|
Egg collecting was trendy 100 years ago but today collections like the Field Museum's are rare. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago-area birds are nesting and laying eggs earlier than ever before. A mysterious meteor burns up over Papua New Guinea. A fossil could rewrite the history of the evolution of life on Earth. And a disturbing finding about microplastics.

|
A still image of Wednesday’s solar flare, March 30, 2022. (NASA)

The Sun put on a spectacular show Wednesday, emitting a “significant solar flare,” according to NASA. Now scientists are bracing to see what the resulting space weather will have in store for Earth.

|
(Lim Yaw Keong / Pixabay)

A bit of space junk is hurtling toward the moon at 5,800 miles per hour, with impact set for Friday morning.

|
(ISS Above / Twitter)

Recent flyovers by the International Space Station have captured some stunning images of Chicago, as seen from 250 miles above.

|
Vivek Shandas, a professor of climate adaptation at Portland State University, takes a temperature reading of almost 106 degrees in downtown Portland, Ore., on Aug. 12, 2021. (Nathan Howard / AP Photo, File)

Earth simmered to the sixth hottest year on record in 2021, according to several newly released temperature measurements.

|
The James Webb Space Telescope. (Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

The highly anticipated launch of the James Webb Space Telescope has been delayed multiple times.

|
The James Webb Space Telescope. (Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

NASA prepares to launch the most powerful space telescope ever. Local astronomers share some up-close details. 

|
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the LUCY spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Lucy, will observe Trojan asteroids, a unique family of asteroids that orbit the sun in front of and behind Jupiter. (AP Photo / John Raoux)

An Atlas V rocket blasted off before dawn, sending Lucy on a roundabout journey spanning nearly 4 billion miles. Researchers grew emotional describing the successful launch — lead scientist Hal Levison said it was like witnessing the birth of a child. “Go Lucy!” he urged.

|
Illustration of the DART spacecraft with the Roll Out Solar Arrays (ROSA) extended. Each of the two ROSA arrays in 8.6 meters by 2.3 meters. (Credit: NASA)

A NASA mission to deflect an asteroid – it’s been the premise for more than one Hollywood movie – but next month NASA launches its DART mission that aims to do it for real.

,
|
On Sunday, July 11, 2021, Richard Branson became the first person to fly into space on a self-funded ship. (WTTW News via CNN)

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson on Sunday became the first billionaire to ride his own rocket ship to space. But beyond being the ultimate joyride for billionaires, will commercial space travel take off as an industry accessible to the rest of us?

|
Partial solar eclipse, June 10, 2021. (Bill Ingalls / NASA)

Chicagoans’ view of Thursday morning’s “ring of fire” solar eclipse was over before most people were awake.

|
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its dual-camera Mastcam-Z imager to capture this image of “Santa Cruz,” a hill about 1.5 miles away from the rover, on April 29, 2021, the 68th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The entire scene is inside of Mars’ Jezero Crater; the crater’s rim can be seen on the horizon line beyond the hill. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS)

NASA’S Ingenuity helicopter takes flight on Mars. We get an update on the space agency’s most ambitious mission to date on the Red Planet from local astronomer and space enthusiast Mark Hammergren. 

|
Support teams work around the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft shortly after it landed with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, Sunday, May 2, 2021. (Bill Ingalls / NASA via AP)

SpaceX safely returned four astronauts from the International Space Station on Sunday, making the first U.S. crew splashdown in darkness since the Apollo 8 moonshot.

|
A UIC professor has received a grant from NASA to search for "legacy wetlands." (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Huge swaths of the Midwest were drained to make way for agriculture. UIC’s Kimberly Van Meter is harnessing NASA imagery to hunt for the region’s lost wetlands, the first step toward strategic restoration.

|
This image provided by NASA, astronauts from SpaceX join the astronauts of the International Space Station for an interview on Saturday, April 24, 2021. A recycled SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts has arrived at the International Space Station, a day after launching from Florida. The Dragon capsule docked autonomously with the orbiting outpost on Saturday. (NASA via AP)

The International Space Station’s population swelled to 11 on Saturday with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year. It’s the biggest crowd up there in more than a decade.

|
In this image from NASA, the experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity casts a shadow as it hovers above the surface of the planet on Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)

NASA’s experimental helicopter Ingenuity rose into the thin air above the dusty red surface of Mars on Monday, achieving the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet.