Near surface water has shaped the landscape of Mars. Areas of the planet's northern and southern hemispheres have alternately thawed and frozen in recent geologic history and comprise striking similarities to the landscape of Svalbard. This suggests that water has played a more extensive role than previously envisioned, and that environments capable of sustaining life could exist.
The 2012 Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night/morning of Nov. 16-17. If forecasters are correct, the shower should produce a mild but pretty sprinkling of meteors over North America, followed by a more intense outburst over Asia. The new moon will set the stage for what could be one of the best Leonid showers in years.
By combining the power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and one of nature's zoom lenses, astronomers have found what is probably the most distant galaxy yet seen in the Universe. The object offers a peek back into a time when the Universe was only 3 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years.
Astronomers have found evidence for a dying Sun-like star coming briefly back to life after casting its gassy shells out into space, mimicking the possible fate our own Solar System faces in a few billion years.
The aftershock of a stellar explosion rippling through space is captured in this new view of supernova remnant W44, which combines far-infrared and X-ray data from ESA's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories.
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope have identified a body that is very probably a planet wandering through space without a parent star. This is the most exciting free-floating planet candidate so far and the closest such object to the Solar System at a distance of about 100 light-years.
For the past five billion years, the expansion of the Universe has been speeding up, powered by the mysterious repulsive force known as 'dark energy'. But thanks to a new technique for measuring the three-dimensional structure of the distant Universe, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) have made the first measurement of the cosmic expansion rate just three billion years after the Big Bang.
Like in the Shenzhou-9 mission, the crew might include two men astronauts and a woman, who are scheduled to enter the Tiangong-1 space lab module, Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, said on the sidelines of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
In 1958, the first US rocket - known as Explorer 1 and led by James Van Allen at the University of Iowa - was launched. By providing observations of a giant swath of magnetized radiation trapped around Earth, now known as the Van Allen Belts, Explorer 1 confirmed that Earth's magnetic environment, the magnetosphere, was not a simple place.
DARPA has created SpaceView, a space debris tracking project that provides amateur astronomers with the means to make a difference. Amateur astronomers will have their first opportunity to sign up in person for the program at the Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo in Tucson, November 10-11, 2012.