Space

Two of our galaxy's most massive stars, until recently shrouded in mystery, have been viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope, unveiling greater detail than ever before.
 
The image shows a pair of colossal stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth. The Carina Nebula contains several ultra-hot stars, including these two star systems and the famous blue star Eta Carinae, which has the highest luminosity yet confirmed.  
Beta Pictoris is one of the best-known examples of stars surrounded by a dusty 'debris' disc.  Only 12 million years old, the 'baby star' Beta Pictoris is located about 70 light-years away towards the constellation Pictor (the Painter).

Debris discs are composed of dust resulting from collisions among larger bodies like planetary embryos or asteroids. They are a bigger version of the zodiacal dust in our Solar System.
I envision a Walley World outpost on Venus, or perhaps the next passing comet...what, you have a better idea?

Then send it to NASA. The space agency announced an opportunity for PI-led space investigations for its New Frontier program. One of NASA's strategic goals is to "advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system, the potential for life elsewhere, and the hazards and resources present as humans explore space." To that end, the NASA Science Mission Directorate is conducting a program of planetary science to answer the following questions:
The explosion of a binary star inside a planetary nebula has been captured by a team of researchers – an event that has not been witnessed for more than 100 years. The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, predicts that the combined mass of the two stars in the system may be high enough for the stars to eventually spiral into each other, triggering an even larger supernova explosion.
This is why women should just stay in the kitchen and leave the real work to the men. (I'm still bitter about being told in 1997 by a construction foreman that I hammer like a girl.)
Move over, Malibu - ancient Mars may take the solar system's top beachfront destination prize. It possibly had not just one ocean, but two! An older, wiser ocean, surrounding a younger version that probably knew everything about marine life and just wanted to be left alone.

Water Map Mars Odyssey
The powerful black holes at the center of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters act as hearts to the systems, pumping energy out at regular intervals to regulate the growth of the black holes themselves, as well as star formation, according to new data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory. 

Scientists from the University of Michigan, the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Jacobs University in Germany contributed to the results.
The team of European and US astronomers used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, both in Chile, to study light from Sagittarius A* at near-infrared wavelengths and the longer submillimetre wavelengths respectively. This is the first time that astronomers have caught a flare with these telescopes simultaneously. The telescopes' location in the southern hemisphere provides the best vantage point for studying the Galactic Centre.

"Observations like this, over a range of wavelengths, are really the only way to understand what's going on close to the black hole," says Andreas Eckart of the University of Cologne, who led the team.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. As part of the commemoration of this event, the space shuttle Endeavour brought a version of it up to the International Space Station 15th November 2008.




Credit: NASA/JSC
Astronomers have taken snapshots of a multi-planet solar system much like ours orbiting another star, for the first time.

The new solar system orbits a dusty young star named HR 8799, which is 140 light years away and about 1.5 times the size of our sun. Three planets, roughly 10, 10 and 7 times the mass of Jupiter, orbit the star. The size of the planets decreases with distance from the parent star, much like the giant planets do in our system.

And there may be more planets out there, but scientists say they just haven't seen them yet.