Photos of baby planet are most detailed yet

Nov 7, 2014

Photos of baby planet are most detailed yet

Some of the most detailed images ever taken of new planets being born around a star were published Thursday, which astronomers said could transform theories about planet formation. High in the Chilean desert, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observed the planet-forming disc around ...

Nov 6, 2014

To Agilkia, and beyond: Comet landing site is named

The site for the first landing on a comet has been named Agilka, the European Space Agency says. The historic event will take place next Wednesday, when ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will send down a robot lab, Philae, to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is named after ...

Rich Chinese pay sky-high prices for meteorites

Nov 2, 2014

Rich Chinese pay sky-high prices for meteorites

One small check for a businessman, one giant leap for a meteorite: After journeys of millions of kilometers, rocks that were formed from the primordial matter of the solar system have landed on the walls of a Chinese showroom. For some of China’s wealthy, ...

Nov 1, 2014

Chinese moon orbiter returns from first flight unharmed

China on Saturday successfully recovered an experimental spacecraft that flew around the moon and back in a test run for the country’s first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. The eight-day trip marked the first time in almost four decades that a spacecraft ...

Oct 24, 2014

'Eau de comet' is a bit of a stinker

Rotten eggs, horse pee, alcohol and bitter almonds: This is the bouquet of odors you would smell if a comet in deep space could be brought back to Earth, European scientists said on Thursday. An instrument aboard the probe Rosetta has detected some intriguing ...

Oct 23, 2014

In a first, astronomers map comets around another star

Astronomers using an ultra-sensitive telescope in the Chilean desert said Wednesday they had mapped hundreds of comets orbiting a star 63 light-years from Earth. The feat marks the most complete census of so-called exocomets, or comets in other solar systems, they said. Comets shed ...

Oct 23, 2014

China to send orbiter to moon and back: report

China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth. The spacecraft, which has not been named, will launch between Friday and Sunday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency ...

Mars to get rare comet fly-by this weekend

Oct 16, 2014

Mars to get rare comet fly-by this weekend

A fast-moving comet is about to fly by Mars for a one-in-a-million-year encounter with the red planet, photographed and documented by a flurry of spacecraft, NASA said. The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), has a core about a kilometer and a half ...