From the Publisher
Night came, she looked at the sky, there she discovered something twinkling beside the moon...
The gas travels alongside particles from the sun, and could offer clues to life’s origins.
The U.S. should invest in an interceptor spacecraft before we detect a dangerous object, say government scientists.
On the day that I was born—winter solstice, 1959—a headline in Life magazine proclaimed “Target Venus: There May be Life There!” It told of how scientists rode a balloon to an altitude of 80,000 feet to make telescope observations of Venus’s atmosph
And all of them are in the temperate zone.
Despite their great distance from Earthbound politics, exoplanets were the topic of a joint hearing on May 9th of the House space and research subcommittees. The recent discovery of a trio of temperate super-Earths was the hearing’s impetus, but most
During the waning months of 1847, Edgar Allan Poe sat at his desk with a tortoiseshell cat draped around his shoulders and dreamed the universe into being.Poe believed the book he wrote in that feline-festooned state to be his best work, and he expec
The new moon night was dark and rich in stars. The line at the bottom of the steps was 200 deep and growing. This was a busy public night at the Martz/Kohl Observatory atop Robin Hill, in Frewsburg, New York, and the rickety old ladder up to the eyep
I’M CRUISING THROUGH AN AMARANTH-TINGED VACUUM in a dangerously vulnerable starship. Asteroids phase in and out of view, each a mineral mass my photon cannons can mine for fuel. In the distance, a distress signal beckons from one of the nearly unlimi
Babylonian tablets suggest that Earth’s rotation is slowing less than expected.
Astronomers have added a new data point in their attempts to answer the cosmic question.
Astronomers say they could detect signs of advanced civilizations by searching for their defense mechanisms.
The agency just greenlit a robotic mission to the most metal-rich space rock in the solar system.
To solve a mystery, scientists often zoom in on it as close as they can, break the puzzling system down to its components, and analyze it piece by piece. Sometimes, comprehending a system requires just the opposite: pulling back to see the bigger pic
It was born when the Universe was just 10 human heartbeats old. A small burst of electromagnetic energy known as a photon. A primordial particle of light. At that time the Universe was a blazing hot mix of ionized hydrogen and helium, a sea of posit
Take time to develop your professional relationships.
New research suggests the moon was the result of a series of smaller collisions rather than a single catastrophe, contradicting a theory that has been widely accepted for over 30 years.
Astronomers say some of the galaxy’s most distant stars were actually whisked away from a passing mini-galaxy.
It’s like The Man in the High Castle for Earth’s history.
It’s time to be a visionary. And you’ll have help: Saturn, the planet of long-range planning, Jupiter, the planet of abstract thinking, and Uranus, the planet of sudden change and progressive reasoning, are working together at the beginning of Decem
New research suggests water ice lurks under the surface of the dwarf planet.
Now’s a great time to collaborate.
Rogue planet. The term suggests a loner—a rebel refusing to play by the rules, breaking with tradition, going anywhere in the galaxy it pleases. Labels such as “rogue,” “nomadic,” and “wandering” are common in the media coverage of the recent discove
It begins like a classic romance: Two black holes meet. The attraction is practically instant. They dance around each other, swirling closer and closer, until ... Until what? As with any love affair, this is where things get messy. First predicted by
Like countless so-crazy-it-just-might-work schemes, this one began with a gripe session. In the fall of 2011, Roberto Abraham and Pieter van Dokkum were commiserating at a Nepalese restaurant in Toronto. Over curry and rice—and a generous quantity of
Astronomers can sometimes be literal to a fault. We like to call things as we see them. For example, if it’s red and it’s huge: “Red Giant.” White and small: “White Dwarf.” Massive explosion: “Big Bang.” Dark and sucks everything in: “Black Hole.” Mo
The galaxy known prosaically as M87 doesn’t look like much. Unlike beautiful spiral galaxies (including the Milky Way), M87 appears as an orangish blob of stars through telescopes. Its only noticeable feature is the long streamer of gas emanating fro
According to the basic approximation, stars are formed by a stately, gradual process that belies the power it eventually unleashes. Within a great gas cloud, gravity slowly pulls together disparate tendrils into a core that grows ever denser. When th
The Kepler spacecraft had a pretty good run. Launched in 2009, it soon settled into its intended orbit around the Sun, trained its image sensors up at a patch of sky about as big as your fist held at arm’s length, and began watching, which it’s been
All that Hans-Jörg Fahr wants is for someone to prove him wrong. A professor of astrophysics at the University of Bonn in Germany, he has taken a stand against nearly the entire field of cosmology by claiming that the diffuse glow of background micro
Our group of astronomers took in the naked mountains by the sea. We had flown into the La Serena airport at noon, and found a parched landscape. What sparse vegetation there was survived by drinking coastal fog. Sleeping dogs melted in the sun and do