Uncovering Our Solar System’s Shape

An updated model suggests the shape of the Sun’s bubble of influence, the heliosphere (seen in yellow), may be a deflated croissant shape, rather than the long-tailed comet shape suggested by other research.


Astronomers Sink Their Teeth Into Special Supernova

— Calcium-rich supernovae, a unique type of exploding stars, produce up to half of the calcium in the Universe

noirlab2019 – Artist’s interpretation of the calcium-rich supernova 2019ehk
Artist’s interpretation (without labels) of the calcium-rich supernova 2019ehk. Shown in orange is the calcium-rich material created in the explosion. Purple coloring represents gas shed by the star right before the explosion, which then produced bright X-ray emission when the material collided with the supernova shockwave.


Ammonia-Rich Hail Sheds New Light on Jupiter's Weather

New Juno results suggest that the violent thunderstorms taking place in Jupiter’s atmosphere may form ammonia-rich hail, or ‘mushballs’, that play a key role in the planet’s atmospheric dynamics. This theory, developed using data from Juno’s microwave radiometer by the Juno team, is described in two publications led by a researcher at the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur/Université Côte d’Azur) with support from the CNES. The theory sheds light on some puzzling aspects of the meteorology of Jupiter and has implications for how giant planet atmospheres work in general. This, and related findings, are presented in a series of three articles published in the journals Nature and JGR Planets.

Cyclone observed in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere by JunoCam in July 2018. The central part covers an area of 3200 x 3800 km. White clouds of ammonia can be seen, rotating anticlockwise. Clouds rising as much as 15 km above the others (based on the shadow they cast) are visible in several places, especially in the upper central part of the cyclone. These storms are thought to contain a kind of water-ammonia hail (‘mushballs’) specific to Jupiter’s atmosphere, which drags the ammonia down into the deep atmosphere and may explain the presence of shallow lightning flashes.


First radio detection of an extrasolar planetary system around a main-sequence star

Illustration of the planetary system TVLM 513–46546; the newly discovered Saturn-like planet is seen in front of its host star, a small and cool brown dwarf.


Exoplanet Mismatch

Exoplanet Mismatch


New study: The quiet Sun is much more active than we thought

The quiet Sun has been studied considerably less than the active Sun.

New study: The quiet Sun is much more active than we thought


Surprisingly Dense Exoplanet Challenges Planet Formation Theories

— Small telescope and inexpensive diffuser key to results

noirlab2018a – Artist’s impression of K2-25b
New detailed observations with NSF’s NOIRLab facilities reveal a young exoplanet, orbiting a young star in the Hyades cluster, that is unusually dense for its size and age. Slightly smaller than Neptune, K2-25b orbits an M-dwarf star — the most common type of star in the galaxy — in 3.5 days.


First laser detection of space debris in daylight

ESA's Optical Ground Station



Rocket Lab’s Photon satellite bus will deliver CAPSTONE into a trajectory toward the Moon through a series of orbit raising maneuvers.


NASA Sun Data Helps New Model Predict Big Solar Flares

An X-class solar flare flashes on the edge of the Sun on March 7, 2012. This image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows a type of light that is invisible to human eyes, called extreme ultraviolet light.