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No, Saturn Won’t Be Huge in the Sky on May 1

Another day, another weird Facebook astronomy hoax. The photo with the caption above have been spread around Facebook quite a bit the past few days; it shows Saturn looming huge in the sky over a city, with the annotation, “On 5/1/16 Saturn will be the closest it ever has been to Earth. Show More Summary

Future High-Resolution Imaging of Mars: Super-Res to the Rescue?

HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen explains an imaging technique known as Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR), and how it could come in handy for high-resolution imaging of the Red Planet.

The Warped Path to Understanding the Universe

The Universe is a bit bent. You’d think that light would travel in straight lines, going directly from point A to point B. But it’s more complicated than that. Space is curved, warped, distorted by the matter lodged within it. It’s hard...Show More Summary

What NASA Can Learn from SpaceX

SpaceX's announcement that it will send Dragon capsules to Mars demonstrates the advantage of having a clear plan to explore the red planet. NASA should take note.

Follow the life of the last man on the moon

Eugene Cernan's career was by any measure a triumph but a new profile spares a thought for the people left in his wake  

The phases of the far side of the Moon

Serbian artist Ivica Stoši? used Clementine and Kaguya data to give a glimpse of the phases of the lunar farside.

Shuttle tank, meet canal: Engineering wonders cross paths in Panama

Two modern engineering marvels crossed paths this week here in Central America, as the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank passed through the Panama Canal during a multi-week voyage from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Climate Change Is Strangling Our Oceans

As our globe heats up, the effects of those rising temperatures are complex and varied. Overall, we call these effects “climate change”, but that’s an umbrella phrase that covers a vast number of changes. Melting polar ice, glacial melt,...Show More Summary

With Putin Looking On, Russian Rocket Launches Late

Russia’s space agency postponed the inaugural launch of a rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East, citing technical problems.

SpaceX Says It Plans to Send a Probe to Mars

Elon Musk’s company said it would dispatch its Dragon vessel to the planet, possibly as early as 2018, with a long-term goal of establishing colonies.

A Moon for Makemake

Well now, this is very cool: Astronomers have just announced that Makemake has a moon! Makemake (pronounced MAH-kay-mah-kay; it’s named after a Rapa Nui god who created humanity) is a Kuiper Belt object (or KBO), a large icy world orbiting the Sun way out past Neptune. Show More Summary

Trilobites: Makemake, the Moonless Dwarf Planet, Has a Moon, After All

Astronomers found the moon, nicknamed MK2, in an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ep. 411: Science of Sunset Colors

We all enjoy beautiful, multicolored sunsets. But what causes the brilliant oranges, pinks and purples that we see, and why does it change from day to day and season to season?

The Senate Just Proposed to Slash Planetary Science Funding

The Senate has released its draft of NASA's 2017 budget which, despite increasing NASA's top-line by $300 million, would cut $270 million from the Planetary Science Division. Here's why we shouldn't worry—yet.

The Sky This Week - Thursday April 28 to Thursday May 5

The "Blue" Last Quarter Moon is Saturday April 30. Jupiter is visible all evening long. Venus is low above the horizon in the twilight. Saturn is close to the red star Antares and forms a triangle with Mars. Mars is in retrograde motion. Show More Summary

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4333 - April 1, 2016

Opportunity has climbed west and up Marathon Valley in one of the final campaigns before moving on and beginning the summer field activities to the south southward.

An Emerald Green Comet And a Billion Stars

I’ve said many times that there are no green stars, but that doesn’t mean there are no green objects in space. My pal Babak Tafreshi makes this point beautifully in his phenomenal photograph of the night sky over the Paranal Observatory in Chile: Oh my. Show More Summary

Cassini gears up for final fiery plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere

After more than a decade orbiting Saturn, Cassini is almost out of fuel. The craft's final daring mission looms – a fatal dive into the gas giant's atmosphere

Five Days in Paradise: Come to Science Luau 2016

Aloha! I’m pleased to announce registration is open for Science Luau 2016, a five-day vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii, with a special bonus: SCIENCE. My wife and I run a company called Science Getaways, where we take people on vacations that are already really nice and add science to them. Show More Summary

Quick Curiosity update, sol 1320: "Lubango," the 10th drill site on Mars

Curiosity has drilled into Mars for the 10th time at a site named Lubango, on sol 1320 (April 23, 2016). Lubango is in a bright-toned halo around a crack in the Stimson sandstone unit on the western edge of the Naukluft Plateau.

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