"Mercury's moon." March 31, 2012. It's a small bright spot in the discovery image, taken yesterday by the MESSENGER wide angle camera. The moon is about 70 m (230 ft) in diameter, orbiting Mercury at a mean distance of 14,300 km (8,890 miles). The name Caduceus, after the staff carried by the Roman god Mercury, is proposed to the IAU. (Credit: NASA) APRIL FOOL! Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183019.asp
New Lunar Grazing Module (LGM), “a multi-purpose celestial bovine containment system” according to APOD. APOD admits that there aren't any plans to launch cows into space, So maybe that “the cow jumped over the Moon” story was an April Fool. Supposedly, it's an art work named "Mooooonwalk" on display at a popular science museum, but which one? (Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Nemiroff) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183019.asp
Chris Hadfield's grand April Fools' Day finale shows him posing with an alien that just stopped by the station to say hi. "I don't know what it is or what it wants, but it keeps repeating 'Sloof Lirpa' over and over. Alert the press." (April 1, 2013) Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183019.asp
This family portrait, a composite of the Jovian system, includes the edge of Jupiter (with the Great Red Spot visible) and Jupiter's four largest moons, known as the Galilean satellites. From top to bottom are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The smallest of these four moons, Europa is about the size of Earth's moon. (photo from NASA)
Sir Patrick Moore (1923 - 2012). British astronomer, broadcaster and writer. Many astronomers - professional and amateur alike - credit Moore with getting them interested in astronomy. His 1987 April Fool about the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect was a classic, and mocked a popular disaster book of the time. Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183019.asp
A New Constellation. April 1, 2003 [Credit: Hugo E. Schwarz (CTIO), NOAO] APOD reported that a new constellation was surprising star gazers. "Ollie the Owl has suddenly started dominating the southern hemisphere.” The bird perching on the Tololo All Sky Camera, which would have been funnier if the bird hadn't scratched the plastic dome. Mona Evans, "Astronomy April Fools" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183019.asp
In pictures: Lonely planets, charred Soyuz and Martian tracks
This image from Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars near the sword of the constellation Orion. Massive stars light up the Orion nebula, the bright region near the centre of the image. To the north of the nebula is a dark filamentary cloud of cold dust and gas over five light years long, containing ruby red protostars that jewel the hilt of Orion's sword Photograph: Spitzer Space Telescope/Nasa
Giant Blue Planet Discovered Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, determined the true color of a planet orbiting another star. If seen up close this planet, known as HD 189733b, would be a deep azure blue, reminiscent of Earth’s color as seen from space.
Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon- Vast sections of this strange world are dark as coal, while others are as bright as ice. The composition of the dark material is unknown, but infrared spectra indicate that it possibly contains some dark form of carbon. A leading hypothesis is that the dark material is mostly dirt leftover when relatively warm but dirty ice sublimates.
HD 106906b: Unique Super-Jupiter Exoplanet Discovered Dec 6, 2013 by Sci-News.com The planet, named HD 106906b, weighs in at 11 times Jupiter’s mass. It orbits a white main-sequence star, HD 106906A, located in the constellation Crux around 300 light-years away from Earth. An international team of astronomers announced the discovery of a giant extrasolar planet orbiting its star at more than 20 times the average Neptune-Sun distance.
This is a fragment from the ‘Murchison Meteorite’ which landed in Victoria, Australia in 1969. It has been dated at nearly 4.95 billion years old – nearly 500 million years older than the age of the Earth.