Here's A Thirty-Year History Of Getting Closer To Comets

Rosetta's lander Philae is warming up to land on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in just a few hours. It will be our first-ever attempt at touching down on a dirty chunk of ice in space. But how close have we gotten to a comet before? » 11/11/14 11:45am 11/11/14 11:45am

Your Guide To Watching This Week's Halley's Comet Meteor Shower

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 6, debris from Halley's Comet will light up the sky in this year's Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible. » 5/04/14 9:30am 5/04/14 9:30am

What caused a 10-year winter starting in 536?

A winter that lasts years isn't just a problem in Game of Thrones. Roughly 1500 years ago, our world was turned upsidown by a winter that witnesses say "never ended." Now there is scientific evidence that there really was a decade of winter. » 1/20/14 11:55am 1/20/14 11:55am

7 Real Natural Events that Inspired Works of Science Fiction

Science fiction is filled with tales that pit humanity against the natural world: earthquakes, meteor strikes, Sharknados. While some of those stories are birthed from abstract (or entirely made-up) fears, others are inspired by specific occurrences—comets, catastrophes, and climate events. » 8/04/13 7:00am 8/04/13 7:00am

Your Guide To Watching this Weekend's Halley's Comet Meteor Shower

In the early morning hours of Sunday, May 5, debris from Halley's Comet will light up the sky in this year's Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible. » 5/03/13 12:22pm 5/03/13 12:22pm

The Webcomic Guide to the Apocalypse: Early Tales of Comets Destroying…

In the Webcomic Guide to the Apocalypse, I've been drawing short comics about very early apocalyptic fiction. So far, I've covered stories about plagues and the dying Earth, and this week, we're looking above, to some 19th-century tales in which comets threaten to destroy human civilization—and sometimes extinguish… » 1/27/13 1:00pm 1/27/13 1:00pm

8 of the Weirdest Predictions for the End of the World

We know that the world isn't going to end on the 21st of December (or at least isn't more likely to end then than any other day), but it's always nice to remember that there's a firm precedent for the world not ending on schedule. It didn't end in 1844, when William Miller and Samuel S. Snow convinced the Millerites… » 12/09/12 7:00am 12/09/12 7:00am

The Best Photos From This Weekend's Orionid Meteor Shower

This weekend marked the peak of this year's stunning Orionid meteor shower. Photographs of the annual celestial lightshow are still rolling in (stargazers can expect to spot intermittent meteors during predawn hours for the next few days), but here are a few of our favorites so far. » 10/22/12 8:00am 10/22/12 8:00am

Tons of…

Everything you need to know to catch this weekend's Orionid meteor…

The Orionid meteor shower — one of the year's most spectacular natural light shows — is upon us. This weekend, Earth will plow through a dense stream of celestial debris given off by Halley's Comet. These fragments of Halley will collide with the planet's atmosphere at speeds approaching 150,000 miles per hour,… » 10/19/12 11:12am 10/19/12 11:12am

Lifeforce: a film that satisfies all of your naked space vampire needs

In the pantheon of naturist astro-Dracula cinema, very few films outclass Lifeforce. Replete with astronauts behaving like they never graduated middle school and cosmic Nosferatus forgetting their pants, Lifeforce appeals to the galactic Van Helsing in all of us. » 6/25/11 12:15pm 6/25/11 12:15pm

How Halley's Comet sightings changed history over the past 2500 years

Ancient Greek texts reveal the earliest recorded sighting of the solar system's most famous comet 2,500 years ago. Since then, Halley's Comet has repeatedly cameoed in history, getting credit for toppling armies, birthing empires, and even killing Mark Twain. » 9/14/10 1:06pm 9/14/10 1:06pm