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This week is one of the rare opportunities to catch the elusive planet Mercury just before sunrise, with two other planets nearby. This skymap for Tuesday July 30 shows Mercury just under Jupiter and Mars, at its furthest from the sun.

A new study takes a deeper look into the fate of life-permitting water on Earth-like planets around red dwarf stars, the most common stars in the universe. Many of these exoplanets quickly become "tidally locked," as illustrated in this image of an "eyeball Earth."

Should the Apollo landing sites become a part of the United States National Park System? Homer Hickam, best-selling author of "Rocket Boys," "Crater" and "Crescent," explains why he thinks the Apollo landing sites should become American territory, in this op-ed article.

Two of Saturn's moons, Mimas and Pandora, can be seen in this image captured by the Cassini spacecraft. Unlike the Death Star-looking Mimas, Pandora lacks sufficient gravity to pull itself into a sphere.

Mercury is only sightly larger than Earth's moon and the closest planet to the sun, but with no significant atmosphere, surface temperatures can range from 840 degrees F (450 C) to minus 275 F (minus 170 C). Learn all about Mercury: This view is one of the first from the MESSENGER probe's Oct. 6, 2008 flyby of Mercury.

Flight tests of an engine for the giant space plane Skylon are expected by 2020. The British government and European Space Agency (ESA) are providing $100 million in funding, which will be matched by private financing to complete the propulsion system's development and test.

Since the 1960's many unmanned spacecraft have attempted the journey to Mars, but less than half ever made it, as depicted in this infographic:

Scientists have long been intrigued by Jupiter's fourth largest moon with its underground ocean and icy shell. Here's a look at some of the technology that may help scientists answer questions about the mysterious Europa: Under a thick crust of ice, Europa might have an ocean warmed by tidal interactions with Jupiter.

Marvel Targets Younger Readers

Citing the excitement they all felt upon first discovering the Marvel Universe, Marvel’s top brass unveiled a new initiative aimed at providing free …

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

• <b>Author:</b> Rick Riordan<p>Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.<p>May 18, 2009 – Percy …

15 Wonderful Quotes About Life From Children's Books

Sometimes the perfect inspiration comes from our childhood.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone

• <b>Author:</b> Laini Taylor<p><b>The world crossing, boundary breaking fantasy phenomenon for fans of Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman. Welcome to ELSEWHERE.</b><p>'It's totally <b>EXCELLENT, EPIC, PERFECT!</b> No words. Certainly one of the best fantasy books I've ever read!' <i>Goodreads Reviewer</i>, five stars.<p>'WOW. I wish I had …

A Clash of Kings

• <b>Author:</b> George R.R. Martin<p>HBO’s hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A CLASH OF KINGS is the second volume in the series.<p>Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are …


• <b>Author:</b> Veronica Roth<p>This first book in Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel the inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions …

New Theory: The Universe Isn't Expanding, It's Just Gaining Mass

But you'd never know, because everyone is getting more massive at the same time.<p>Whoa. One cosmologist is proposing that the universe isn't actually expanding, as the standard theory goes. Instead, the redshift effects astronomers see could mean that everything is just gaining more mass, while … Ultimate Reading List | Teenreads

Our goal each month is to inspire you to read --- and to keep reading! With that in mind, we created the Ultimate Reading List --- a list of almost …


But who do you think will win? It looks like the Batman-Superman movie already has a title:

Injustice: Gods Among Us #1

• <b>Author:</b> Tom Taylor & Jheremy Raapack<p>The Man of Steel’s at a happy point in his life—he’s got some good news to share with Batman. But tragic times are just around the corner, as one of Batman’s deadliest foes is in Metropolis on a surprise visit!

Comet ISON is Spewing Out Carbon Dioxide and Dust

As part of the Comet ISON Observing Campaign, the Spitzer Space Telescope was used to “stare” at the comet for 24 hours on Jun 13, 2013. Images from …

Sneak Peeks of the Earth and Saturn Panorama from Cassini on July 19

The Day the Earth Smiled: Sneak Preview<br>In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured …


NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures breathtaking images of Earth from Saturn

NASA's unmanned Cassini spacecraft has already returned some gorgeous views of the planet Saturn, which it is currently flying around. But the latest images should be enough to make it and any other interplanetary travelers (such as Voyager 1) homesick. On July 19th, the spacecraft, located about …

APOD: Two Views of Earth (2013 Jul 23) Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute & NASA/JHU Applied Physics Lab/Carnegie Inst of Washington Explanation: In a cross-Solar System interplanetary first, our Earth was photographed during the same day from both Mercury and Saturn. Pictured on the left, Earth is the pale blue dot just below the rings of Saturn, as captured by the robotic Cassini spacecraft now the gas giant. Pictured on the right, the Earth-Moon system is seen against a dark background, as captured by the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft now orbiting Mercury. In the MESSENGER image, the Earth (left) and Moon (right) shine brightly with reflected sunlight. MESSENGER took the overexposed image last Friday as part of a search for small natural satellites of the innermost planet, moons that would be expected to be quite dim. During this same day, humans across planet Earth snapped many of their own pictures of Saturn. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD