Astronomy

This image captured on Dec. 19, 2018, by a camera on the Osiris-Rex spacecraft shows the asteroid Bennu, top right, about 27 miles (43 kilometers) from the spacecraft, and the Earth and moon, bottom left, more than 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) away. Bennu, just 1,600 feet (500 meters) across, is the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space via AP)
January 08, 2019 - 1:53 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An asteroid-circling spacecraft has captured a cool snapshot of home. NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture days before going into orbit around asteroid Bennu on New Year's Eve. The tiny asteroid — barely one-third of a mile (500 meters) across — appears as a big...
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January 06, 2019 - 7:56 pm
The world's largest airborne observatory was supposed to be parked in Seattle this week, so thousands of scientists attending the "Super Bowl of Astronomy" could behold this marvel: a Boeing 747 with a massive telescope protruding from the back used to study the fundamental mysteries of the...
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In this photo provided on Jan. 4, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, leaves wheel marks after leaving the lander that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon. China’s space agency says that all systems are go for its spacecraft and rover that have made a pioneering landing on the far side of the moon. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
January 04, 2019 - 10:24 pm
BEIJING (AP) — All systems are go as a Chinese spacecraft and rover power up their observation equipment after making a first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, the Chinese National Space Administration said. The Jade Rabbit 2 rover has succeeded in establishing a digital transmission link...
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In this photo provided on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, leaves wheel marks after leaving the lander that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
January 04, 2019 - 5:28 am
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese space rover explored the lunar terrain on Friday in the world's first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon. Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp the previous night and onto the soft, snow-like surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on...
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This composite image made available by NASA in 2011 shows the far side of Earth's moon. The moon is what scientists call “tidally locked” which means the same side always faces us, while another side always faces away, says Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb. "The other side is not dark, it’s just far.” (NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 4:48 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite the name of Pink Floyd's best-selling album, the side of the moon you can't see isn't always dark. But it is far. So scientists call the area where a Chinese spacecraft just landed the far side, not the dark side. "The other side sees the sun sometimes. The other side is...
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In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 12:13 pm
BEIJING (AP) — China's burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone on Thursday: landing a probe on the mysterious and misnamed "dark" side of the moon. Exploring the cosmos from that far side of the moon, which people can't see from Earth, could eventually help scientists learn more about...
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This image made available by NASA on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 shows images with separate color and detail information, and a composited image of both, showing Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. The New Horizons spacecraft encountered it on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (NASA via AP)
January 03, 2019 - 12:25 am
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft 4 billion miles from Earth yielded its first close-up pictures Wednesday of the most distant celestial object ever explored, depicting what looks like a reddish snowman. Ultima Thule, as the small, icy object has been dubbed, was found to consist of two fused-...
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In this photo provided by NASA, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., center, celebrates with school children at the exact moment that the New Horizons spacecraft made the closest approach of Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, early Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
January 01, 2019 - 1:03 pm
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has survived the most distant exploration of another world, a tiny, icy object 4 billion miles away that looks to be shaped like a peanut or bowling pin. Word of success came 10 hours after the middle-of-the-night encounter, once flight controllers...
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December 31, 2018 - 5:59 pm
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft has gone into orbit around an ancient asteroid, setting a pair of records. The Osiris-Rex spacecraft entered orbit Monday around the asteroid Bennu, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) from Earth. It's the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a...
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FILE - This image made available by NASA in March 2017 shows Pluto illuminated from behind by the sun as the New Horizons spacecraft travels away from it at a distance of about 120,000 miles (200,000 kilometers). The probe will ring in 2019 by exploring an even more distant and mysterious world. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP)
December 27, 2018 - 11:03 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The spacecraft team that brought us close-ups of Pluto will ring in the new year by exploring an even more distant and mysterious world. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the scrawny, icy object nicknamed Ultima Thule (TOO-lee) soon after the stroke of...
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