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Black holes, galaxies, mysteries and space travel

Our coverage sheds light on the boundless darkness, the physical violence and the mysterious, awesome reaches of our universe. We ponder how it all began and about our place in the cosmos: Are we alone? Is there life on other planets? Will interplanetary travel save the human race? We also explore space through images, videos and illustration. 

Space salt, Martian clay, and unexpected X-rays feature in this month's slideshow.

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

Image shows a glowing orange-red star glowing in the background, as a dark planet looms in the foreground.

Planets closely orbiting red dwarf stars may have dynamic tectonic plates, making them more life-friendly than previously thought.

Ramin Skibba, Contributor

The dragon's large belly holds clues about how stars form -- and how the process stops.

Catherine Meyers, Editor

We look back in space-time this month to herald a new year.

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

The photo shows more than 15 lettuce plants growing atop two rows of boxes with black tops, green leaves spreading out from the center, as tubing curls between the boxes.

Scientists are trying to perfect a technique for growing crops in space so that astronauts have enough food to get to Mars and back.

Benjamin Plackett, Contributor

An assortment of twinkling images of space, stars and spacecrafts.

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

View new pictures of Mars, the last picture of the dwarf planet Ceres and images of the brightest galaxy in the universe.

Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

Researchers calculate all the photons ever emitted by the observable universe and find an astronomical number.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Mysterious dark matter particles may be blowing past Earth at 1.8 million kilometers per hour.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

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