The Sun is less active than sibling stars, study shows – here’s what that could mean

Andrew Norton, The Open University All stars emit varying amounts of light over time – and the Sun is no exception. Such changes in starlight can help us understand how habitable any planets around other stars are – a very active star may bombard its planets with harmful radiation. Now a new study, published in […]

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

Christopher Palma, Pennsylvania State University 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.

NASA’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) about Van Allen Probes

On October 18, 2019, NASA held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Scientists from the space agency answered questions about Van Allen Probes, two robotic spacecraft that were used to study the Van Allen radiation belts that surround planet Earth.

Terrascope: Turning Earth into a giant telescope

We can turn Earth into a giant telescope. According to a recent study titled “The ‘Terrascope’: On the Possibility of Using the Earth as an Atmospheric Lens”, published by David Kipping of Columbia University, our planet offers an opportunity for pronounced lensing.

How Earth Could Die – 9 Horrible Ways

Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But […]

8 Things that make Life on Earth Possible

Earth, our blue planet is a tiny oasis in the vast, cold, and dark space. It is the only planet we know of that can support life. The fossil record tells us that life on Earth has lasted at least 3.5 billion years (the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old), with the oldest physical […]