Latest News for 2012 Venus Transit of the Sun Archive
07 December 2014, 08:00 AM ET
On Nov. 28, mission controllers lost contact with the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft, which has been circling Earth's hellishly hot "sister planet" for more than eight years. The probe may have run out of fuel, its handlers say.
02 December 2014, 11:00 AM ET
With luck, skywatchers can catch sight of the five brightest planets in the sky this month. Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter should all be on display.
21 November 2014, 10:40 AM ET
The morning sky will play host to a spectacular gathering of solar system objects grouped closely together tomorrow (Nov. 22), but it won't be easy for observers on Earth to see it.
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.
30 October 2014, 03:51 PM ET
This week is one of the rare opportunities when Mercury is relatively easy to spot. It will mean getting up before the sun, but once spotted, you will be able to follow Mercury until it is drowned out by daylight.
02 October 2014, 12:40 PM ET
Look up to see planets parading across the sky this month. A series of planets, big and small, will reveal themselves to skywatchers on Earth, if weather permits.
27 September 2014, 07:00 AM ET
For a couple of hours after nightfall Sunday (Sept. 28), Mars will be a fairly conspicuous light. The Red Planet will have a companion this evening; sitting below and to its left will shine the reddish 1st-magnitude star Antares.
11 September 2014, 12:31 PM ET
Venus does not have a magnetic field and is pounded by solar wind. NASA researchers have found clues that the Sun's magnetic field lines are behind the hole formations.
11 September 2014, 07:12 AM ET
A team of researchers has delineated the "Venus Zone," the range of distances from a host star where planets are likely to resemble Earth's similarly sized sister planet, which has been rendered unlivably hot due to a runaway greenhouse effect.
05 September 2014, 11:36 PM ET
Early-bird stargazers with clear weather on Saturday (Sept. 6) we will be treated to a striking celestial sight when the most brilliant planet in the night sky passes close to one of the brightest stars in the sky.
21 August 2014, 07:00 AM ET
The Venus Express probe wrapped up its "aerobraking" move and entered a new, higher orbit late last month. It will continue to study Venus for several more months and then, as its fuel runs out, dip back into the planet's atmosphere for good.
15 August 2014, 03:46 PM ET
Get up early any morning this week to see a spectacular cosmic treat: two morning "stars" dancing at dawn.
15 August 2014, 02:39 PM ET
The morning star and the gas giant start their convergence on Aug 15th and it culminates in a 'cosmic triangle' when a slender crescent moon joins the party on August 23rd.
31 July 2014, 02:48 PM ET
Mars and Saturn get together with the crescent moon for a planetary 3-way on August 31st and Venus and Jupiter get together on August 18th. The Perseids Meteor Shower peaks on Aug 11-13.
24 July 2014, 05:01 PM ET
Mercury and Venus will star in an early morning meet-up with the moon Friday (July 24). Both planets can be seen low in the east-northeast roughly 45 minutes before sunrise.
24 July 2014, 12:06 PM ET
NASA's STEREO spacecraft captured imagery of recently discovered Comet Jacques on its nearest approach to the Sun as the object was moving at over 110,000 miles per hour. The comet can be spotted in the pre-dawn hours.
16 July 2014, 04:07 PM ET
The European spacecraft has completed a risky aerobreaking maneuver in Venus' atmosphere, allowing critical data of the planet's atmosphere to be taken.
06 July 2014, 01:01 PM ET
A colossal but glancing smashup with a roughly Earth-size planet could have stripped away much of proto-Mercury's rocky mantle, explaining why the tiny, sun-scorched world has such a huge iron core today, researchers say.
01 July 2014, 03:25 PM ET
Pluto reaches opposition and can be seen with a medium-sized telescope and dark skies. Dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta will be quite close to one another on the night sky. But each is a tough target.
30 June 2014, 10:29 AM ET
Saturn and Mars are visible in the evening and Venus and Mercury can be found before sunrise. At the end of the month, the annual Delta Aquarid peaks with 20 meteors per hour. -- Skywatching Guide: http://goo.gl/uETMG9
28 June 2014, 07:05 AM ET
Jupiter will end its brilliant year-long showing on Sunday evening (June 29) with a rendezvous with a young and slender crescent moon. Both objects will sit low on the horizon in the twilight sky.
25 June 2014, 04:48 PM ET
Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet in the star Gliese 832's "habitable zone" — the just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist on a world's surface. The planet, known as Gliese 832c, lies just 16 light-years from Earth.
13 June 2014, 08:38 PM ET
Capturing Venus pass before the sun is a rare sight that, if you missed it, you may not live to see.
11 June 2014, 12:53 PM ET
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has photographed Mercury crossing the face of the sun, marking the first time such a planetary "transit" has ever been imaged from the surface of a planet other than Earth.
04 June 2014, 06:01 AM ET
While robots have done the lion's share of planetary exploration to date, there are plenty of human stories to share about this ambitious enterprise, a panel of experts stressed during last month's Spacefest VI conference in California.
31 May 2014, 07:30 AM ET
This Sunday night (June 1), the Fox TV series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" will send viewers to Earth's neighbor to learn about the greenhouse effect.
30 May 2014, 11:04 AM ET
Your best views of Jupiter will come in early June. Venus will be just over the horizon right before sunrise.
23 May 2014, 03:28 PM ET
Looking low toward the east beginning at around 4:30 a.m. local daylight time, you'll see a narrow waning crescent moon, just 12 percent illuminated. Situated about 2 degrees below and to its left will be the brilliant planet Venus.
16 May 2014, 04:29 PM ET
The Venus Express probe is running low on fuel. So mission officials wrapped up routine science operations this week to begin preparing the spacecraft for a deep dive into the planet's fast-swirling air.
09 May 2014, 04:06 PM ET
Now is a great time for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere to view Mercury in the evening sky. This window will remain open through the end of May, giving you plenty of chances to see this so-called "elusive planet" with your own eyes.
03 May 2014, 01:59 PM ET
Stargazers have a chance to see the five brightest planets in the May night sky, weather permitting. Here's how to see Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury
01 May 2014, 02:05 PM ET
Models show that Mars should be about as big as Earth if gas and dust were distributed smoothly throughout the protoplanetary disk that surrounded the newborn sun 4.5 billion years ago. But Mars is just 10 percent as massive as our world.
24 April 2014, 02:54 PM ET
If your skies are clear before dawn on Friday and Saturday (April 25 and 26), check out the sky low to the east-southeast horizon about 60 to 90 minutes before sunrise for a view of the two brightest objects in the nighttime sky: the moon and Venus.
07 April 2014, 05:27 PM ET
Planets abound in the night sky this month, which affords good views of Venus, Jupiter and Neptune. And on Tuesday (April 8), Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in more than six years.
02 April 2014, 01:01 PM ET
After gazing up at the moon for thousands of years, we're still not exactly sure how it came to be. Here's a brief rundown of the most prominent theories scientists have come up with to explain the moon's origin.
01 April 2014, 02:50 AM ET
The story behind a well-known image of the 1987 occultation of Venus by the moon.