astronomy

Rosetta Is Sending Back Intriguing Data On The Origins Of Earth's Water

While you were worrying about Philae’s landing, the spacecraft Rosetta has been patiently circling the comet, doing its own science. And it’s just dropped some intriguing results into the big debate over how Earth got its water.


A Magnificent Photo Of The Milky Way Arching Over Devils Tower

Photo: NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this extraordinary 16-photo panorama by astrophotographer David Lane: The Milky Way arching over the Devils Tower, in northeastern Wyoming. I keep looking expecting the UFOs from Close Encounters to zoom into the frame at any time now.


A French Inventor Proposed A Giant Mirror To Burn A Message On Mars

When we want to leave our mark on Mars today, we simply send over a few rovers to roll around in its red soil. But 150 years ago, scientists had very different plans for contacting the planet, including one French inventor who wanted to use the refracted light of the sun to sear a welcoming message into the Martian desert.


Beautiful Long Exposure Photo Of The Lunar Eclipse Rising Over China

Image Cache: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this long exposure photo of the lunar eclipse rising over the city of Chongqing, China, captured by photographer Zhou Yannan on 8 October. The zooming tail effect as the Moon went out of the eclipse is fantastic.


This Guy Just Won The Best Little Planet Photo Ever Contest

Photographers, you all can give up, because astrophotographer Göran Strand just won the best little planet photo ever contest with this amazing photo featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: The equinox night on the above Lake Storsjön in Jämtland, Sweden, with auroras and all.


Stunning Depictions Of Ancient Comets That Scared The Hell Out Of Humans

Long-tailed stars and mysterious glowing fireballs from the heavens were among the biggest and most fearful mysteries for stargazing humans throughout history. With the development of astronomy science, comets, meteors, meteorites and shooting stars became familiar objects of our universe, and with the advent of photography, depicting them became more precise. But before that talented artists created amazing drawings and paintings of these mysterious rocks.


Moon Seismometers From Apollo Are Still Helping Solve Physics Mysteries

When Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, they left flags and footprints, yes, but also dozens of scientific instruments. Among them was a network of seismometers originally meant to study moonquakes. Forty years later, data from these seismometers are still helping physicists understand how to detect elusive gravitational waves — a challenge even with our fancy modern technology.


Tiny Orbiting Planets Tell The Time On This Solar System Clock

We usually measure the time it takes for a planet in our solar system to orbit the sun in months and years. But given the compact scale of this desktop solar system, the anodised aluminium balls can instead be used to measure seconds, minutes and hours.


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.


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