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NASA Preps Mars Orbiters for Comet Close Encounter

A cometary near miss for Mars in a few months means meteor risks for NASA’s spacecraft orbiting the red planet. On October 19, the comet Siding Spring will brush by Mars, passing so close that the space agency this week announced it has put together a special playbook filled with protective measures for its orbiters there.…

Milky Way Punier Than We Thought

The Milky Way looks less hefty, but just as beautiful as ever, this summer.

4 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Dumbbell and Lunar Lineup

Moonless nights bring deep sky delights for skywatchers this week.

Watch What Could Be This Summer’s Best Meteor Shower

A July meteor shower promises a chance to catch a shooting star.

Space Station Astronaut Photographs, Tweets Gaza Conflict

An astronaut tweeted his “saddest’ picture from space, of conflict on Earth.

#okavango14: Over Africa’s Wetland Wilderness

Africa’s newly-minted UNESCO World Heritage Site, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, from the air and from space… This emerald green oasis buzzes with life during the summer months when grand thunderstorms sweep across the delta…

4 Sky Events This Week: Saturn Stands While Meteors Fly

Saturn, the true “Lord of the Rings,” dominates the evening sky this week, while the summer’s first meteor shower gets under way. Saturn at full stop. On Monday, July 21, the ringed world will appear at a standstill in the sky, relative to the background stars in the zodiacal constellation Libra, the Scales. Astronomers call this…

45th Anniversary of First Men on the Moon: Spot Apollo Landing Sites

This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Learn how you can spy two of the Apollo landing sites with a set of binoculars.

See Mars Map Landmarks for Yourself

A new Mars map makes a visual trip to the red planet possible for stargazers.

4 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giants and Deep Sky Jewels

The moon dances with the outer planets this week for sky-gazers.

4 Sky Events This Week: Ringed Jewel and Cat’s Eye Sparkle

A Cat’s Eye stares back at skywatchers in this week’s star gazing showcase.

Cosmic Cannibalism Reveals How Galaxies Grow

Viewable by amateur astronomers, the Umbrella Galaxy is dining on a smaller companion.

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

Soccer Mania Stretches From Brazil to Mercury?

Worldwide celebration of the “beautiful game” may have spilled across the solar system to Mercury, according to NASA. The space agency’s MESSENGER spacecraft has spotted what appears to be a giant soccer ball on the scorched surface of the planet closest to the sun. While it may have the familiar pattern of a football, it…

Waves Discovered on Saturn’s Moon Titan?

Surf’s up on one of Saturn’s moons, report astronomers.