Sometimes it takes a while for the full meaning of a new scientific discovery to sink in. In the case of the planet Proxima Centauri b, announced last week, the process may take decades or even centuries.
An interview with Tabetha Boyajian, the Yale astronomer who discovered the flickering star KIC 8462852, better known as Tabby's Star, or better yet known as the "alien megastructure star"--an object so strange that some scientists openly suggested that it might be obscured by an enormous artificial structure.
If you are looking for cerebral science fiction stories that meticulously explore the outer limits of known science, Roland Emmerich is not your guy.
First of all, let me reassure you that this post has nothing at all to do with Donald Trump. The billionaire in question is not the presidential candidate but Nathan Myhrvold, the former chief technology officer at Microsoft.
I mean no disrespect when I say that Mike Brown is a man on the edge. In fact, it is one of the highest forms of praise I can imagine.
When I was a kid and got hooked on astronomy (sometime around age 7), one of the things I deeply enjoyed about the night sky was its constancy.
The recent discovery of gravitational waves by the twin LIGO detectors drove home the gaping chasm between the popular image of how astronomers explore the cosmos and the way it actually happens.
By now you've probably heard the announcement that astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown think they’ve tracked down “Planet 9,” a long-rumored large world orbiting in the distant wilderness of the solar system.
By now you've probably heard the announcement that astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown think they’ve tracked down “Planet 9,” a long-rumored large world orbiting far beyond Pluto.
What was the biggest news in astronomy this past year? The editorial board of Discover has helpfully provided an answer, one that I heartily endorse (and not only because I wrote the related story in the magazine): It was the exploration of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft.
It can feel inappropriate celebrating the exploration of the universe while the media are saturated with grim stories about warfare, terrorism, and other forms of human suffering.
With its strong showing at the box office, The Martian joins Gravity and Interstellar in the club of science-fiction movies that succeed by emphasizing the science and downplaying the anything-goes fantasy elements.
With its terrific performance at the box office, The Martian joins Gravity and Interstellar in the club of science-fiction movies that succeed by emphasizing the science and downplaying the anything-goes fantasy elements.
The 20-year stretch since the discovery of the first exoplanet—a planet circling a star other than the sun—has seen a wholesale relocation of cool ideas from science fiction over to science fact.
Twenty years ago today, an invisible object circling an obscure star in the constellation Pegasus overturned everything astronomers knew about planets around other stars.
NASA scientists were conferring today about a nearby planet that is shockingly similar to Earth. It is just 5% smaller in radius and 15% smaller in mass.
There is a mysterious nearby planet that is shockingly similar to Earth. It is just 5% smaller in radius and 15% smaller in mass.
NASA generated quite a bit of buzz today with the apparent discovery of flowing water on Mars. Now to anybody who follows science news--especially news about space and alien life--those words may sound awfully familiar.
Today is the day when, according to a widely circulated email/Facebook hoax, Mars will appear as large in the sky as the full moon.
The most consistently reliable meteor shower—the Perseids—peaks tonight. Under clear, dark, unobstructed skies you might see 60 to 100 meteors an hour.