Planetary scientists are getting an initial look at the protoplanet Vesta via NASA's Dawn mission, revealing a surprising range of features – including long parallel troughs around the equator.
The composition of comet Hartley 2 suggests that comets might have been a bigger source of Earth's water than previously thought. It's also challenging models of solar system formation.
Asteroid Vesta is currently in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists recently discovered a huge mountain on the asteroid Vesta.
Fried egg nebula: The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has spotted a massive yellow hypergiant star surrounded by a dusty double shell, prompting astronomers to think of breakfast.
The V-2 rocket, pictured here in 1944, was a German ballistic missile developed at the beginning of WWI. Both the US and Soviet space programs were founded on V-2 technology, having employed the German rocket scientists after World War II.
Darkest planet ever discovered is a gas giant but reflects only 1 percent of the light falling on it. Scientists speculate an unknown chemical or gas is absorbing light.
NASA launches Juno, its newest planetary explorer, on a 1.7 billion-mile, five-year voyage to Jupiter. Scientists hope to pierce Jupiter's cloudy veil and fill in the blanks on the origins of the oldest planet.
Jupiter, perhaps more than any object in the solar system, is thought to hold the key to understanding planet formation. On Friday, NASA sends the Juno spacecraft hurtling toward Jupiter to probe the planet's constituent parts.
Asteroid Vesta: The Dawn spacecraft last month slipped into orbit around the 330-mile-wide rocky body with little fanfare and began beaming back incredible details of the pockmarked surface that resembles Earth's moon.
Trojan asteroid: NASA has discovered that Earth has an asteroid companion traveling just ahead of our planet as it orbits the sun. This so-called Trojan asteroid could serve as a stepping stone to celestial objects farther afield.