Sun, Sky Watching, Eclipses
Aug 18, 2017
On August 21, 2017, a continent-spanning wave of instruments from home-made pinhole cameras to the most sophisticated telescopes in operation today will be trained on the Eclipse Across America.
Sep 11, 2015
NASA's MMS spacecraft are flying around Earth in a precise formation made possible by an out-of-this-world system of GPS navigators.
Universe, Sun, Solar System
May 5, 2015
May 5, 2015: As May of 2015 unfolds, Halley's Comet is more than 5 billion kilometers from Earth, receding into the inky blackness of the outer solar system, where its looping orbit takes it every 76 years. Dim and distant, history's most famous comet won't be back until sometime... Read More
Mar 18, 2015
Tiny solar flares on the sun may be having an outsized effect on the temperature of the sun's atmosphere. To investigate, scientists will observe these "nanoflares" using a space telescope built for black holes.
Mar 10, 2015
NASA is about to launch a fleet of spacecraft to investigate the mystery of "magnetic reconnection," which is making things explode across the cosmos.
Earth, Sun, Solar System
Feb 6, 2015
Feb 6, 2015: Every 13 months, Earth and Jupiter have a close encounter. Astronomers call it an "opposition" because Jupiter is opposite the Sun in the sky. Our solar system’s largest gas planet rises in the east at sunset, and soars overhead at midnight, shining brighter than any star in the... Read More
Dec 31, 2014
Dec 31, 2014: Each day, thunderstorms around the world produce about a thousand quick bursts of gamma rays, some of the highest-energy light naturally found on Earth. By merging records of events seen by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope with data from ground-based radar and... Read More
Dec 29, 2014
Dec 29, 2014: For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing images of our sun. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has taken its first picture of the... Read More
Sun, Solar System
Dec 22, 2014
Dec 22, 2014: According to the calendar, Christmas comes on Thursday, Dec. 25th. For backyard sky watchers, however, the holiday starts earlier. They're getting planets for Christmas—and the show begins on Dec. 22nd.
Dec 16, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014: Since 2012, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three 'tsunami waves' in interstellar space. The most recent, which reached the spacecraft earlier this year, is still propagating outward according to new data. It is the longest-lasting shock... Read More
Sun, Solar System
Dec 12, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014: December has arrived, and for backyard sky watchers that means one thing: It is time for the annual Geminid meteor shower. Every year in early December, Earth passes through a stream of gravelly, dusty debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. This... Read More
Nov 27, 2014
Nov 27, 2014: Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.
Nov 24, 2014
Nov 24, 2014: Thanksgiving is the biggest travel holiday of the year in the United States. Millions of people board airplanes and fly long hours to visit friends and family. Dreading the trip? Think of it as a sky watching opportunity. There are some things you can... Read More
Nov 6, 2014
Nov 6, 2014: A NASA sounding rocket experiment has detected a surprising surplus of infrared light in the dark space between galaxies, a diffuse cosmic glow as bright as all known galaxies combined. The glow is thought to be from orphaned stars flung out of galaxies... Read More
Oct 17, 2014
Oct. 17, 2014: Waking up before sunrise is a good way to get a head start on the day. On Oct. 21st, waking up before sunrise could stop you in your tracks. Blame Halley’s Comet. Every year in mid-to-late October, Earth passes through a stream of dusty... Read More