A Rare Chunk Of Giant Asteroid Vesta Has Been Stolen

Giant asteroid Vesta is the second-biggest object in our solar system's asteroid belt, and the origin of an estimated 5% of Earth's meteorites. Yesterday, an especially rare chunk of Vesta recovered from the Netherlands in 1925 was reported stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands. » 8/20/14 5:09pm Wednesday 5:09pm

Here's What It Looks Like When You Throw Out the Garbage in Space

A few days ago, the Cygnus spacecraft, which had ferried supplies to the space station, was filled with debris and released into space, later burning up in Earth's atmosphere during a destructive reentry. The ESA has just posted video of the release maneuver. Taking out the trash has never looked so exciting. » 8/20/14 2:30pm Wednesday 2:30pm

Can Congress Grant Private Companies The Right To Mine Asteroids?

U.S. companies are eyeing asteroids as the next frontier in lucrative mining ventures. But, they say, their plans are stymied by the vague status of private ownership in space. Earlier this summer, members of Congress introduced a bill to protect property rights for commercial exploitation of asteroids. Is that legal? » 8/15/14 2:29am 8/15/14 2:29am

NASA group says Asteroid Redirect Mission is not effective

Last week I wrote a post about criticism of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), founded by NASA to identify priorities and opportunities for the exploration of asteroids and other small bodies, has released a rough draft of their findings. » 8/12/14 8:03pm 8/12/14 8:03pm

The Earth Looks Like A Living Creature In This Amazing NASA Video

We've all seen images of extreme weather from space. But none of those could prepare us for this video just released by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio. Using real data, this simulation's volume-rendered clouds depict seven days in 2005 when a category-4 typhoon developed off the coast of China. » 8/11/14 5:01pm 8/11/14 5:01pm

Exoplanets: Places for your possible summer home in Space

Once I figure out wormholes and hyperdrive, because I saw them referenced on television, I want to have a summer home amongst the stars. But where? I mean, I'd like to live on a nice Red Dwarf but even that might be a bit too hot. And by hot, would incinerate me into oblivion. So what's a gal to do? Exoplanets! Or… » 8/11/14 1:34pm 8/11/14 1:34pm

Should We Be Exploring The Oceans Instead Of Space?

For some, the irony is almost too much to bear. While Congress is eager to fund a $2 billion expedition to search for oceans beneath Europa, some 95% of Earth's oceans are unexplored. Given the role of oceans in regulating climate, and their untapped potential for food and health, is it time to rethink our priorities? » 8/11/14 1:33pm 8/11/14 1:33pm

Sunday Night Will Be An Extraordinary Time For Skygazing

The biggest, brightest full moon of 2014 rises this Sunday. That's exciting in and of itself (though not nearly as exciting as some headlines would suggest), but Sunday's "supermoon" also happens to coincide with the Perseid meteor shower, one of the largest and most dependable meteor displays of the year. » 8/08/14 5:42pm 8/08/14 5:42pm

Images of Charon Orbiting Pluto Guide A Spacecraft To Its Destination

An animation of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was created using a series of images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft as it continues its long journey to the distant planetoid. Taken from a distance of 422-429 million km, the images are not for scientific study, but for optical navigation between worlds. » 8/08/14 1:59am 8/08/14 1:59am

There are a lot of critics of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA has been working on a mission to redirect a near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, where astronauts will travel and return with samples. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is touted as part of the path to landing people on Mars. But there are a lot of critics of the mission. » 8/07/14 3:34pm 8/07/14 3:34pm

First Close-Up Photos Of The Solar System's "Most Crazy Bonkers Comet"

In March 2004, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft left Earth in pursuit of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Today, more than 10 years and four billion miles later, Rosetta became the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. The probe is now soaring through space in tandem with its target – and the view is… » 8/06/14 2:32pm 8/06/14 2:32pm