This image is why everyone's so excited about a NASA mission to Europa

NASA wants to visit Jupiter's moon Europa. Why's that exciting? In a word: Water. As this visualization shows, the icy moon may look tiny next to our own planet, but it's got 2- to 3-times as much H2O as we have here on Earth. That "little" moon is packing quite the store of water — and with it, scientists think, a… » 3/08/14 8:15am 3/08/14 8:15am

This spectacular image is the deepest view of the Universe ever captured

Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have just released the most detailed view of the early Universe ever captured. It's called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF for short. The image combines over ten years' worth of photographs by Hubble. It required 2-million seconds of exposure time to produce, and… » 9/26/12 8:00am 9/26/12 8:00am

These mirrors will allow us to observe the birth of the Universe

In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will become one of the greatest tools in humanity's quest to understand the cosmos. Now, after eight years, the technology comprising the heart and soul of the telescope — an ultra-sophisticated beryllium mirror system — is complete. » 8/21/12 12:00pm 8/21/12 12:00pm

There's more water on Jupiter's moon Europa than there is on Earth

Remember that image from a few weeks back that showed Earth with all its water gathered up in a sphere beside it? Well here's that image again, only this time, it also features Jupiter's moon Europa, along with all of its water. Notice anything interesting? » 5/24/12 1:30pm 5/24/12 1:30pm

Newt Gingrich is right: We need a permanent Moonbase

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has promised us a permanent Moon base by 2020. Many people have been calling Newt's vow a publicity stunt, while others have chimed in by attacking the idea of a lunar base in and of itself, with assertions like "real scientists know [a Moon base] is fantasy." » 1/26/12 2:18pm 1/26/12 2:18pm

Here are 10,000 reasons to be excited about deep-space exploration

Yesterday, NASA announced a milestone in the almost 22-year history of its Hubble Space Telescope: The 10,000th refereed scientific paper based on Hubble data has now been published, reinforcing that Hubble is one of the most successful astronomical experiments in human history. » 12/07/11 7:05am 12/07/11 7:05am

What does the future of space exploration hold?

This past weekend marked the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's brilliant new exhibition, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration. As part of our ongoing Hardcore Science Interview series, io9 spoke with the show's curator, AMNH astrophysicist Michael Shara, about the exhibit. » 11/21/11 1:51pm 11/21/11 1:51pm