A comet the size of a mountain will come to within 87,000 miles of Mars on Sunday. It’s the type of encounter that only happens once in a million years, so don’t miss the chance to learn more about it. Watch the video above.

SpaceX, Boeing land NASA contracts for manned spaceflight
SpaceX is launching rockets made with parts produced by a 3-D printer
Satellites about the size of a loaf of bread may one day explore space.

Unlike most spacecraft, which are powered by rocket engines and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, these tiny satellites are expected to cost a few million dollars each and use the sun’s energy to push them across a windless space.

It all underlines that solar physicists really don’t know what the heck is happening on the sun.
I’m hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it’s certainly possible for that to occur. But the thing that really matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars. To make life multi-planetary.

NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has captured video of a coronal mass ejection — solar material shooting out of the sun — in unprecedented detail.

With IRIS, scientists are trying to get to the bottom of what is known as “the solar corona mystery” (a phrase that a cursory Google search suggests is not yet a band name, if you were wondering).

Reporter Deborah Netburn talked to an IRIS scientist about the project.

Video: NASA

Sometime between 11 p.m. tonight and 1 a.m. Saturday morning, the Earth is expected to pass through a trail of dust shed by the comet 209P/LINEAR hundreds of years ago. That could — emphasis on could — mean the peak of a never-before-seen meteor shower, the May Camelopardalids. The astronomy website Slooh.com has partnered with NASA to provide this live feed from cameras in Alabama.

Here, science reporter Deborah Netburn explains what may happen when we pass through that debris field — and why we may see nothing at all.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is the smallest it’s been since astronomers began keeping track of it.

Video via the HubbleESA YouTube channel.

There’s a planet that spins so fast, its days are only 8 hours long

It’s called Beta Pictoris b, and it spins at 62,000 miles per hour.

PSA: Starting at 5 p.m. Pacific, the astronomy website Slooh.com will live-stream video of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, which peaks tonight.

stevebev:

The clouds over Los Angeles cleared up just enough to snap a picture of the Blood Moon.

Nice shot, Steven. This photo was our pick today for our Southern California Moments project. 

stevebev:

The clouds over Los Angeles cleared up just enough to snap a picture of the Blood Moon.

Nice shot, Steven. This photo was our pick today for our Southern California Moments project. 

test reblogged from stevebev