NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 20 million miles (32 million kilometers) since it last beamed back images of Pluto. The latest set of photos hint at a complicated and high-contrast surface — including more evidence in support of the theory that the dwarf planet features a bright polar cap. »
Yesterday was Towel Day, a day for celebrating the works of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti apparently agrees with Adams about the supreme usefulness of a towel, and demonstrates how astronauts use them aboard the International Space Station. »
The Curiosity Rover has been a remarkably resilient piece of machinery, but even the toughest robot occasionally needs a tune up. So how does that happen when we’re down here and Curiosity is all by its lonesome up on Mars? »
Saturn’s icy moon Rhea, which measures a mere 949 miles (1,527 km) across, features an irregularly shaped landscape battered by craters. This new image taken by the Cassini spacecraft shows the tortured surface in glorious detail. »
Astronomers are calling it the “Nasty 1,” but the hefty, rapidly aging star that shines in the center of the image above sure is beautiful. It’s also damn peculiar, and it may hold clues to a stellar mystery that’s puzzled scientists for decades. »
Using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), astronomers have catalogued 20 previously undetected galaxies that are so bright they belong to an entirely new class of objects, including one that releases 10,000 times more energy than the Milky Way — even though it’s smaller. »
For everything that is good out there, there’s always someone to naysay it. So how to respond when the haters come for our solar sails? With poetry, friends, only poetry. »
Located 1,500 light years away and measuring four light-years across, the gorgeous Medusa Nebula offers a sneak preview of what our Sun will look like when it finally enters into its final death throes.
To travel to space you need a lot: gear, funding, a ship, years of prep time, not to mention serious training in math, engineering, and science. But eventually, space travel will be available much faster and to more people, and then travelers will need something else — they’ll need an itinerary. »
Famed scifi author Neal Stephenson’s new novel Seveneves is out today, and one of the most exciting things about it is that it’s packed with realistic representations of space megastructures where humans live. We talked to Stephenson about his ideas, and have some exclusive art from Weta showing what they look like. »
This week on Meanwhile in the Future, we ask what would happen if Earth had a second moon. How exactly that happens I won’t reveal — you’ll have to listen! But once it does, there are some really interesting things that we might notice on Earth, from tides and the night sky, to the potential destruction of Earth. »
Spending more time in space requires the right tools for the job — and since these tools need to stand up outside the bounds of our own atmosphere, we have to make new tools.And of course, before they go up into space, they need to be tested. Here’s how — and where — they do it. »
Using the OSIRIS camera aboard the Rosetta spacecraft, ESA scientists have discovered a strange formation of what appears to be balancing boulders on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Twenty years ago, discovering another Earth sounded like a science fictional dream. But within a generation, astronomers now believe we might do just that. »
Dwarf planets, comets, and asteroids are all the rage these days, but we shouldn’t neglect our Solar System’s outer gas planets and their moons. In this new NASA video, 70 days of Neptunian activity was compressed down to 34 seconds — and the effect is pretty damned cool. »
Remember the wonderful Galileoscopes that were developed in 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy? This high-quality, low-cost telescope kit is back for the 2015 International Year of Light (IYL), and new inventory is now available for delivery worldwide. Plus, thanks to generous donations to support science… »