Mars Will Test Our Capabilities, But Europa Is The Prize

Jupiter's icy moon Europa is perhaps the most tantalizing destination in our solar system. Scientists have been trying for years to kickstart a mission to Jupiter's most enigmatic moon, with very Earth-like concerns over costs keeping missions grounded until now. » 2/07/15 9:45am 2/07/15 9:45am

Some Of Galileo's Body Parts Had Quite An Adventure After He Died

Galileo Galilei has spent the last 300 years giving the finger to the universe via a glass case in a museum. And that's one of the less weird fates for his body parts. » 1/28/15 9:40am 1/28/15 9:40am

NASA’s 'Remastered' View of Europa Is The Best Yet

Europa, Jupiter's sixth-closest moon, has long been a source of fascination and wonder for astronomers. Not only is it unique amongst its Jovian peers for having a smooth, ice-covered surface, but it is believed that warm, ocean waters exist beneath that crust – which also makes it a strong candidate for … » 11/23/14 7:30am 11/23/14 7:30am

The Moon Is A Laboratory

Our moon missions have served a variety of purposes ranging from technical ones to the satisfaction of our curiosity. But the moon has also served one very practical and immediate purpose: It's a laboratory. Here's a history of how we've used the moon as a scientific facility — and how we might do it in the future. » 11/03/14 4:20pm 11/03/14 4:20pm

The wheel paradox that stumped Aristotle and Galileo

Here's a simple problem, illustrated simply, that will have you cocking your head and wondering how it's done. You won't be the first. Aristotle (reputedly) first took a whack at this, and Galileo gave it a try as well. See what you can make of it. » 1/27/14 10:30am 1/27/14 10:30am

When did the church accept that the Earth moves around the sun?

We know that the Catholic church has a troubled history with the idea of heliocentrism, but when did this history become history? What year would Galileo have gotten away with publishing his book? » 9/12/13 9:40am 9/12/13 9:40am

A brief history of physics, whimsically animated

We're loving this expertly animated history lesson in physics from the folks at BBC Science Club. Directed by Åsa Lucander and narrated by Dara O Briain, the short provides a tidy, witty and informative overview of scientists and scientific progress from Galileo right up through the Large Hadron Collider. » 8/16/13 8:40am 8/16/13 8:40am

10 Urban Legends about Famous Scientists

We've all heard stories about killers in the back seat and puppies that turn out to be rats, but hapless heroines aren't the only ones who spawn urban legends. There are a number of urban legends about famous scientists. Some are funny, some are mere inaccuracies, and some are about committing murder by accident. » 7/19/13 10:00am 7/19/13 10:00am

Galileo's Ship was one of the oldest relativity thought experiments

We think it's obvious that the Earth goes around the sun, today, but back before Copernicus, detractors had the most obvious argument possible against heliocentrism. To combat this, in his argument in favor of a sun-centered universe, Galileo came up with a thought experiment about relativity now known as Galileo's… » 5/03/13 4:30pm 5/03/13 4:30pm

Clever minimalist posters pay tribute to scientists and their…

In observance of India's National Science Day, graphic designer Kapil Bhagat created a series of simple typographical posters that creatively recognize scientists for their various inventions or discoveries. » 3/05/13 9:00am 3/05/13 9:00am

5 Historical Myths About Real Scientific Discoveries

Scientific discovery may require reason, rationality, and a firm handle on the facts, but science history has its share of myths, urban legends, and tall tales. Thought experiments are misinterpreted as real experiments; the scientist with the most interesting story gets the credit for a discovery; misunderstandings… » 11/24/12 9:00am 11/24/12 9:00am

10 Scientists Who Spent Time Behind Bars

Science is a dangerous business, full of risky propositions and strange experiments. And sometimes, scientists wind up going to jail for their pains. Some of them for the integrity of science, and some for far more sordid reasons. » 5/04/12 10:00am 5/04/12 10:00am

Watch this church get blasted by an interstellar missile

Remember when the Church got all up in Galileo's grill for challenging the geocentric interpretation of the Universe? Seeing this almost makes you wonder if the Universe is still a little sore about that. » 2/10/12 11:30am 2/10/12 11:30am

In 1971, Apollo astronauts went to the moon to double check Galileo's…

The equivalence principle is one of the fundamental concepts behind gravitational theory and general relativity, and holds that gravity exerts the same force on objects of different mass. » 11/02/11 10:40am 11/02/11 10:40am

10 Things You Didn't Know About Light

A week ago, who among us would have guessed that light, the universe's ultimate speed demon, would be observed getting outpaced by a bunch of reckless neutrinos? Yes, these observations will obviously need to be checked and rechecked, but it just goes to show that you rarely know as much about something as you think… » 9/26/11 10:34am 9/26/11 10:34am

Did Galileo get in trouble for being right, or for being a jerk about…

Galileo was facing some stiff odds when he published his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World. He'd already been officially warned against heliocentrism, and he had enemies. But it's possible, just possible, that he would have squeaked by if he hadn't been a jerk to the Pope. » 9/15/11 8:30am 9/15/11 8:30am

Kim Stanley Robinson Goes to Jupiter

Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel, Galileo's Dream, takes the titanic astronomer-mathematician from Renaissance Italy to the moons of Jupiter in the 31st century to assist in a political battle pitting science against religion. We talked to him about creating worlds. » 1/28/10 10:19am 1/28/10 10:19am

A Galactic Jam Session To Celebrate 400 Years Of Stargazing

It was the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first telescopic view of the heavens the other day, and NASA unveiled this incredible panoramic view of the center of our galaxy. It's a composite of images from all of NASA's great observatories. » 11/13/09 3:00pm 11/13/09 3:00pm