Latest Occultation Stories
NASA's new exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope has detected the atmosphere of a known giant gas planet, demonstrating the telescope's extraordinary scientific capabilities. The discovery will be published Friday in the journal Science.
Picture this: It's 4:30 in the morning. You're up and out before the sun. Steam rises from your coffee cup, floating up to the sky where a silent meteor streaks through a crowd of stars. A few minutes later it happens again, and again. A meteor shower is underway.
When a treasure hunt comes up empty-handed, the hunters are understandably disappointed. But when astronomers don't find what they are looking for, the defeat can provide as much information as a successful search.
ESAâ€™s Venus Express has measured a highly variable quantity of the volcanic gas sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus. Scientists must now decide whether this is evidence for active volcanoes on Venus, or linked to a hitherto unknown mechanism affecting the upper atmosphere.
Here are some of the more noteworthy sky events that will take place this year. SPACE.com's weekly Night Sky column will provide more extensive coverage of each event as they draw closer. February 1 Venus/Jupiter conjunction, Part 1.
If skies are clear in your area on Sunday night, Dec. 23, you'll be able to partake in a rather unusual sight as the full moon appears to glide very closely above the planet Mars. Mars, which made its closest approach to the Earth on Dec.
Mars will be closer to Earth this month than any time until the year 2016. The red planet is now the brightest "star" in the evening sky and is already above the horizon as evening twilight fades away. But give it at least two more hours until about 8 p.m.
Ben Oppenheimer calls starlight "the bane of planet hunting." Although more than 250 planets are known to orbit other stars, so far no one has been able to get a good look at any of them.
Watching the stars set from the surface of the Earth may be a romantic pastime but when a spacecraft does it from orbit, it can reveal hidden details about a planetâ€™s atmosphere.
A pair of rare celestial alignments that occurred in November 2003 helped an international team of astronomers investigate the far-off world of Titan.