This Incredible Aurora Is 2014's Best Astronomy Photograph

Another year, and another set of winners of the Royal Observatory’s Best Astronomy Photographer. This year’s overall winner is this insane shot of an aurora captured over a glacier, which is so other-wordly it looks like it was made with special effects.

An Asteroid With Active Volcanoes Once Wandered The Early Universe

Back in 2008, astronomers detected an asteroid heading straight toward Earth. For the first time ever, they tracked the rock as it veered towards our planet and exploded over the Nubian desert. Now, pieces of the recovered meteorite are beginning to reveal its secrets — like how it once harbored an active volcano.

The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of outer space ever.

How To Turn An Old Satellite Dish Into A Working Radio Telescope

Radio telescopes, which you may remember Jodie Foster intently listening to for signs of alien life in Contact, pluck out radio waves from far away space. Ordinary communications satellite dishes also pick up radio waves, but of manmade origin. So hmm, how easily can you convert one into another? It’s totally possible, according to New Zealand astronomers who detail how they turned an obsolete satellite dish into a radio telescope for astronomy.

Alternative Universe Made With Every Star From Every Disney Movie Ever

The Disney Universe has every single view of the stars and the sky contained in every Disney film — from Pinocchio (1940) to Frozen (2013) — seamlessly integrated in one multi-gigabyte 150-inch x 40-inch illustration.

Astronomers Invent New Telescope By Tying Telephoto Lenses Together

A team of Yale astronomers got a little crafty recently. In an attempt to see parts of space that their big fancy telescopes weren’t showing them, they tied eight telephoto lenses together to create their own little homemade array. And then, thanks to their new invention, they quickly discovered seven new galaxies.

Look At The Aurora Borealis Lighting Up A Frozen Icelandic Cave

It looks like something out of a movie, but it’s very much real life. You’re looking at the Aurora Borealis as they illuminate a huge cave in Iceland. It’s pretty humbling.

Watch A Mountain Explode To Make Way For The World's Largest Telescope

The name for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is exactly as literal as it sounds. When completed, it will be the largest optical telescope in the world. And to make room, they’re blasting off the top of a mountain in Chile.

You Can Explore These Remote Astronomical Observatories On Street View

By nature, astronomical observatories have to be remote — far away from humans and cities and light pollution. That makes these extraordinary facilities difficult to visit, unless you’ve got Google Street View. Three of Chile’s most remote observatories are now open to the digital tourist, and we’ve found you some of the coolest views.

Scientists: 100 Million Worlds May Have Complex Alien Life In Our Galaxy

A group of international astronomers and astrobiologists have published new research that assesses the possibility of complex life on other worlds. Their calculation in the Milky Way alone is staggering: 100 million worlds in our home galaxy may harbour complex alien life. One. Hundred. Million.

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