Current Studies

A great planet drama takes place in the predawn sky in January, 2016. The planet Mercury will become visible before sunrise starting around January 20, to showcase all five visible planets in the same sky together for the first time since January, 2005.

A star with an unusual history is racing through the galaxy at breakneck speed — most likely blasted away by a supernova and carrying traces of the exploded star. The strange runaway star, which is rocketing along at more than 960,000 miles per hour (1.54 million kilometers per hour), is stained in carbon even though it's too immature to have created the stuff itself, scientists said.

In a new study, researchers provide a first-of-its-kind look under the hood of these solar eruptions, taking specific aim at the physical process that accelerates the superfast particles.

On the evening of Jan. 28, 1986, 30 years ago this week, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and astronaut and Senator John Glenn met with NASA's space shuttle launch team, who hours earlier had lost Challenger and its seven-member crew to a then-still-unknown cause just 73 seconds into flight. Speaking to the controllers from inside the Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Bush offered his respects on what he described as "one of the toughest, if not the toughest day" in NASA's history. Glenn, speaking more philosophically, considered the years of triumphs the space agency had achieved. "Really, if we're honest about it, and honest with ourselves, beyond our wildest dreams, I would have never thought we would ever go this far without losing some people," Glenn stated. "We come to a time when something happens and we have a tragedy that goes along with our triumphs, and I guess that's the story of all mankind."


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