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Watch: Sun Unleashes First Big Flare of 2014, May Create Colorful Aurora Light Show

The new year has started off with a bang, with a powerful solar flare being hurled off the surface of the sun on Tuesday. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and STEREO spacecrafts managed to capture the eruption of a massive X-class flare—the largest type on the Richter scale of solar explosions—as it occurred above a group of sunspots directly…

Spacesuit Flaw Prompts Christmas Eve Spacewalk

No place like home for the holidays? Two American astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be floating outside their orbiting home on Christmas Eve.   While a Saturday space walk to repair the orbiting laboratory’s faulty cooling pump was completed ahead of schedule, water leaks still plague one space-walk spacesuit. As a result,…

Top 5 Space Station Repair Spacewalk Dangers

Tensions are high as the astronauts aboard the International Space Station ready themselves to conduct a series of emergency spacewalks that start this weekend, ones intended to correct a critical cooling system failure. Acting much like a car’s radiator, the malfunctioning cooling pump prevents overheating of electronics and science experiments aboard the ISS. With one…

Space Station Cooling Unit Breakdown May Need Spacewalk Fix

Update: NASA has indeed decided to dispatch International Space Station astronauts on a series of spacewalks to repair the faulty cooling pump. A NASA briefing on the space walks will take place on December 18 at 3 p.m. The space walks have also forced the delay of a cargo resupply mission to the space station.…

NASA May Test Its Lunar Green Thumb

If all goes as planned, NASA may land its first experimental garden on the moon in late 2015. Scientists at the Ames Research Center in California are putting together the “Lunar Plant Growth Habitat” project with the hopes of sending an automated small greenhouse (complete with turnips, basil and flower seeds) to the moon in…

Cassini Photo: Stunning New Views of Saturn’s Hexagon Storm

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft snaps the highest-resolution images yet of Saturn’s mysterious “hexagon”—a six-sided jet stream circling the gas giant’s north pole.

Ghost of Comet ISON Fading Fast

After initially appearing to revive after whipping around the sun on Thursday, Comet ISON has kept on providing space buffs with a real roller coaster ride. (Related: Comet ISON Barnstorms Sun) But while hopes were raised that the comet might have been only been battered and bruised by its encounter with the sun, it now looks…

Comet ISON Barnstorms Sun

The day of reckoning has finally arrived for Comet ISON, as it slingshots around the sun and we find out whether it survives roasting. Comet ISON today reaches its closest point of approach to the sun, its “perihelion,” at around 1:44 pm EST (18:44 GMT) today. The frozen snowball from the solar system’s outer reaches…

Hi-Def Space Selfies Coming To Your Web Browser Soon

Coming soon—take the ultimate selfie from space!   Two high-definition cameras are on their way now to the International Space Station. There, they will aim to revolutionize how we view our planet and ourselves. A Canadian-based company named UrtheCast will offer the world’s first near-live HD video and imagery of Earth from space, using the…

MAVEN Launches for the Red Planet

When MAVEN fires its thrusters and settles into Martian orbit next September, it will join a celebrity list of spacecraft already studying the red planet. Its launch today from Cape Canaveral, Florida, was a major step toward that goal, one that propels the satellite onward to its own fame during a year-long mission studying the…

7 Sky Events This Week: Double Comet Flybys and Lunar Encounters

Be dazzled by a superbright comet and watch three worlds align in this week’s sky events not to miss.

NASA Reveals Saturn’s View Of Earth

NASA has unveiled a gorgeous Cassini spacecraft look at the Earth, Mars and Venus, as seen from behind Saturn. In orbit around the ringed planet since 2004, Cassini set up the image when it passed into Saturn’s shadow on July 19, 2013. That allowed the spacecraft to capture the arrangement of rings, moons and worlds seen…

Pictures: The Sun’s Recent Flares

The sun appears to be throwing a bit of a tantrum. With three powerful solar flares and a giant cloud of super-hot plasma hurled toward Earth in the past week, it looks as if our home star is awakening from slumber as it approaches the natural peak of its 11-year cycle, the solar maximum. (Related: “Solar…

NASA Shutdown Unleashes Beautiful Astronaut Photos on Twitter

Despite the two-week old  government shutdown and NASA’s official online presence going completely dark, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have still been tweeting away and sharing some pretty spectacular snapshots. During the shutdown, NASA has kept Mission Control lights on at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, making sure that all communication lines…

October 13, 2013: Arctic Double Dating, Poisoning Rhinos to Save Them, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we we ski and kayak across Baffin Island, poison rhinos to save them, and meet child soldiers while bearing witness to illicit mines in one of the world’s poorest countries.