Credits: NASA/MAVEN/Goddard Space Flight Center/Dan Gallagher

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Finds That “Stolen” Electrons Enable Unusual Aurora on Mars

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Finds That “Stolen” Electrons Enable Unusual Aurora on Mars Auroras appear on Earth as ghostly displays of colorful light in the night…

View More NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Finds That “Stolen” Electrons Enable Unusual Aurora on Mars

This artist’s illustration depicts the destruction of a young planet or planets, which scientists may have witnessed for the first time using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credits: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss; X-ray spectrum: NASA/CXC/MIT/H. M.Günther

Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet

Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet Scientists may have observed, for the first time, the destruction of a young…

View More Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet

This is an artist's impression of the Jupiter-size extrasolar planet, HD 189733b, being eclipsed by its parent star. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have measured carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the planet's atmosphere. The planet is a "hot Jupiter," which is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in only 2.2 days. The planet is too hot for life as we know it. But under the right conditions, on a more Earth-like world, carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of extraterrestrial life. This observation demonstrates that chemical biotracers can be detected by space telescope observations. Credits: ESA, NASA, M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), and STScI

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets In April 2018, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Its main goal…

View More NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets