When starlight bounces off of dust particles, the surrounding area casts off a bluish hue. That's exactly what you're looking at here with the nebula M78, thanks to Chile's European Southern Observatory — and the two bright stars illuminating M78....
After more than 250 long days in a wood-paneled approximation of a spaceship headed toward the Red Planet, the six-man crew of Mars500 has finally reached their goal: touching down on Mars. Even though this "Mars" is really just a sandbox in a suburb, one team member still saw the sight as inspiring.
Once we got rid of Pluto, we thought we had our Solar System really nailed down. Turns out, there might be a new ninth planet called Tyche out there. And if real, it'd be a whopping four times the mass of Jupiter.
The Spitzer Space Telescope detects infrared radiation and is the largest telescope of its kind ever launched into space. This image, taken by Spitzer, shows the Helix nebula in the Aquarius constellation 700 light years away.
NASA really is trying everything in its quest to build better robotic craft. Wasn't too long ago that the space agency tried bean bag wheels. Now, it's duct-taped skateboards to a lander's legs to allow it to ollie across the surface of distant planets (or, in this case, help test it here on Earth).
This gorgeous infrared image of Zeta Ophiuchi was taken with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Although interstellar dust makes Zeta Ophiuchi appear red, this supergiant is actually blue — and moving fast. Astronomers believe it was once part of...
It sounds crazy, but 233 days ago a team of six scientists entered a sealed simulator in Russia. Their mission? Recreate the conditions of a 520-day round trip to and from Mars, realistically cutoff from the rest of the world. Come February they'll finally reach the Red Planet, but the hardest part of the journey will still be ahead.
A mysterious green blob of gas known as Hanny's Voorwerp (that's Hanny's Object in Dutch) was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. What we can see is all that remains of a 300,000-light-year-long streamer of gas floating near neighboring galaxy, IC 2947. Hanny's Voorwerp was made visible by a quasar, which may have turned off as long as 200,000 years ago.
That tiny speck in front of the moon is the International Space Station, which is traveling nearly five miles a second relative to us Earthlings. That means French photographer Thierry Legault only had 0.55 seconds to make the shot. He got it — and got one with the sun, too (during an eclipse, no less).
Looking south from the Tibetan Plateau, this view of Earth's highest mountain range shows breathtaking views of Makalu (left; 27,765 feet) and Everest (right; 29,035 feet) from the International Space Station.