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Mysteries of Space

Mysteries of Space : Burning Question
Mexican astronomer Jose Bonilla snapped this one-of-a-kind photograph on Aug. 12, 1883. Scientists now believe it was a comet fragment that came dangerously close to hitting the Earth.

Did a massive comet almost wipe out humans in 1883?

New research suggests that a giant celestial missile, much like the one that killed off dinosaurs, nearly did the same to humans a century ago

 
Mysteries of Space : In-depth briefing
A computer generated graphic illustrating the objects in Earth's orbit, roughly 95 percent of which are non-functional space junk.

Cleaning up the trash in space

The Earth is surrounded by an ever-growing cloud of space junk. Is it too late to take out the extraterrestrial trash?

 
Mysteries of Space : Best Video
The shadow of the Mars rover is cast over the planet's flat terrain.

The 'incredible' Mars video: A three-year journey in 3 minutes

A new time-lapse video answers a compelling question: What's it like to drive on Mars?

 
Mysteries of Space : Best Video
In a new video released this week by NASA, viewers can get a "spectacular" view of the Southern Lights from 200 miles above the Earth.

The 'stunning' view of the Southern Lights from space

Many people have been lucky enough to see an aurora from Earth, but how many have seen one from space?

 
Mysteries of Space : Best Video
A glimpse at what astronauts get to see: The shining, twinkling Earth shot from the International Space Station.

The 'stunning' video tour of Earth — from space

A science teacher compiles a one-minute video that takes spellbound viewers on a virtual spin around the planet

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
The newly discovered Kepler-16b planet has two suns, but unlike the fictional "Star Wars" planet Tatooine, Kepler-16b is much too cold to support life.

Found: A real-life Star Wars planet

Astronomers are thrilled by the discovery of a planet that orbits two suns — just like bleak Tatooine that Luke Skywalker calls home

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
An artist's rendition of the new "super-Earth," planet HD85512b, which is about 36 light-years from Earth.

Discovered: A 'super-Earth' that may harbor life

Astronomers have identified 50 new planets — and one is potentially hospitable to life as we know it

 
Mysteries of Space : Analysis
An artist rendering of the NASA GRAIL mission, which will measure the moon's gravitational field, and use that data to create a map of our moon's composition below the surface.

Mapping the inside of the moon

NASA's latest lunar exploration will give us a never-before-seen glimpse of the moon below the surface

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
In this illustration, the diamond planet is pictured at the center of the yellow ring. The blue is the radio wave emitted by a star, which allowed researchers to discover the planet in the first place.

A planet made of diamonds?

Astronomers have discovered a distant planet that they believe is made largely of crystalized carbon. Twinkle, twinkle...

 
Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
Russia's planned Commercial Space Station hotel may be a steal at $165,000 per night, but you may want to consider the $410,000 travel costs.

Russia's $165,000 per night space hotel

Russia may have come in second in the race to the moon, but it plans on being first in the race for boutique space hotels

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
Jodie Foster played an astronaut working for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in "Contact," and in real life she is helping re-fund SETI's array of radio antenna dishes.

Is Jodie Foster E.T.'s best friend?

The Oscar-winning actress is among those who've come to the financial rescue of SETI — a facility committed to finding intelligent life in other galaxies

 
Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
The Necklace Nebula, pictured here in an image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is located 15,000 light-years away.

The 'dazzling' necklace in space

At 12 trillion miles wide, the colorful Necklace Nebula is some serious space bling

 
Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
NASA scientists have found meteorites in Antarctica that contain components of DNA (as seen in this artist rendering).

The DNA from outer space

Did life on Earth begin with a meteorite carrying the building blocks of DNA? NASA scientists think it's possible

 
Mysteries of Space : Fact Sheet
While the near side of the moon (the side visible from Earth) is smooth, the far side is quite rugged -- perhaps because billions of years ago, another moon collided with the far side of our moon.

Did Earth have two moons?

Some astronomers believe our moon had a smaller sibling for 80 million years — before it was destroyed in a violent collision

 
Mysteries of Space : Instant Guide
The Juno spacecraft passes in front of Jupiter, in this artist's depiction of an event that is expected to occur in 2016.

NASA's solar-powered Jupiter probe

The unmanned spacecraft Juno will orbit our solar system's gaseous giant 34 times, in a quest to unlock Jupiter's many mysteries

 
Mysteries of Space : Opinion Brief
An asteroid (circled in green) is tracking Earth from 50 million miles away, according to astronomers.

Is an asteroid stalking Earth?

We are not alone: A newly discovered asteroid is following Earth, tracing our orbit as we circle the Sun

 
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