There really could be a giant planet hidden far beyond Pluto

Pluto is about forty times the distance from the Sun as Earth. But the Solar System is over 50000 times that length across, meaning it could be hiding some huge secrets. That's now looking like a small but real possibility. » 2/21/12 5:00pm 2/21/12 5:00pm

10 Words You Might Think Came from Science (But Are Really From Science…

Last week it came to our attention that the phrase "blast off" was coined—not in a purely scientific context, but a science fictional one—by E. E. Smith, an early science fiction author often referred to as "the father of space opera." The term appeared in Smith's 1937 story Galactic Patrol, when one character… » 10/17/11 10:00am 10/17/11 10:00am

Our solar system might have once had an extra gas planet

This solar system just doesn't work. According to a new computer simulation, the planets could never have come together in their current configuration. The only explanation is that we once had a fifth gas giant...and it's still out there somewhere. » 9/20/11 11:03am 9/20/11 11:03am

Why Earth might have started out as a gas giant

All planets are vast clumps of dust and gas packed together by gravity. If there's lots of material, a gas giant is the result. If there isn't much material, you get a rocky planet. At least, that's what we thought. » 9/18/11 11:20am 9/18/11 11:20am

Cities that hover in the clouds of gas giants

Ever since I read Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist, about creatures who live on gas giant planets, I have dreamt of gas giant cities. Luckily, the amazing site issued a challenge a couple of years ago to design one. » 5/05/11 6:47pm 5/05/11 6:47pm