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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Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, and one of the coldest. It also has supersonic winds that are the fastest in the solar system.

By Mark Mancini

The Geminid meteor shower is one of the year's stronger displays in terms of number and size of meteors. When's the best time to see it?

By Christopher Hassiotis

Polaris, also known as the North Star, is almost exactly over the celestial North Pole, making it extremely useful for navigation (and for making wishes on, as well).

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The atmospheric pressure is crushingly extreme on Venus, and lead would melt into a puddle on its surface. But as hellish as this place sounds, it actually has a lot in common with Earth.

By Mark Mancini

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Big as it is though, next to the sun, Jupiter looks puny.

By Mark Mancini

As the search for Planet Nine wears on, and astronomers have yet to get so much as a glimpse of it, researchers are pondering what else the object might be.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

The galaxy has sent another tumbling chunk of frozen interstellar material our way.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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NASA just named a rolling rock on Mars after — who else — the Rolling Stones.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

Did you know that a moon can leave its orbit around a large planet and go out on its own?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Researchers at the Zwicky Transient Facility have found an asteroid in Earth's orbit. And this one has the shortest year yet.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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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?

By Mark Mancini

Why not cylindrical? Or even cube-shaped?

By Mark Mancini

The mysterious microbes living more than half a mile beneath the deepest ocean floors could have something to teach us about Martian life.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

So what does that mean for good ol' Earth someday?

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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The idea of planet Nibiru has captivated doomsday prophets and conspiracy theorists for decades, but nobody has proven its existence. What's the deal?

By Mark Mancini

The wait is over. NASA confirms Mars is seismically active.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

In the darkness of space, we’re comforted by our moon, the circular inspirer of song lyrics, poetry, and wannabe astronauts. But what do you really know about the moon and its history? Take this quiz to find out.

By Nathan Chandler

Rovers are getting some practice hunting for microbes here on Earth before they head to Mars in 2020.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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It's tricky to see the true shape of the Milky Way when you're stuck inside it. So how did scientists figure it out?

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

No worries though. Jupiter, Neptune or Uranus could create their own beautiful, bright ring display in the distant future.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

Like Earth, the sun does rotate, but in a different way.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Those stars twinkling in the nighttime sky may actually be crystal spheres. And our beloved star is headed in that direction, too. Eventually.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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In this stellar nursery, firstborn stars are ruthless.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

The China National Space Administration makes history — and shows the world the dark side of the moon.

By Mark Mancini