How Juno’s Breathtaking Jupiter Images Are Made

Jupiter’s sandy swirls and blue-hued poles are visible even from Earth. But the Juno spacecraft’s crisp and colourful images begin as warped and dull raw files. The fantastic finished visuals are the result of enthusiastic amateur astronomers, software developers, and artists communicating over message boards. They work together to turn the raw images into accurate art for the space-loving public. Read More >>

Weekend Asteroid Flyby Confirms We’re Worrying About the Wrong Space Rocks

An asteroid approximately the size of a football field flew close by Earth only a day after it was first spotted this weekend. This near miss is a perfect example of an argument I’ve been making for some time: These are the asteroids we should worry about, not the so-called potentially hazardous rocks being tracked by NASA and periodically hyped by panicked headlines. Read More >>

Heated Debate Surrounds Galaxy Seeming to Lack Dark Matter

Strong scepticism should always accompany strong claims. One such recent claim has generated a tonne of talk about a strange, fuzzy galaxy that appears to be missing its dark matter. Read More >>

Pluto’s Moon Charon Now Has a Crater Called Dorothy, Among Other Newly Named Features

Up until July 2015, Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, was just a pixel in terms of what we knew about it. That all changed when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zipped through the system, revealing craters, deep crevices, valleys, and mountains on the distant moon—surface features that now have formal names. Read More >>

This Extragalactic Eye Is Hiding a Neutron Star

There’s something hiding in the centre of the red ring in this colourful circle of gas and dust. But it’s only hiding if you don’t know how to look for it. In fact, at the centre if this image is a tiny neutron star that is spewing out x-rays. Read More >>

The Making of ‘Pillars of Creation,’ One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe

Pretty Scientific is a new Gizmodo series where we explore how the best images in science were created and why. Read More >>

Astronomers Find Evidence of Thousands of Black Holes at the Center of Our Galaxy

Astronomers have long predicted that as many as 20,000 black holes could be hiding in our galaxy’s centre, but so far no one has been able to spot them. Until now. Read More >>

Buzz Buzz, NASA Funds Project to Put Bee Robots on Mars

I can’t beelieve it! Maybe one day there will be bee-like robots buzzing around the surface of Mars. Read More >>

A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

Around the same time our ancestors left Africa, a dim red dwarf star came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun, marking the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System. New research suggests Scholz’s Star, as it’s known, left traces of this interstellar encounter by perturbing some comets in the outer Oort Cloud. Read More >>

NASA’s Newest Planet Hunter Will Do What Kepler Couldn’t

On April 16, NASA is planning to launch its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. TESS is an Earth-orbiting instrument meant to spot faraway planets circling some 200,000 stars within 300 light-years of Earth. Astronomers hopes that TESS will help them learn whether or not there are other habitable planets, or even life beyond the Solar System. TESS can’t do this alone, however. Read More >>

Rare Type of Supernova Extinguishes Star at Unprecedented Speed

Supernovae produce some of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, expelling a doomed star’s contents at velocities reaching 10 per cent the speed of light. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a supernova to fade into nothingness, but astronomers have now documented a record-setting case in which a star was extinguished in just a few days. Read More >>

Giant Planet Orbiting a Brown Dwarf Spotted, Re-Opening Debate Over What Makes a Planet

Scientists have discovered a planet a lot like Jupiter orbiting a dim star, if you can even call it a star—it’s nothing like our sun. The finding once again makes us wonder: what is a planet, anyway? Read More >>

12 Incredible New Images of Galaxies and Nebulae from the Hubble Telescope

Look up to the sky with the unaided eye and you’ll see lots of specks and globs that look mostly like stars. On closer inspection, though, some of those dots refuse to resolve, smeared out on the night sky. Read More >>

stephen hawking
What You Need to Know About Stephen Hawking’s Final Physics Paper

Less than two weeks before his death on March 14, beloved cosmologist Stephen Hawking put the final touches on a research paper about the origin and nature of the Universe. Some media outlets have been pouring praise onto the paper, saying it could be the most important thing he ever did. On closer inspection, however, the new study isn’t likely to shatter our conceptions of the cosmos—at least not yet. Read More >>

The ‘Oumuamua Asteroid Likely Came From a Tatooine-Like Star System

Last October, astronomers detected the very first interstellar object, an asteroid dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests this visitor from afar likely came from a binary star system, and that astronomers should be on the lookout for both interstellar asteroids and comets. Read More >>