This Week's Top Space Stories!

This is the first-ever image of a black hole.
(Image: © NSF)

Probe has now flown by the sun twice

(Image: © Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)

The Parker Solar Probe made its second close approach to the sun on April 4. The NASA mission will continue getting nearer to the star, and the data it collects will illuminate questions about the scorching outermost layer of the sun known as the corona. [Full Story: NASA's Parker Solar Probe Makes 2nd Daring Flyby of the Sun]

The first-ever photograph of a black hole

(Image: © Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Villanova University/J. Neilsen; Radio: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)

On Wednesday (April 10), scientists working on the Event Horizon Telescope project unveiled the first photograph of a black hole. The remarkable image features a supermassive black hole located tens of millions of light years away, at the center of elliptical galaxy Messier 87. [Full Story: Eureka! Scientists Photograph a Black Hole for the 1st Time]

See Also: Why Is the First-Ever Black Hole Photo an Orange Ring?

Plus: The Future of Black Hole Photography: What's Next for the Event Horizon Telescope

Astronauts complete space lab repairs

(Image: © NASA)

Two astronauts spent over six hours completing the last in a series of three spacewalks. NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques experienced some difficulty removing a debris shield during this repair and upgrade work on April 8. Eventually astronaut Jeanette Epps, who was walking them through the procedure from mission control in Houston, advised using a pry bar, and the spacewalking duo succeeded. [Full Story: Spacewalking Astronauts Battle Stuck Panel, Wrangle Cables on Space Station]

A look at the space arms race

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this stunning view of the galaxy cluster RXC J0142.9+4438 on Aug. 13, 2018, using the observatory's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3.

(Image: © AGI)

Two Washington think tanks released new studies this week about space security and the emergence of anti-satellite weapons. The Secure World Foundation and the Center of Strategic and International Studies used public information to look at how more countries around the world are using space to enhance their national security and to boost their military capabilities. [Full Story: New Studies Provide Fresh Insights Into the Escalating Space Arms Race]

Gonggong, Holle or Vili — you choose

(Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A minor planet in the distant solar system has no name, it's simply designated as 2007 OR10. But the public can now cast their votes to select which mythological deity will lend its name to this object. 2007 OR10 orbits Earth's sun within the Kuiper belt, an icy region beyond the orbit of Neptune. [Full Story: Help Name the Largest Unnamed World in the Solar System]

A spacecraft crashed onto the moon

A first-ever test March 25, 2019 saw two ground-based interceptors launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California intercepting an intercontinental ballistic missile target launched from a separate test site.

(Image: © SpaceIL/IAI)

The robotic Beresheet spacecraft, which entered into lunar orbit just days ago, attempted a touchdown on Thursday (April 11), but failed. The Israeli mission, built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, crashed into the moon's regolith. The would-be-lander lost communication with mission control when it was 489 feet (149 meters) above the surface of the moon. [Full Story: Israel's Beresheet Spacecraft Crashes Into Moon During Landing Attempt]

Microgravity stresses the body

(Image: © NASA TV)

When a human body spends a long period of time in space, it changes, according to NASA's Twins Study. The project involved 10 teams and over 80 researchers who looked at the changes NASA astronaut Scott Kelly experienced during his almost full year on the International Space Station. The control for the experiment was Scott's identical twin, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who remained on the ground during this mission. [Full Story: Landmark NASA Twins Study Reveals Space Travel's Effects on the Human Body]

March on Mars: two moons, two 'eclipses.'

NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars spotted the moon Deimos passing in front of the sun on March 17, 2019.

(Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A robot on Mars saw each of the planet's moons "eclipse" the sun. On March 17, NASA's Curiosity rover watched Deimos transit the sun, and on March 26, the mission caught Mars' larger moon, Phobos, block about half of the sun's disk. [Full Story: NASA's Curiosity Rover Just Saw 2 Eclipses on Mars! Now You Can, Too]

See Also: What's Eating Mars' Methane? ExoMars Results Deepen Mystery

Metallic asteroids might have spewed out iron lava

InsightART's scanner based on space-flown technology analyzes a statue of an angel.

(Image: © Elena Hartley)

There are distant worlds in the solar system where volcanoes may have once spewed out molten metal. Two research teams are modeling the cooling process of metallic asteroids that might have ejected lava. [Full Story: Iron Volcanoes on Some Asteroids May Have Ejected Molten Metal]

Falcon Heavy sticks triple rocket landing

(Image: © Amy Thompson)

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy megarocket completed its first commercial launch on Thursday (April 11) when it took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center after previous weather delays. THe Falcon Heavy deployed a communications satellite into space and performed a triple-rocket landing. [Full Story: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Sticks Triple Rocket Landing with 1st Commercial Launch]

See Also: SpaceX Drops Protest of NASA Launch Contract

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