New Horizons’ fantastic voyage began with a spectacular launch in 2006 (video)

On January 19, 2006, aboard an Atlas V rocket, NASA’s New Horizons probe started its fantastic voyage of exploration with a spectacular launch from the Florida coast toward Pluto and the mysterious realm of the Kuiper Belt beyond.

Top 20 Exciting Advances in Space Science in the 2010s

Today is the last day of the 2010s – and what a decade it has been for space science and space exploration! Here is a timeline of the top 20 major (and exciting!) advances in space science in the 2010s.

Planetary confusion: why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

As an astronomer, the question I hear the most is why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? More than 10 years ago, astronomers famously voted to change Pluto’s classification. But the question still comes up. Christopher Palma, Pennsylvania State University

Ancient distance and apparent size of the Moon (video)

Today, on average, the Moon is 384,400 km (238,000 miles) away from the Earth. But that was not always the case. Our satellite was much closer in the past. Now, Dr. James O’Donoghue (@physicsJ on Twitter) Dr. James O’Donoghue (@physicsJ on Twitter) created the animation below showing the ancient distances and apparent size of the …

Solar System through the eyes of Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, and entered service on May 20, 1990. Since then, it has observed all the planets in our Solar System, apart from Earth and Mercury. Earth is far better studied by geologists on the ground and specialized probes in orbit. Hubble can’t observe Mercury as it is …

The speed of New Horizons spacecraft: how fast is it?

Google product developer Clay Bavor created a gif putting the Boeing 747 and SR-71 aircraft speeds into perspective compared to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. So you can have an idea of the speed of the New Horizons spacecraft, which performed a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015. Spoiler: it’s fast!

Top 10 Largest Non-Planets In Our Solar System

There are eight planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Two of the largest moons are bigger than the smallest planet, Mercury. Here are the top 10 largest non-planets in our solar system (eight of them are moons and two of them are dwarf planets).