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.

Topics to Explore

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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.

The Sun Has Siblings, and You Can Help Find Them

It's been a while since the sun has hung out with its brothers and sisters in the same stellar nursery, but they're definitely out there, and citizen scientists can help find them.

Mystery Meteorite Came From Long Gone Alien World

No one knew exactly what the deal was with ureilites, a rare type of meteorite, until now.

Interstellar Asteroid 'Oumuamua Has Loads More to Tell Us

Yep, 'Oumuamua was probably kicked out of its own star system by an overbearing gas giant like Jupiter.

Worm, Strawberry, Blue: Every Moon Has a Name

Everyone's heard of the blue moon and the harvest moon, but did you know every single moon of the year has a name? Who named them and what do the names mean?

Early Humans Witnessed a Comet-scattering Stellar Encounter

Scholz's star buzzed our solar system back when humans and Neanderthals roamed the planet. Turns out that encounter may have shaken up a whole bunch of comets.

Mega-hurricanes and Monstrous Jets Lie Beneath Jupiter's Clouds

Beneath Jupiter's famous swirls and stripes is an environment that's completely unlike anything on Earth.

Astronomers Determine When 'Cosmic Dawn' Happened

Plus, a bonus finding on dark matter!

The Man on the Moon Is Calling, Via the First Lunar Cell Network

In 2019, the moon will be getting its own 4G network. That could be better service than some of us have here on Earth.

Tiny Yet Mighty: Neutron Stars May Be Ravenous X-ray Dazzlers

Some neutron stars may have a pretty amazing party trick up their stellar sleeves.

Why a Blue Moon's Not Really Blue

The term "blue moon" dates back to at least the 16th century. Since then, it's had several different definitions, many of which are contradictory. So what's a blue moon today?

Loneliest Black Hole Hides Inside Globe of Stars

It all started with the suspicious behavior of a single star.

Good News, Mars Colonists: Pure Water Ice You Can Dig Up With a Shovel

All those intrepid colonists are going to need a plentiful supply of water, and it turns out that accessing one may not be as hard as we thought.

Has the 'Twisted' Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts Been Solved?

The apparently random flashes in the sky known as FRBs have resisted being pinned down by astronomers. Until now.

Mark Your Calendars for These 2018 Space Events, Astronomy Fans

2018 should be a glorious year to turn your gaze skyward. Here's what to watch for.

What Did the Big Bang Sound Like?

It wasn't quite as loud as you might imagine.

Early Earth Pelted By Way More Debris Than Scientists Thought

When our planet was young, it took a beating from an unrelenting storm of planetesimals falling from the skies. Some of that debris meant more gold for the planet.

Why Galaxies Come in Different Shapes

How galaxies get their shapes and evolve is widely debated.

Leonid Meteor Shower 2017: What You Need to Know

The annual Leonid meteor shower is back, and peaks the in the early-morning hours of November 17 and 18. It's made up of tiny bits of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.


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