Space exploration is a broad topic covering many facets of deep-space and planetary science. Learn about space probes, Mars Rovers, SETI and other out-of-this-world subjects.

What's the oldest thing we've seen through a space telescope?

Think of the oldest things on Earth: the Pyramids, dinosaur bones, the Grand Canyon. Pretty old, right? Well, maybe compared to our own lives, but compared to the oldest things we've seen through a space telescope, they're basically brand-new.

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  • How Planet Hunting Works

    How Planet Hunting Works

    Don't worry. We still love you, Earth, but we've been wondering about the possibility of life on other worlds for centuries, and now we have the tools to do some exploring. What have astronomers found so far? See more »

  • How Satellites Work

    How Satellites Work

    Thousands of satellites fly overhead every day, helping us with things like weather forecasts, scientific research, communications, TV broadcasts (and maybe some surreptitious spying). How much do you know about these eyes in the sky? See more »

  • How SETI Works

    How SETI Works

    SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and it's dedicated to discovering signals sent to Earth from far, far away. Find out what would happen if an extraterrestrial were to make contact. See more »

  • How Space Regulation Works

    How Space Regulation Works

    Hollywood has no problem coming up with space cops who enforce the law in the wild black yonder. In reality, space regulation is a wee bit trickier. See more »

  • How SPACECAST Works

    How SPACECAST Works

    In March 2011, European scientists announced the launch of a project called SPACECAST to detect and forecast space weather. How will it work and what do they hope to learn? See more »

  • How the Doomsday Ark Works

    How the Doomsday Ark Works

    If the Earth is struck by calamity, will survivors find salvation in the proposed Doomsday Ark? The lunar-based vault will contain information that could help jumpstart a new civilization. See more »

  • How the James Webb Space Telescope Will Work

    How the James Webb Space Telescope Will Work

    It'll journey 1 million miles from Earth and look deeper into space than ever before. It may even observe light from the very first stars. Ready to meet the mighty Webb? See more »

  • How the Mars Curiosity Rover Works

    How the Mars Curiosity Rover Works

    Martians, there's a spiffy, new rover in town. If you want to meet this nuclear-powered, laser-toting monster truck of science, head on over to the Gale Crater to get a glimpse. See more »

  • How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work

    How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work

    Of course we want to go to Mars. Until we figure it out though, roving robots with names like Spirit, Opportunity, Sojourner and Curiosity are our best bet for digging up dirt on our nearest planetary neighbor. Want to go along for the ride? See more »

  • How the Space Launch System Will Work

    How the Space Launch System Will Work

    Have you met the driving force behind the U.S. space program for the foreseeable future? Take a second to get acquainted with the proposed blasting behemoth. See more »

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