This Picture of Jupiter’s Swirly Blue Pole Is Magnificent

I’m not usually one of those “check out this beautiful planet photo” people (JK, I am). But seriously, the images coming from the citizen scientists looking at Juno data are all incredible. I’m not sure how this latest one can even be real. Read More >>

NASA Runs Successful First Tests of Compact Nuclear Reactor for Mars Base

If humans have any hope of sticking around on Mars for longer than a few days, they’ll need some form of power to sustain themselves. A successful test in Nevada has demonstrated that that power could be nuclear. Read More >>

Scientists Create Miniature Gamma Ray Bursts to Study Black Holes

Scientists are attempting to model some of the most powerful explosions in the universe by miniaturising them into lab experiments. Read More >>

What the Hell is Going on With This Comet?

There’s already a strange story behind comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, or just 41P: It took almost 100 years to identify and occasionally flares. And now, its spin is rapidly slowing down. Read More >>

Nearby Starburst Surprises Scientists By Having Way Too Many Massive Stars

Our Milky Way galaxy isn’t alone in this corner of space—it’s orbited by a few smaller dwarf galaxies, including the Large Magellanic Cloud. Inside that cloud is 30 Doradus (or the Tarantula Nebula), a “starburst” where stars are formed at a much higher rate than the surrounding area. And 30 Doradus has too many massive stars. Read More >>

Strangely, These Atoms Seem to Have Different Masses Depending on How They’re Measured

When it comes to understanding the universe, a crucial property of stuff, whatever that stuff might be, is its mass. The building blocks of our world, things like the elements or subatomic particles, have pretty consistent masses. One physics team continues to find a strange discrepancy in the masses of some basic particles you may have heard of. Read More >>

2017’s Best Space Explosions

Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It’s still just the sky. The sky isn’t immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of existence. These dots send their light in the form of radio waves, microwaves, visible light and gamma rays into measuring apparatuses and tell us something new about the universe. They might even send space itself rippling with gravitational waves. Read More >>

Here’s Why NASA Selected Its Two Potential New Missions

Space is great, and it is very fun to have an agency that funds research missions to explore things far from our little planet. On Wednesday, NASA announced two new potential robotic missions: one to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and one to Saturn’s moon Titan. Read More >>

This Could Be Where Mars’ Water Disappeared to

Mars looks like it used to have water—perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can’t even decide whether it’s got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go? Read More >>

Radio Brightening Around Monumental Neutron Star Collision Tells a Confusing Story

August’s landmark observation of two colliding neutron stars was incredible for its immediate impact on astronomy. It answered questions, like “where did the universe’s gold come from” and “how fast is the universe expanding?” But it left behind mysteries, too. Like, “what the hell is going on with those gamma rays?” Read More >>

NASA Announces Eighth Planet Around Distant Star, Tying Our Own Solar System

Amid considerable hype of its own making, NASA is announcing the discovery of an eighth planet around the distant solar system Kepler 90. Read More >>

China’s ‘Monkey King’ Dark Matter Satellite Has Produced Some Unusual Results

The Earth happens to be located in one of the weirdest places imaginable: the Universe. Like, whatever this Universe is and whatever rules it follows, we puny humans still struggle to understand it. But we’re really trying to—and we can’t seem to agree. Read More >>

An Asteroid Will Pass Near Earth Next Month But No, You Don’t Have to Worry

Every day it seems another natural disaster could bring about the apocalypse. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Sometimes that list includes asteroids. But despite exaggerated headlines from the usual suspects, there’s no need to worry about the latest nearby asteroid approach. Read More >>

Cassini Swan Song Image of Saturn Left Me Speechless

Planets and robots lack hearts and minds, but they’re especially good at impacting ours. In its last days before ending itself, human-built Cassini turned around and snapped this farewell mosaic image of Saturn. Its title: “Farewell to Saturn.” Read More >>