This sky map shows the location of the star HD 219134 (circle), host to the nearest confirmed rocky planet found to date outside of our solar system. The star lies just off the 'W' shape of the constellation Cassiopeia.
Little Black Spot on the Star Today (Artist's Concept)
This artist's conception shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b, as it passes in front of its star. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transiting, its star.
Of the 1,030 confirmed planets from Kepler, a dozen are less than twice the size of Earth and reside in the habitable zone of their host stars. In this diagram, the sizes of the exoplanets are represented by the size of each sphere.
This artist's concept shows a hypothetical 'rejuvenated' planet,a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a proposed helium planet, GJ 436b.This diagram illustrates how hypothetical helium atmospheres might form. These would be on planets about the mass of Neptune, or smaller.
Planets having atmospheres rich in helium may be common in our galaxy, according to a new theory based on data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This artist's concept depicts a proposed helium-atmosphere planet called GJ 436b.
Astronomers using data from NASA's WISE are helping to trace the shape of our Milky Way galaxy's spiral arms. Here, WISE data revealed clusters of young stars shrouded in dust, called embedded clusters, which are known to reside in spiral arms.
This image from NASA's Herschel space observatory shows a filament called G49, which contains 80,000 suns' worth of mass. Long and flimsy threads emerge from a twisted mix of material, taking on complex shapes.
Dusty 'Sunrise' at Core of Galaxy (Artist's Concept)
This artist's concept of the galaxy named WISE J224607.57-052635.0, is erupting with light equal to more than 300 trillion sunset; it was discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.
This picture from NASA's NuSTAR is one of the most detailed ever taken of the center of our galaxy in high-energy X-rays. The X-ray light, normally invisible to our eyes, has been assigned the color magenta.
Map of Exoplanets Found in Our Galaxy (Artist's Concept)
This artist's map of the Milky Way shows the location of one of the farthest known exoplanets, lying 13,000 light-years away. Most of the thousands of exoplanets discovered to date are closer to our solar system, as indicated by the pink/orange areas.
After the Explosion: Investigating Supernova Sites
A new study analyzes several sites where dead stars once exploded. The explosions, called Type Ia supernovae, occurred within galaxies, six of which are shown in these images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft viewed comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) for a second time on January 30, 2015, as the comet passed through the closest point to our sun along its 14,000-year orbit, at a solar distance of 120 million miles (193 million kilometers).