space
Uranus Is a Wonderland and We Should Go There

Uranus is tired of being the butt of your jokes—especially that one. Read More >>

space
Trust Me, Living on the Moon Will Be Hell

Humans (not you, you’ll be dead) are going to have to live somewhere other than Earth eventually. There might be some options for new homes on Mars, the planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, or even one of the planets in the Trappist-1 system. But what about the Moon for starters? It’s round like our Earth, it’s close, it’s got gravity—what more could you want? Read More >>

science
An Asteroid Hunter on What We Need to Do to Prevent Armageddon

Humans are rightly terrified by the threat of nuclear war, but there’s also a non-zero chance that a giant rock will come hurling through our atmosphere to ruin every Earthling’s day. When that happened 66 million years ago, it triggered a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But we have something the dinosaurs didn’t: scientists who are working hard to account for all of the dangerous asteroids in our solar neighbourhood, and to develop technologies that can move them off a deadly collision course. Read More >>

space
Finally, an Astrophysics Simulation Even Your Stoner Friend Will Love

The Milky Way isn’t just stars orbiting a black hole—it’s loaded with dust and debris, floating with reckless abandon in the space between solar systems. And like the stuff that accompanies wildfires or windy days in the desert, dust makes it hard to see. Think about that, bro... we’re just like, specks of dust. Read More >>

space
Mars Might Have Had a Kickass Big Moon Instead of Two Tiny Crappy Ones 

Orbiting our dusty red neighbour are two puny potatoes, Phobos and Deimos. They look like they belong among the worst (but not the absolute worst) moons in the solar system, but their existence might tell a crazy story about Mars’ history. Read More >>

space
Japan Forced to Shut Down Two Cameras on Venus Probe

Following an unexpected energy surge, Japan’s space agency has hit the pause button on two of the five cameras aboard its Venus-orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft. It’s a bad sign for the troubled orbiter, which has been exposed to more radiation than anticipated. Read More >>

space
The Prospects for Life on TRAPPIST-1 Keep Getting Better

Less than a week ago, the citizens of Earth were introduced (technically, re-introduced) to a star system 39 light years away hosting seven Earth-sized exoplanets, three of which lie squarely in the habitable zone. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, researchers are now suggesting that a fourth of the TRAPPIST-1 planets might be habitable, too—if we stretch our imaginations a bit. Read More >>

asteroids
We Were Wrong About How the Asteroid Apocalypse Will Go Down

Here’s a cheery thought to send you into the weekend: New research suggests that the greatest danger posed by an incoming asteroid is not from the cataclysmic impact of it striking the Earth — but from the enormous shockwave it produces when it enters the atmosphere. Read More >>

space
An Exciting Discovery May Be Lurking in This Voyager Photo of Saturn

In news that reminds us it’s definitely worth dusting off old photos once in a while, one amateur astronomer thinks he’s spotted geysers erupting from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus....in images taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1980. Read More >>

astronomy
These 17 Crowdsourced Minor Planet Names Are an Absolute Travesty

The International Astronomical Union has named 17 minor planets as part of its NameExoWorlds contest. Looking at the winning monikers — which include such dreadful titles as “Miguelhernández” and “Thunder Bay” — it’s now painfully clear that the system of naming celestial objects is broken. Read More >>

space
An Enormous Exoplanet Is Having a Strange Influence on Its Star

There’s a star about 370 light-years from here that’s pulsating in response to its unusually heavy planetary companion. It’s the first time that astronomers have seen this sort of interaction between a planet and its host star. Read More >>

space
NASA Has Finally Built a Computer Chip To Survive on Venus

You might wonder why Mars gets all the interplanetary attention when Venus, our sister planet, is actually closer. Well, the hellish orb has the hottest surface in the solar system, hotter than Mercury. Combined with its dense, caustic atmosphere, none of our computers can handle Venus for more than a few hours. Now, scientists think they’ve come up with a solution. Read More >>

space
Scientists Have a Crazy Hunch About Why the Sun is Spinning too Slowly

Physicists have long known that the Sun spins, like the Earth. But a few decades ago, they realised the surface of the Sun spins more slowly than their models predicted — not by a lot, but enough to signal that something they didn’t understand was going on. This kicked off a solar mystery and some scientists started to doubt their own understanding of the Sun’s behaviour. Read More >>

mars
Mars’ Northern Ice Cap Looks Like a Gigantic Cinnamon Bun

Using satellite data, the European Space Agency has produced a glorious new image of the swirling spirals at the north pole of Mars. The Red Planet has never looked more delicious. Read More >>