On June 5-6, 2012, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory collected images of one of the rarest predictable solar events: the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun.
This hot, acidic neighbor with its surface veiled in thick clouds hasn't benefited from the attention showered on Mars and the Moon. But Venus may offer insights into the fate of the Earth.
When it was young, the Sun spun fast – very fast. It would do one rotation in a just one or two Earth days.
Yes, the Sun absolutely spins. In fact, everything in the universe spins. Some things spin faster than the Sun, some are slower and some things spin 'backwards'.
The bright spot in the centre of the image is a new planet forming.
Valentin Christiaens et al./ ESO
Astronomers have found the first observational evidence for a disc of material around a giant young planet at a distant star. It's a place they think moons can form.
Searching for planets around nearby stars is like searching for a needle in a field of haystacks.
Science is full of surprises. While searching for planets orbiting nearby stars, researchers stumbled across the remains of a star that once outshone the Sun.
Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK.
When you look up at the vastness of space you can see hundreds, thousands and even millions of years into the past.
Nobody knows for sure - but it’s possible.
There are probably more than a million planets in the universe for every single grain of sand on Earth. That's a lot of planets. My guess is that there probably is life elsewhere in the Universe.
Once people get there, Mars will be contaminated with Earth life.
NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC
NASA's InSight Mars lander touches down Nov. 26, part of a careful robotic approach to exploring the red planet. But human exploration of Mars will inevitably introduce Earth life. Are you OK with that?
The Sun is a star – but it’s not the only one.
NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory
There are lots of places where it's much, much hotter than the Sun. And the amazing thing is that this heat also makes new atoms - tiny particles that have made their way long ago from stars to us.
Pluto’s ghoulish cousin, 2015 TG387, lurks in the distant reaches of our own Solar System.
Illustration by Roberto Molar Candanosa and Scott Sheppard, courtesy of Carnegie Institution for Science.
Whether you call it Planet X or Planet Nine, talk of another planet lurking in our Solar system won't go away. So what does the discovery of a new object – nicknamed "The Goblin" – add to the debate?
There are plans to cause HAVOC on Venus.
The upper atmosphere of Venus is the most Earth-like extra-terrestrial location in the solar system. It could even host life.
Enjoying the planets lined up in a row.
The five planets visible to the naked eye since ancient times are putting on a dazzling display this month, in a night-sky dance along with the Moon.
Pluto in enhanced color, to illustrate differences in the composition and texture of its surface.
NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute
Pluto has a density between that of rock and ice – so that immediately suggests the dwarf planet is made of a mix of both. But how do we know?
The other galaxies are there, but they are hiding a very long way away.
We are in the Milky Way. If you travelled on an extremely fast spaceship for more than two million years, you would reach our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy. All other galaxies are even further away.
Venus shines bright in the sky above Victoria.
Flickr/Indigo Skies Photography
The planets we can see in the sky were known to the ancient Greeks as 'wandering stars'. But they appeared much earlier in the stories and traditions of Australia's Indigenous people.
The colorful cloud belts dominate Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in this image captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Jupiter's bands are one of its most striking features – and can be seen from Earth – but they only go so deep within the giant planet. Now scientists think they know why.
The Blood Moon from January 31, 2018. Our second chance to see an eclipsed Moon this year is coming up on July 28.
All five five planets visible to the naked-eye are on show in the night skies over Australia, and a Blood Moon on the way too.
In fact, some things are slowing the Earth down or could change its spinning in the future.
To answer this tricky question, we have to look back in time to when the Earth was born, 4.5 billion years ago.
3D render of Pluto.
Images from New Horizons spacecraft provide more evidence about the surface of Pluto.
Imagined view from Kepler-10b, a planet that orbits one of the 150,000 stars that the Kepler spacecraft is monitoring.
NASA/Kepler Mission/Dana Berry
When NASA first started planning the Kepler mission, no one knew if the universe held any planets outside our solar system. Thousands of exoplanets later, the search enters a new phase as Kepler retires.
A new trajectory means the mission to uncover core facts about the asteroid belt will happen sooner than planned.