Astronomy

Astronomy is a broad discipline covering all facets of astrophysics. In this section you can learn about the origins of the universe, black holes and other astronomical phenomena.

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Heads Up: Massive Dark Matter Hurricane Passing Earth

Dark matter is the most mysterious (and possibly important) material in the universe, and scientists are excited that a storm of the stuff is upon us.

The Milky Way Is a Cannibal

A stunning accusation has been made: About 10 billion years ago, a small galaxy strayed too close to ours, so our galaxy ate it.

Is China Launching Fake Moon a Bright Idea?

The idea behind the "fake" moon is to provide extra illumination to Chengdu, a city in China's Sichuan province. What could possibly go wrong?

What Are Moonmoons?

Can a moon have a moon of its own?

Pluto: Is It a Planet After All?

Back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union decided to demote Pluto to the status of a dwarf planet. A new historical study challenges that designation.

'The Goblin' May Reveal the Phantom of Planet X Lurking in Deep Space

It's a small world with an astonishingly long orbit around our sun. And it could lead us to the fabled Planet X.

The Orionid Meteor Shower Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

Every autumn, Earth passes through a stream of debris left by Halley's comet, resulting in nighttime meteor showers in mid-October. Best time this year is Oct. 21-22.

Where's That Funky-shaped Comet 'Oumuamua From?

It dashed through our solar system like a cigar-shaped signal from another star system. But which one? Astronomers are on the case.

Nuclear Pasta Is the Super-Macaroni of the Universe

This stellar noodle is the strongest material in the cosmos!

The Great Red Spot May Expose Jupiter's Watery Secret

Jupiter has been notoriously bad about revealing any water deep in its thick atmosphere. That's changing though.

Heads Up Stargazers! Two Comets Passing Close to Earth in September

Comet 21P and comet 46P will swing past our planet during the month of September — and you won't need a telescope to see either.

The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

It's a celestial gift in the middle of August. Just look up. At night.

Mars Has an Actual Lake

But don't buy your lakefront property just yet.

Why Does Jupiter Have 79 Moons When Earth Just Has One?

Scientists recently found 12 more moons revolving around Jupiter, bringing its total to 79. Why does Jupiter have so many darn moons? Is there any advantage to that?

Why Do Stars Twinkle?

And while we're at it, why don't the other planets in our solar system seem to twinkle?

Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century Is Coming

It's the second lunar eclipse of 2018, but it will last longer than any other during the 21st century.

Mars Moves Closest to Earth Since 2003

Mars Close Approach is July 31, 2018. That is the point in Mars' orbit when it is nearest to Earth.

The Moon Is Causing Longer Days on Earth

The days are getting longer, but don't worry about changing your clocks.

How Do We Find Things in the Blackness of Space?

To define the location of objects in the sky, astronomers utilize a system of celestial coordinates, which extends latitude and longitude from Earth's surface into space.

What Do You Get When Two Neutron Stars Collide?

A tiny black hole or a more monstrous neutron star? Astronomers are on the case.

An Alien Asteroid's Been Lurking in Our Solar System Since the Beginning

Once upon a time, the sun caught an interstellar orphan and adopted it as its own. It's named 2015 BZ 509.

Is Earth the Only Planet With Tectonic Plates?

Some scientists think the existence of plate tectonics could be a prerequisite for life. So do they exist on other planets outside of Earth?

Scientists Confirm Uranus Stinks

Astronomers have just discovered a gas in Uranus' clouds that does nothing to help the planet being taken seriously.


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