Nell Greenfieldboyce

The hunt for moons outside our solar system has just turned up another possible lunar world, a moon bigger than Earth that's orbiting a Jupiter-like planet.

The planet and its moon — if it really is a moon — orbit a Sun-like star that's over 5,000 light years away, according to a report in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The scientists who eventually get to peer out at the universe with NASA's powerful new James Webb Space Telescope will be the lucky ones whose research proposals made it through a highly competitive selection process.

But those that didn't make the cut this time can at least know that they got a fair shot, thanks to lessons learned from another famous NASA observatory.

Updated December 25, 2021 at 1:53 PM ET

The most powerful space telescope ever built has officially left Earth. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope blasted off on Dec. 25 at 7:20 a.m. Eastern from a European spaceport in French Guiana, unleashing a rumble that could be felt in the control center.

When the rocket carrying the James Webb Space Telescope finally takes to the skies, it will be the culmination of decades of work by scientists and engineers who sometimes feared that the most powerful space telescope ever might never get off the ground.

A churning mix of excitement and anxious dread has taken hold of astronomers around the world as they wait for the launch of the most powerful telescope ever, planned for the morning of Christmas Eve.

The James Webb Space Telescope has been in the works for decades, and its gold-plated, 21-foot mirror will see much farther out into space than the venerable Hubble Space Telescope. Its launch has been delayed so many times over the years that, for many, it seems almost unbelievable that it's finally about to happen.

Pages