comets
What the Hell is Going on With This Comet?

There’s already a strange story behind comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, or just 41P: It took almost 100 years to identify and occasionally flares. And now, its spin is rapidly slowing down. Read More >>

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The First Known Interstellar Asteroid Looks Incredibly Weird 

Scientists know of 750,000 or so asteroids and comets—and all of them are part of this fine solar system. That is, all of them but one. And as new research shows, it’s weird as hell. Read More >>

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This Is One of the Strangest Objects Ever Discovered in the Solar System

Is it an asteroid? A comet? Both? Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new details about a strange binary asteroid that’s performing double-duty as a comet. It’s the first time scientists have ever seen such a thing. Read More >>

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Lost Japanese Spacecraft Has Made a Key Measurement on Rosetta’s Comet

Japan’s Proximate Object Close Flyby with Optical Navigation (PROCYON) has been lost in space ever since its ion thrusters blew out in 2014. Since then, the tiny spacecraft has done its best to be useful, orbiting the Sun by itself. A new study reveals the PROCYON made some impressive observations on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the same comet the Rosetta spacecraft observed for two years before ending its mission in 2016. Read More >>

rosetta
All the Incredible Things We Learned From Our First Trip to a Comet

The historic Rosetta mission has finally come to an end. Over the past two years, the probe’s many instruments have scanned virtually every nook and cranny of this weirdly shaped rock, unleashing a treasure trove of new information about comets in general, and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in particular.When Halley’s Comet paid us a visit back in 1986, the European Space Agency’s Giotto spacecraft was sent to explore the incoming ball of ice and dirt. By the time the mission was over, it became glaringly obvious that if we were ever going to learn anything about comets, we’re going to have to get a bit closer. Like, a lot closer. Read More >>

space
How the Rosetta Spacecraft Will Crash Onto Comet 67P

In just seven days, the Rosetta spacecraft will smash into Comet 67P. A new visualisation shows how it’ll go down. Read More >>

space
Our Best Glimpse Yet of a Disintegrating Comet

Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have captured unprecedented images of a comet in the process of disintegration. It’s our clearest view yet of this celestial phenomenon in action. Read More >>

space
Complex Organic Molecules Discovered on Rosetta’s Comet

With only a few days left before it’s scheduled to crash-land on the surface of Comet 67P, the Rosetta spacecraft is still yielding amazing discoveries. And I’m not just talking about lost comet landers. Read More >>

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How Scientists Found the Tiny Philae Lander on a Giant Comet

In the shadow of a cliff on an icy rock 700 million kilometres from Earth, a washing machine-sized robot by the name of Philae has spent the last two years in hibernation. We’d already given up hope of speaking with humanity’s first and only comet lander ever again, and time was running out to catch a final, fleeting glimpse of the beloved craft. In the eleventh hour, science prevailed. Read More >>

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Lost Philae Lander Found Wedged Into a Crack on its Comet

The European Space Agency lost contact with its Rosetta mission’s plucky little lander, Philae, in May 2015. Now the orbiter’s high-resolution camera has found Philae wedged into a dark crack on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Read More >>

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A Giant Comet Was Just Obliterated by the Sun

Reminding us of our own fragile mortality, a large, bright comet just streaked across the sky and straight into our nearest neighbouring star. You will absolutely believe what happened next because it has happened to you in a nightmare, admit it. Read More >>

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Why Halley’s Comet Has Such a Wacky Orbit

Halley’s Comet pays us a visit every 76 years or so, but its exact arrival date cannot be predicted. A team of European astronomers has finally come up with an explanation for this comet’s erratic behaviour. Read More >>

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Hubble Just Caught a Close-Up View of What Flying Into an Active Comet Looks Like

Comets brush by us all the time, but they’re usually not close enough for us to catch anything more than a glimpse as they streak through the sky. But, thanks to one very close comet, Hubble just got an incredible insider view. Read More >>

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A Mysterious Object From Earth’s Distant Past Has Returned

A first-of-its-kind space rock filled with pristine material from the formation of the Earth itself has returned to the inner solar system, after billions of years in the cosmic boondocks. And it could help us piece together our planet’s origin story. Read More >>

space
Key Building Block of Life Could Have Formed in Interstellar Space

The case that we’re all just highly organised lumps of space sweets keeps getting better. For the first time, scientists have created ribose—the key sugar underlying RNA—in laboratory conditions simulating the cold, radiation-blasted vacuum of outer space. Read More >>