Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – Oct. 20, 2013

ISON Holds, Biggest Star Ever Found Rips Apart and More

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Last week we looked at Hubble’s latest view of comet ISON, scientists witnessed the biggest star ever found rip apart and SpaceX reached a major milestone.

FIRST STOP: Biggest Star Ever Found Is Ripping Apart (Photo)

Biggest Star Ever Found Is Ripping Apart (Photo)

ESO/VPHAS+ Survey/N. Wright

A group of scientists have observed a star tearing itself apart in its final stages of life. These new observations could give astronomers clues as to how huge stars burn bright and fade away. [Full Story]

NEXT: SpaceX Hit Huge Reusable Rocket Milestone with Falcon 9 Test Flight (Video)

SpaceX Hit Huge Reusable Rocket Milestone with Falcon 9 Test Flight (Video)

SpaceX

SpaceX managed to relight the first stage of its new and improved Falcon 9 rocket during the vehicle’s maiden launch last month, officials said. [Full Story]

NEXT: Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON Still Intact, Hubble Photo Suggests

Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON Still Intact, Hubble Photo Suggests

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Skywatchers take heart: The potentially brilliant Comet ISON appears to be holding together thus far on its perilous journey around the sun. [Full Story]

NEXT: Does Mercury Hold Clues to Birth of Earth's Moon?

Does Mercury Hold Clues to Birth of Earth's Moon?

NASA/JHUAPL/CIW

Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system, and the one that’s closest to the Sun, may hold clues to understanding how the Earth’s moon came into being, a researcher suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: Weird Out of Whack Exoplanetary System Discovered

Weird Out of Whack Exoplanetary System Discovered

NASA

Scientists have been using data collected by NASA’s now-defunct Kepler space telescope not only to look for planets beyond the solar system but also to probe their parent stars, which pulsate as they spin, causing variations in brightness. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Assessing Impacts of Government Shutdown

NASA Assessing Impacts of Government Shutdown

NASA

The end of the government shutdown may have brought NASA back online, but it will take the space agency a few days to get back up to speed, officials say. [Full Story]

NEXT: New iPhone App Lets You See Which Spy Satellites Are Watching You

New iPhone App Lets You See Which Spy Satellites Are Watching You

Orbit Logic

In case you are hungry for personal space situational awareness, or are just plain paranoid, a new iPhone app can tell you when and what imaging spacecraft might have you in sight. Orbit Logic of Greenbelt, Md., has created SpyMeSat, an app that provides notifications when imaging satellites are zooming above your head. [Full Story]

NEXT: China Readies Moon Rover for December Launch

China Readies Moon Rover for December Launch

Courtesy: Dragon in Space

As China marks the 10-year anniversary of its first manned spaceflight, the nation is gearing up to launch its most complex robotic mission to the moon late this year. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Diamond' Super-Earth Planet May Not Be So Glam

'Diamond' Super-Earth Planet May Not Be So Glam

Haven Giguere

An alien planet 40 light-years from Earth that scientists say may be made mostly of diamond may not actually be as glitzy as initially thought. Here's the newest look at the diamond "super-earth." [Full Story]

NEXT: India's First Mission to Mars to Launch This Month

India's First Mission to Mars to Launch This Month

Indian Space Research Organisation

India is prepping its Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, headed for a late October liftoff and geared to survey the red planet’s environment, image its surface, and search for the possible presence of methane – be it expelled by non-biological or microbial sources. [Full Story]

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