So here's a huge bummer: turns out the moon, that thing we all swoon over at night, might be toxic to humans. The atmosphere up there was never too conducive to human survival, but now it appears the moon itself is poisonous to humans.
Pluto may never again be considered a proper planet, but at least it won't be lonely. The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted another moon orbiting the dwarf planet — raising Pluto's satellite count to five — as Hubble was checking out the plutoid for a Pluto-bound NASA mission.
On Saturday, May 5, photographers all around the world were presented with a bright, tempting target in the much anticipated "supermoon," which occurs when the moon's elliptical orbit brings it closer to the Earth while full. In other words, it's the largest the moon can look to us terrans, though whether or not our earthbound eyes can actually detect the difference is up for debate. Thankfully, cameras allow us to choose how we want to see and present the world, so here's a collection of photos that show the supermoon as it should be: massive. Check it out in our gallery below.
You may be hearing a little bit about the moon this weekend. This Saturday we are in for an astronomical treat — it's called a supermoon. It's a rare opportunity for some spectacular, giant-sized views of the moon, and the following infographic outlines just what is behind this special event.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has given scientists a wealth of new detail about the structure of the moon, which the Goddard Space Flight Center has used to compile this new animated film, showing how the moon came to look the way we know it today.
A draft of the Russian space exploration strategy from now up through 2050 has been leaked by Russia's Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, and it includes plans for moon landings, manned Mars bases, and gigantic advanced orbital stations for research and tourism.
The moon may be more or less dead on the inside, but that's not stopping some serious old-school rock 'n' roll from happening on its surface.
Thanks to NASA's trusty Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), we now have some amazing shots of the inside of the lunar crater Aristarchus. It's one of the brightest spots on the moon's surface and while it can be seen by the naked eye on a good night, the LRO was able to get just 16 miles above it and give us some new views.
Earth has a nasty habit of recycling its surface such that old stuff (like dinosaur bones and meteor craters and ancient alien cities) get swallowed up by oceans and volcanoes or eroded into dust. The moon, however, hasn't been geologically active for a very long time, and if aliens ever stopped by our solar system, the moon might be the place to check for artifacts.
NASA has just released the latest topography map of the moon — gathered from information sent back from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched in June, 2009.