Planetary systems

This photo made available by the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency shows the earth as seen by the BepiColombo spacecraft on April 10, 2020. The Mercury-bound mission swooped past Earth, tweaking its round-about path to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet. (ESA/JAXA via AP)
April 10, 2020 - 11:24 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A Mercury-bound spacecraft swooped past Earth on Friday, tweaking its roundabout path to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet. Launched 1 1/2 years ago, Europe and Japan’s BepiColombo spacecraft passed within 8,000 miles (12,700 kilometers) of Earth. The...
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This Jan. 1, 2019 image from NASA shows Arrokoth, the farthest, most primitive object in the Solar System ever to be visited by a spacecraft. Astronomers reported Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 that this pristine, primordial cosmic body photographed by the New Horizons probe is relatively smooth with far fewer craters than expected. It's also entirely ultrared, or highly reflective, which is commonplace in the faraway Twilight Zone of our solar system known as the the Kuiper Belt. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Roman Tkachenko via AP)
February 13, 2020 - 2:36 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's space snowman is revealing fresh secrets from its home far beyond Pluto. More than a year after its close encounter with the snowman-shaped object, the New Horizons spacecraft is still sending back data from more than 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away...
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Nobel Physics Laureate Didier Queloz speaks during a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (Jonas Ekstromer /TT News Agency via AP)
December 07, 2019 - 11:12 am
STOCKHOLM (AP) — An astronomer who shares this year's Nobel physics prize for discovering a planet outside the Earth's solar system is taking issue with people who shrug off climate change on the grounds that humans will eventually leave for distant planets. Didier Queloz was one of several Nobel...
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This image released on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows asteroid Ryugu taken by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft. The Japan spacecraft has departed from the distant asteroid, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system. (JAXA via AP)
November 13, 2019 - 8:01 am
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese spacecraft left a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to gather soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, the country's space agency said. The Japan Aerospace...
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This image released on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows asteroid Ryugu taken by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft. The Japan spacecraft has departed from the distant asteroid, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system. (JAXA via AP)
November 13, 2019 - 3:28 am
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft departed from a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, the country's space agency said. The...
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November 13, 2019 - 1:41 am
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has departed from a distant asteroid, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says...
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In this composite image provided by NASA, the planet Mercury passes directly between the sun and Earth on May 9, 2016 in a transit which lasted seven-and-a-half-hours. On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, Mercury will make another transit, visible from the eastern U.S. and Canada, and all Central and South America. The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action. Asia and Australia will miss out. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Genna Duberstein via AP)
November 08, 2019 - 4:53 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mercury is putting on a rare celestial show next week, parading across the sun in view of most of the world. The solar system's smallest, innermost planet will resemble a tiny black dot Monday as it passes directly between Earth and the sun. It begins at 7:35 a.m. EST...
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In this composite image provided by NASA, the planet Mercury passes directly between the sun and Earth on May 9, 2016 in a transit which lasted seven-and-a-half-hours. On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, Mercury will make another transit, visible from the eastern U.S. and Canada, and all Central and South America. The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action. Asia and Australia will miss out. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Genna Duberstein via AP)
November 08, 2019 - 11:50 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mercury is putting on a rare celestial show next week, parading across the sun in view of most of the world. The solar system's smallest, innermost planet will resemble a tiny black dot Monday as it passes directly between Earth and the sun. It begins at 7:35 a.m. EST...
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In this composite image provided by NASA, the planet Mercury passes directly between the sun and Earth on May 9, 2016 in a transit which lasted seven-and-a-half-hours. On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, Mercury will make another transit, visible from the eastern U.S. and Canada, and all Central and South America. The rest of North America, Europe and Africa will catch part of the action. Asia and Australia will miss out. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Genna Duberstein via AP)
November 08, 2019 - 11:36 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mercury is putting on a rare celestial show next week, parading across the sun in view of most of the world. The solar system's smallest, innermost planet will resemble a tiny black dot Monday as it passes directly between Earth and the sun. Unlike its 2016 transit,...
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This Oct. 12, 2019 photo made available by NASA shows the comet 2I/Borisov, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s the second known interstellar visitor to swoop through our backyard. An amateur astronomer from Crimea, Gennady Borisov, discovered the comet in August, two years after the first alien guest, a cigar-shaped rock, popped up. (NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA) via AP)
October 16, 2019 - 2:15 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best pictures yet of our newest interstellar visitor. This comet from outside our solar system is zooming by us at a blistering 110,000 mph (177,000 kph). Hubble caught some glam shots over the weekend from a distance of 260...
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