Reference Pages
17 November 2014, 11:20 AM ET
Rosetta is a spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency with a 10-year mission to rendezvous with a comet.
15 November 2014, 12:46 AM ET
Learn about the composition and orbit of comets, as well as the history of their discovery, famous comets and space missions to analyze them.
14 November 2014, 12:59 AM ET
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, and is known for its many moons, its dangerous radiation belt and its iconic Great Red Spot.
12 November 2014, 10:38 PM ET
The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major. The familiar group of stars serves as a pointer to other locations in the sky.
12 November 2014, 08:20 PM ET
Lick Observatory, in operation since 1888, is involved in the search for planets outside the solar system.
05 November 2014, 03:55 PM ET
Orbital Sciences Corp. is slated to be the second private American company to dock a spacecraft with the International Space Station.
04 November 2014, 10:00 PM ET
Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system and is known for its short years, long days, extreme temperatures and weird sunsets.
04 November 2014, 09:01 PM ET
Venus is the brightest planet in our solar system, has a hellish atmosphere, and is covered in volcanoes. Learn more about planet Venus here.
04 November 2014, 09:00 PM ET
Learn about planet Mars’ atmosphere, water supply and the possibility to support life, plus, findings from the Mars exploration rover mission.
03 November 2014, 11:04 PM ET
Learn about the discovery of dwarf planet Pluto, its fascinating orbit and atmosphere and the controversy surrounding its planetary status.
02 October 2014, 04:20 PM ET
SpaceShipOne launched the era of private spaceflight.
25 September 2014, 01:00 PM ET
NASA's Mars probe is expected to study the atmosphere of the Red Planet in amazing new detail.
20 August 2014, 10:37 PM ET
Kitt Peak National Observatory, high atop a mountain in the Arizona desert, is home to 24 telescopes. Frequent clear skies helped make it a site of many notable discoveries.
15 August 2014, 10:02 PM ET
Yerkes Observatory is most noted for its work on stellar motion and cartography, and it's also where the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan was discovered.
18 July 2014, 01:31 AM ET
Mount Wilson Observatory is a Los Angeles-area facility with several telescopes open to astronomers and the public.
28 June 2014, 01:10 AM ET
The twin telescopes at the W.M. Keck Observatory are the largest optical and infrared telescopes in the world. The telescopes are located atop Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii.
20 June 2014, 03:11 AM ET
The Palomar Observatory is an astronomical research center where several small worlds were discovered near the edge of the solar system.
12 June 2014, 01:02 AM ET
Astrophysics is a branch of space science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to seek to understand the universe and our place in it.
11 June 2014, 04:28 AM ET
Chuck Yeager was an American test pilot who was the first person to break the sound barrier — the point where a speeding object (such as an airplane) passes the speed of sound.
31 May 2014, 03:54 AM ET
The exact number of stars is impossible to know because we aren't sure how big the universe is.
29 May 2014, 12:39 AM ET
Grasshopper was a reusable rocket prototype tested by the company SpaceX in preparation for more ambitious launches.
22 May 2014, 09:28 PM ET
Many astronomers define a planet as an object that orbits the sun (but not another object), is round (or nearly so) and has cleared the area around its orbit.
21 May 2014, 11:10 AM ET
Astronomers have several ways to count stars, but getting a definitive answer to how many there are in a galaxy is "surprisingly difficult."
09 May 2014, 03:11 AM ET
Quaoar is a planetoid that lies in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond Pluto that is filled with icy bodies.
07 May 2014, 10:10 PM ET
Ikaros is a Japanese spacecraft that was the first to successfully use a solar sail at some distance from Earth.
07 May 2014, 01:44 AM ET
Do you have the right stuff? Becoming an astronaut doesn't just happen overnight. It takes many years of education and experience to meet the basic qualifications.
05 May 2014, 10:00 AM ET
The astronaut was also the fifth man to walk on the moon.
03 May 2014, 03:53 AM ET
Astronomers use many terms to describe what happens during an eclipse, and this glossary shows some of the more common things they say.
02 May 2014, 03:32 AM ET
Redshift and blueshift describe how light changes as objects in space move closer or farther away from us.
01 May 2014, 01:22 AM ET
Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy is a comet on its way to the outer solar system. It survived a close brush with the sun in December 2011. It is one of four comets discovered by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy.
30 April 2014, 02:22 AM ET
Sedna is a dwarf planet candidate that is one of the most distant bodies found in our solar system.
23 April 2014, 01:58 AM ET
Guion "Guy" Bluford is a former NASA astronaut who was the first African-American to fly into space. He flew four shuttle missions.