Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 10:00 AM Jun 6 2017

Close your eyes and picture what the Earth looks like. You're probably picturing a circle, mostly blue thanks to the ocean, with swirls of clouds and the occasional green and brown land mass. The entire sphere is floating in a mass of impossible black. You're picturing Earth in a way that you've never actually seen with your own two eyes. Maybe you're getting the sketch from this famous shot, below, known as the blue marble image. Astronauts aboard the Apollo 17 space mission snapped the picture on December 7th, 1972. Countless other images of our home planet have been taken, which have forever shaped our imagination of it. Still, only a handful of humans have seen it with naked eyes.

Sarah Fecht
at 11:22 AM Apr 7 2017

A supermassive black hole lurks at the center of our galaxy, but we've never seen it. We know it's there, and that it has the mass of about 4 million suns, and that the stars in our galaxy revolve around it. But no one could tell you exactly what it looks like.

Samantha Cole
at 11:00 AM Oct 7 2016

It's still on Earth for the next two years, but the James Webb Space Telescope turned around to face the world this week, as it moved into position for preliminary optics testing. Once it's launched, JWST will study galaxy, star and planet formation in the universe using infrared wavelengths. For now, you can spy on the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland where JWST is hanging out for the next few months, via the Webb Cam, here.

Charles Q. Choi
at 10:52 AM Aug 26 2016

The dramatic announcement that a small rocky planet might exist in the nearest star system to the sun, Alpha Centauri, raises the hope that we might be able to send probes to an alien world in our lifetimes.

Samantha Cole
at 10:42 AM Jul 6 2016

Five years, $180 million, and 500 meters after starting, the Chinese Academy of Sciences put the final panel into place on its massive radio telescope this weekend.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016

There are secrets space can't keep. When the National Reconnaissance Office launched an object into space earlier this month, we knew only rough details: the size of the rocket used (large), the nature of the agency launching it (reconnaissance), and the levels of secrecy around the payload (many). Now, thanks to the work of amateur astronomers, we have information that's impossible to conceal: where, exactly, the object is in orbit--plus, what it might be.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:01 PM May 11 2016

Mercury passed in front of the sun today. It was the first time that Mercury had passed between Earth and the Sun since 2006, and it was something amazing to see.

 
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