First near-Earth-size planet in “habitable zone” around sun-like star confirmed by NASA

This artist's concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, called Kepler-452b, which is about 60 percent larger in diameter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle
Space truth, more awesome than fiction.

National Geographic's Pluto issue, autographed by NASA's New Horizons team

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“How cool is this?”

Live coverage of Pluto image press conference with NASA New Horizons team

In the Mission Control center, NASA's New Horizons operations team celebrates a successful visit to Pluto by the space probe.
We are as close as we've ever been to Pluto, and images even more spectacular than this are on the way.

Pluto fly-by immortalized in 4 perfect frames by Cyanide & Happiness webcomic

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Won't someone think of the poor exoplanets?

This little cartoon captures all of Pluto's lonely feels, as New Horizons probe flys by


Aww. Poor little Pluto.

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NASA's New Horizons spacecraft phones home from Pluto, and all is “nominal”

Cheers and clapping at the Mission Operations Center (MOC), where the New Horizons spacecraft signal was received.
“We have a healthy spacecraft, we recorded data on the Pluto system, and we're outbound from Pluto.”

Pluto and other known “not-planets” in our solar system mapped in scale image montage

Montage by Emily Lakdawalla.
“Their non-planetary status is a handicap because these are the worlds that we need to get Earthlings excited about exploring.”

Epic photo of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon

A stunning capture of the ISS in front of Earth's moon, by Dylan O'Donnell.

Spinning solar-powered Titan & Luna globes

If you liked the solar-powered spinning Mars globe, but wanted something more exotic, there's the spinning Titan globe, and for something closer to home, there's the Lunar edition. Read the rest

WATCH: Wanderers: breathtaking location shoots from our solar system

Erik Wernquist's Wanderers is a beautiful, inspiring, even haunting video recreating actual locations in our solar system, places we may reach someday. Read the rest

Solar system drinking glasses

The Planetary Glass Set comprises ten glasses (one for each planet, plus one each for Pluto and Sol) representing the bodies of our solar system, very very very loosely sized to express their relative dimensions. Read the rest

Harvard's crowdsourcing a century of astronomical logbook transcription

Simon writes, "I recently got a chance to interview and profile the people behind a collaboration between Smithsonian and the Harvard College Observatory who are crowdsourcing the transcription of logbooks for thousands of photographic plates. It's a massive undertaking that will give scientists access to a hundred years of astronomical data." Read the rest

Planet formation around HL Tau, 450 light years from Earth

"In a vast disc of dust and gas, dark rings are clearly visible," reports the BBC's Jonathan Webb. "Gaps in the cloud, swept clear by brand new planets in orbit. Read the rest

The Cosmic Tourist: Visit the 100 Most Awe-Inspiring Destinations in the Universe

Open the pages of Cosmic Tourist and journey across the universe with 100 thrilling pit stops along the way. Your itinerary starts with Planet Earth, makes stops on the moon, the sun, a comet, Mercury, resting spots through the asteroid belt, and many other cosmic sites until you end up 13,700,000,000 light years away at “Infinity and Beyond.” Each stop offers spectacular photography and fascinating outer space facts that are written by the BBC’s “Sky at Night” astronomers Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott, and Brian May (who also happens to be the guitarist and founding member of Queen).

If you’ve often sat under the black twinkling canopy of the night sky and wondered… What is that mysterious glow on the night side of Venus? Or… Why is the Delta Cephei, which is 887 light years away from Earth, one of the most important stars in the sky? Or… What are those beautifully bright beaded interlocking rings that are floating 167,000 light-years away from us? … then it’s time to buy your passenger ticket, er, this visually stunning book, which will captivate you with space travel for many moons to come.

The Cosmic Tourist: Visit the 100 Most Awe-Inspiring Destinations in the Universe by Brian May, Patrick Moore, and Chris Lintott

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

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How to view the “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse, in the wee hours of Wednesday

Blood moon during the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. Dominic Milan / NASA.

When our planet passes between the sun and moon in the early morning on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the moon—-which will be in Earth’s shadow--will appear to glow blood-red. Read the rest

Laniakea: scientists' name for our cosmic home

Scientists have now mapped superculusters -- dense regions of multiple galaxies -- across space and have named our own supercluster Laniakea, Hawaiian for "immeasurable heaven." (Nature) Read the rest

High Camp on the Moon (photo from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

"High Camp on the Moon," a photograph shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Leshchinsky.

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