A team of astronomers, led by Stefan Kraus and Gerd Weigelt from the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, used ESO's Very Large telescope Interferometer (VLTI) to obtain the sharpest ever image of the young double star Theta 1 Ori C in the Orion Trapezium Cluster, the most massive star in the nearest high-mass star-forming region.
Mission Madness got personal. Perhaps it was the SPB ballooning of votes, perhaps it is simply inherent in any popularity contest like this. With only three rounds let to go (vote early, vote often!), the epithets are flying. Match the quote below with its quarterfinalist mission! Trash Talk
  1. "a mission to cold, dead rocks"
  2. "biologically infested mission"
  3. "biologically infested mission"
  4. "hasn't launched yet"
  5. don't even count as [a] mission!
  6. "It either deflates or explodes"
I'm putting the finishing touches to a GUI when the red light starts flashing. The voice comes over the PA from ops, "Warning, Jupiter hoving to view". We quickly drop our work and run across the metal crosswalk that separates us from the STEREO operations bunker. Inside, against the din of the klaxon, we see the massive bulk of Jupiter crowding the leftmost of the main displays. STEREO B was in danger!

And here is the result from our STEREO website. Jupiter seen by STEREO COR1 Okay, I made up the bit about the red light and the klaxons. And after this brief science break, I'll even bring in some irony.

It was bound to happen - stink-free underwear. And naturally, it was developed by women.

Textile experts at Japan Women's University in Tokyo developed J-ware, a a line of odor-free underwear and casual clothing. The first Japanese astronaut to live on the International Space Station, Koichi Wakata, is the guinea pig (or maybe his fellow ISS habitants are).
Research by Michigan State University scientists is helping shed light on neutron stars, city-sized globs of ultra-dense matter that occasionally collapse into black holes.

A team led by Betty Tsang, a professor at MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, has had some success in measuring a key nuclear quality that may make it easier to describe the outer crusts of such stars. 
A shock hit NASA's Mission Madness tournament when the fight between the SPB balloon mission and the MER rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" escalated to unexpected levels. And now you can find out just how this happened. 'Mission Madness' is a NASA Edge-run voting contest where the public gets to vote for their favorite mission, in a series of 1-on-1 brackets leading to the final winner.
Does a twin Earth exist somewhere in our galaxy?   NASA's Kepler spacecraft just launched to find such worlds, though in a very specific area.   If that search succeeds, the next questions driving research will be: Is that planet habitable? Does it have an Earth-like atmosphere?
Rugbyologist on 19 March: Carl Sagan's immortal COSMOS can be viewed at

Bad Astronomer on 21 March: I’m getting lots of emails that Hulu is now carrying the entire Cosmos series

Just saying . . .
Carl Sagan's immortal COSMOS can be viewed at, but for some reason only has a 4.5 star rating, instead of the eleventy-million stars it deserves.

Phobos and Deimos are just two of many moons of the solar system. Meet Deimos in color as viewed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on 21 February 2009.

And here is Phobos image taken by the same spacecraft on 23 March 2008.