Not only can’t astronomers and planetary scientists agree, but the IAU made it worse for everyone. If you were alive in 2006, you likely remember a momentous event in astronomy: […]
If our nearest star has an Earth-like planet, here’s how we’ll see it. As seen from up close, the signs of not only life, but our intelligent, technologically advanced human civilization […]
It isn’t just a day that comes every four years; it’s everything we need to keep our calendar aligned with Earth’s orbit. Once every four years, at least under most circumstances, […]
The largest moon in our Solar System, often overlooked, is a water-rich world. Does that mean life? Here on Earth, life took hold very early on in our planet’s history, and […]
Happy birthday to Pluto, discovered on this day in 1930. Pluto, first discovered in 1930, was no more than a distant dot in our most powerful telescopes. Clyde Tombaugh’s original images […]
Over the past 30 years, we’ve revolutionized what we know about the Universe. But we couldn’t have done it without these lessons. On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed […]
Science can teach us so much about our planet, but something more must compel us to take care of it. If you want to understand our planet, the best way to […]
Want some crazy space phenomena? You don't have to leave the neighborhood for it.
The Megachile pluto is about four times the size of a honeybee.
I’m not saying it’s not aliens, but it’s not aliens. When it comes to life in the Universe, we still have no definitive answer to the biggest question of all, “are […]
How many potentially habitable planets are there? We sincerely don’t know. One of the most compelling scientific goals humanity has set for itself is to find extraterrestrial life: biological activity originating […]
There’s more light than we can account for, and we’ve just measured it robustly for the first time. When we look out at the darkest night skies available on Earth, even […]
What if all planets were the same distance from Earth as the Moon?
We’re still not sure what the ultimate question is. Here are 5 excellent candidates. One of the most amusing stories in all of science fiction is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s […]
It may have been captured by Neptune since it formed, but Triton remains king of the Kuiper belt. Our Solar System is arguably the most well-studied corner of the Universe, with […]
Only 8 worlds make the astronomical cut as planets. Here are the 10 fascinating bodies that didn’t make it. Astronomically, bodies within the Solar System must achieve three criteria in order […]
Sometimes, the biggest answers to the deepest questions come in the most unexpected of places. In the Solar System, anything out past Neptune is generally considered to be the outer reaches […]
Don’t miss the summer’s greatest natural sights of all. Some of the natural highlights of our night sky are easy to overlook. Every year, you’ll hear about some of the brightest, […]
We’re not made out of the densest elements, but we’re the densest planet nonetheless. Here’s why. Of all the planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids and more in the Solar System, only […]
The flying rotorcraft drone is set to land on Saturn's largest moon in 2034.
All the planets, asteroids, and Kuiper belt objects out there all point to the same conclusion: it’s giant impacts or no moons at all. Out of all the rocky planets […]
Carl Sagan—who first coined the term—was tempted to call them "star-tar."