Age-old dream fulfilled as humans finally make contact with comet

An artist's impression of lander Philae separating from Rosetta and descending to the surface of the comet.

Rachel Feltman   Throughout human history, comets have been distant, mysterious heavenly bodies. The hunks of rock and ice streak through the sky, streaming bright tails of gas as the sun warms them.

Fly me to the moons

Eclipsed: The notion of just one moon.

Perry Vlahos   For most of human history we knew of only one moon, but in one fell swoop Galileo turned his telescope to Jupiter and quadrupled the number of moons in the Solar System.

New Norcia: Australia's link to comet probe Rosetta landing

The surface of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, taken from an altitude of approximately 10km by the Rosetta probe.

Ray Sparvell   Scientists at New Norcia have boldly gone where no others have in the landing of a deep space probe on a comet 500 million kilometres from Earth.

Canberra complex plays pivotal role in comet landing

Close encounter: Artist's impression of Rosetta's lander Philae on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Clare Colley   The antennas at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla played a pivotal role in the first attempt to land a space probe on the surface of a comet on Wednesday night.

Supernova 1987A: UWA astronomers examine death of a star

The remnant of Supernova 1987A has been examined by researchers around the world

Astronomers have used radio telescopes in Australia and Chile to see inside the remains of a supernova, in what researchers describe as a forensic investigation into the death of a star.

Australian astrophysicist wins share of $3m Breakthrough Prize

 Brian Schmidt, left, with fellow researchers Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter,  accept their  prize at a gala in Silicone Valley.

Clare Colley   ANU astrophysicist Brian Schmidt and a team of researchers have won a share in the most lucrative science prize in the world.

European spacecraft Rosetta to drop lander on comet

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

One of the biggest gambles in space history comes to a climax this week when Europe attempts to make the first landing on a comet.

Rosetta comet probe to touch down this week

An artist's impression of the Philae probe setting down on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Perry Vlahos   Another missing first is about to be achieved next week – we’re going to make a soft landing on the surface of a comet.

When E.T phoned home and "Big Ear" picked up the signal

Space oddity: The Big Ear radio telescope was part of Ohio University'€s program to search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and was used for this purpose from 1973 to 1995.

The radio telescope known as Big Ear picked up a signal seemingly from outer space – just once – and now it's been dismantled and turned into a golf course.

Volcanoes on the moon could have been erupting in the time of the dinosaurs

This feature on the lunar surface, called Maskelyne, is one of many newly-discovered young volcanic deposits on the moon.

Amina Khan   Scientists thought the moon had been cold and dead for a billion years, but a new discovery could force them to reconsider its evolution.


Ask Fuzzy: Super-pressure balloons reach for stars

Weather observer: Michael Glasson releases a weather balloon at Giles weather station in Western Australia to track wind speed and direction.The data will help predict rain in Sydney .

Robert Brand   Thin air no barrier to high-spec weather balloons.

Total lunar eclipse: what you need to know

The rare 'blood moon' is expected occur from around 6.20pm (WA time) on Wednesday.

Caroline Zielinski   Total lunar eclipse question and answer.

Rare 'blood moon' on the rise over WA skies

The rare 'blood moon' is expected occur from around 6.20pm (WA time) on Wednesday.

Candice Barnes   What do you get when you combine one of Perth’s spectacular sunsets with a total lunar eclipse? According to astronomers, it’ll be an awe-inspiring skyshow, known as a "blood moon".

'Blood moon' total eclipse predicted for Sydney

Lunar eclipse.

Lisa Visentin   The moon is expected to be bathed in a bright orange-red glow on Wednesday when the second total lunar eclipse of the year occurs - and Sydneysiders should have prime-time viewing.


Get ready for a total lunar eclipse

The magnificent changing moon during a total eclipse.

Tanya Hill   Look up towards the east on Wednesday night (October 8) and a total lunar eclipse will be visible from across Australia.


Close but no contact as Comet Siding Spring swings past Mars

Rob McNaught.

Perry Vlahos   The celestial visitor was discovered using the telescopes at Siding Spring in western NSW.

Is Pluto a planet again?

This photo taken by the Hubble Space telescope and released by NASA shows the planet Pluto, centre, with its moons.

Eryk Bagshaw   Pluto can thank its lucky stars its got a strong fan base in the Milky Way. 

Next April's lunar eclipse is the last we will see until January 2018

A lunar eclipse over Melbourne's city skyline.

Perry Vlahos   For those who missed it in October, here's another opportunity to watch the moon dive through the Earth's shadow.

Fixing climate change may add no costs, report says

JUSTIN GILLIS   In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free.

Find and see elusive Mercury

How-to: Mercury will be joined by Spica in the southern sky on September 19.

Perry Vlahos   Close to the spring equinox in September is a good time for evening viewing of Mercury.