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Mysteries of Space

Mysteries of Space : Best Video
The Northern Lights dazzled the world last week, thanks to the biggest solar storm since 2005.

A massive solar storm's 'spectacular' aurora borealis 

When the sun spits out solar flares, they can disrupt electronics, interrupt air travel — and dazzle stargazers with "astounding" Northern Lights

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Solar Dynamics Observatory captures a massive solar flare, shown here in teal, exploding off the face of our sun 93 million miles away.

The 'strongest solar storm since 2005': A guide

A massive eruption from the sun's surface has Earth primed for a close encounter with a powerful solar flare

Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
An illustration of a black hole: The super-dense light gobblers are invisible, and have thus never been photographed.

The groundbreaking plan to photograph a black hole

Scientists want to build an enormous "virtual telescope" capable of taking a picture of a massive black hole 26,000 light years away

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
A team of experts is using NASA's Kepler space telescope to hunt for a real-world equivalent of the fictional, life-bearing moon Pandora in the film "Avatar."

The hunt for a real-life Avatar: Will we find life on another planet's moons?

The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler program will extend the space telescope's planet-hunting capabilities and begin the search for a hospitable Pandora

Mysteries of Space : Timeline
A spiral galaxy: While 2011 brought new discoveries from ever newer telescopes, it was the reliable Hubble telescope that discovered the oldest star system on record.

2011's top mysteries of space

Between a giant planet made of diamond and a massive stellar explosion that shone with the light of a trillion suns, this was quite a year for stargazers

Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
The bright spot just below Mercury has some conspiracy theorists convinced that there's a giant alien spacecraft hanging out in our solar system.

Did NASA spot an alien spaceship near Mercury?

A massive flying object flashes near the planet and then vanishes — sending UFO enthusiasts into a frenzy

Mysteries of Space : Analysis
An artist's conception of Kepler-22b, a planet 600 light years away from Earth, and the first confirmed planet outside our solar system that could conceivably harbor life as we know it.

Discovered: The first habitable 'Earth-like' planet

NASA's Kepler telescope makes a startling, exciting find: An alien world eerily similar to our own, right down to the pleasant summer temperature

Mysteries of Space : Burning Question
A magnified image of two adult C. elegan, the type of microscopic worms sent into space to help better understand how organisms deal with long outerspace trips.

Space worms: The key to human survival on Mars? 

A normally Earthbound wriggler could become the interstellar version of a canary in a coal mine

Mysteries of Space : Best Video
Perfect game? Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa hits the baseball he threw to himself while aboard the International Space Station.

The astronaut who played baseball all by himself

No team? No sweat — at least for spaceman Satoshi Furukawa, who pitches, bats, fields, and floats all by his lonesome

Mysteries of Space : Best Column
The universe is too vast and our technology too limited to successfully locate intelligent life on other planets, says Chris Wilson at Slate.

Why can't we find aliens?

Sure, we haven't successfully phoned E.T. yet, says Slate's Chris Wilson. But let's not give up too easily

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Solar flares are powerful, but they could not travel the 93 million miles to destroy Earth. At least, that's what NASA says.

Can a 'killer' solar flare really destroy Earth?

A few 2012 doomsayers think the sun will fry our planet to a crisp

Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
New footage shot by astronauts aboard the International Space Station is dazzling viewers with an in-orbit view of the pulsing lights of life on Earth.

The 'mesmerizing' view of Earth from an orbiting space station 

A gorgeous new timelapse video lets you virtually soar above our planet, gazing at the shimmering cities and violent storms miles below

Mysteries of Space : Controversy
Keeping an eye out for aliens, President Obama? Conspiracy theorists believe the feds are still hiding information about extraterrestrial life, even after a statement from the White House denied such knowledge.

The White House vs. UFO believers

More than 17,000 Americans demand that Team Obama tell the nation exactly what it knows about aliens — and the administration obliges

Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
A radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55, which would trigger a 7.1-magnitude earthquake were it to collide with Earth.

The giant asteroid that's zipping unnervingly close to Earth

A space rock the size of an aircraft carrier will zoom by our planet on Tuesday — our closest brush with astronomical catastrophe in decades

Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
The moon: A distinctly identified flying object (D.I.F.O.).

Emergency call: The man who mistook the moon for a UFO

A patient operator calms a confused Briton who reports an "enormous light blazing" in the sky above his house

Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
The Milky Way Galaxy as seen from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory: In the universe's infancy, the Milky Way may have decimated the smaller star formations that would have otherwise encircled it.

Is the Milky Way a galaxy killer?

Scientists once theorized that we have 500 galactic neighbors — but it turns out that, once the Milky Way wreaked its havoc, only 20 survived

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