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Super Earths Found Circling Ancient Star

A habitable-zone planet circles a nearby star zipping past our solar system.

NASA Unveils Selfie of Earth Created With Tens of Thousands of Individual Pictures

A stunning “Global Selfie” mosaic from NASA celebrates Earth and Earth Day.

5 Sky Events This Week: Red Planet, Lord of the Rings, and Space Mountain

The bright moon moves into late-night skies this week, offering backyard observers some early-evening opportunities to hunt down celestial sights ranging from a fading supernova to a giant asteroid. Last-chance supernova. For Monday, February 17, and the rest of the week, the exploding star SN 2014J will be visible in darker skies in the early evening, thanks to the…

5 Sky Events This Week: Zombie Comet, Celestial Canine, and Moon Flirts with Venus

Sky-watchers get a last chance to glimpse the ghost of Comet ISON, watch the moon glide past the goddess of love, and glimpse a mythical hunter’s trusty companion. Zombie Comet ISON:  In early December, comet watchers will want to get up before dawn to scan the eastern horizon for any signs of Comet ISON. After…

Hi-Def Space Selfies Coming To Your Web Browser Soon

Coming soon—take the ultimate selfie from space!   Two high-definition cameras are on their way now to the International Space Station. There, they will aim to revolutionize how we view our planet and ourselves. A Canadian-based company named UrtheCast will offer the world’s first near-live HD video and imagery of Earth from space, using the…

NASA Reveals Saturn’s View Of Earth

NASA has unveiled a gorgeous Cassini spacecraft look at the Earth, Mars and Venus, as seen from behind Saturn. In orbit around the ringed planet since 2004, Cassini set up the image when it passed into Saturn’s shadow on July 19, 2013. That allowed the spacecraft to capture the arrangement of rings, moons and worlds seen…

If the Shoe Fits: Animals That Wear Boots

From penguins sporting shoes to an elephant with a prosthetic foot, check out animals that strut their stuff in booties.

Top 10 Headlines Today: New Language Found, Interactive Mars Panorama

The top stories on National Geographic’s radar today: A new language has been discovered in Australia, the Curiosity rover has delivered a new billion-pixel panorama from Mars, and…

Top 10 Headlines Today: Hole in Time Created, Tiny Ancestor Found…

The top 10 headlines on our radar today: Scientists have created a “hole in time,” a tiny fossil may be the earliest primate yet discovered, and …

25 Years After Voyager 2, Here’s What We Know About Uranus

Has it been a while since your last physical exam? Consider this: It’s been 25 years since anyone took a close look at Uranus. Uranus, as seen by Voyager 2. —Picture courtesy NASA/JPL The Voyager 2 spacecraft, which launched in 1977, made its closest approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986, coming within 50,600 miles…

New Pictures of Auroras — on Saturn!

As if having the most impressive rings in the solar system isn’t enough, Saturn also boasts some of the shiniest “footwear”—just check out new shots of the planet’s southern auroras: —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester This quartet of candy-colored pictures comes from NASA’s Cassini orbiter, which carries a nifty tool that can collect…

Carnival of Space #170

Welcome, ladies and gents, to this week’s Carnival of Space, the 170th performance of a spectacular show filled with thrills, chills, and amazements! —Image by Victoria Jaggard This is my debut as host of the Carnival here at Breaking Orbit, but I’m no First of May when it comes to showcasing the wonders the cosmos…

Pluto Gets 14 New Neighbors

Beyond Neptune‘s orbit, roughly five billion miles from the sun, the solar system can seem like a dark, desolate place. But like the murky depths of the ocean, the darkness hides millions of mysterious bodies—or at least, so we think. Known collectively as trans-Neptunian objects, or TNOs, the first of this population to be discovered…

Jupiter News Flash: Pictures of “Nothing” Reveal Size of Recent Impact

It’s been tough times for Jupiter: The gas giant planet lost a belt in May, and, thanks to the diligence of amateur astronomers, we know that it has been struck by space objects at least three times in the course of a year. Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley recorded the first impact in July 2009.…

Ancient Observatories Make World Heritage List

This month the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released its list of the 21 sites being added to the World Heritage list. Inclusion on the list is meant to “encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity,” according…