Today marks not one but two milestones in planetary exploration. It is the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2′s flight past Neptune, the most distant planet ever seen up close.
Physicist John Baez has another, more colorful word to describe the spate of recent reports about a breakthrough space engine that produces thrust without any propellant.
The drawing that launched a thousand ships: Goddard’s liquid-fueled rocket, patented July 14, 1914. Noisy revolutions often emerge from quiet beginnings.
That is the question that a colleague of mine posed in response to the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine, Iraq, and Gaza (not to mention Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Burma, and many other places that have been pushed out of the headlines in the hierarchy of bad news).
Over the years, Planet of the Apes has been many things: a satirical French novel, a landmark science fiction movie, a series of uneven sequels, a disastrous Tim Burton reboot.
Years ago I had an opportunity to visit the historic Grucci fireworks factory on Long Island. Artisan chemists there were hard at work crafting reactions that would detonate with just the right color and just the right shape; the whole place was surrounded by a high berm to contain any accidental explosions.
If there is any superhero who qualifies as a nerd icon, it is Spider-Man and his alter ego, Peter Parker.
As the human mind and human senses reach ever-farther out into space, we keep encountering new things that require new objects that require new names.
Tonight when you look up at the sky—and I strongly urge you to do so—you can participate in three different kinds of amazing alignments.
The new Cosmos show is doing an inspirational job bringing the wonders of science to a mass audience.
You would think by now we would have exhausted the mysteries of Albert Einstein. As perhaps the most famous scientist in history, nearly every idea he expressed and every thing he did has been studied, commented on, written about.
My recent post questioning the Giordano Bruno segment in the first episode of the new Cosmos has attracted a gratifying amount of attention, both on this site and elsewhere around the web.
The first episode of the ambitious reboot of Cosmos, which debuted last night, closely follows the template of the first episode of the original.
Earlier this week, two NASA-affiliated teams announced the discovery of 715 new planets around other stars.
As a would-be Hollywood blockbuster, Pompeii is fizzling out. But when you watch the movie through the eyes of a volcanologist, things look quiet a bit different.
When something strange shows up on Mars, Jim Bell is the guy to call for answers. For the past decade he has watched Mars through the eyes of the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers.
Remember Comet ISON? Last year began with a blizzard of hype, with stories repeating the mantra that this mysterious celestial visitor could become the “comet of the century.” This year begins with Comet ISON obliterated, an invisible cloud of debris expanding and traveling outward from the sun.
UPDATED 11/29 All along, astronomers knew that there was a real possibility that Comet ISON would not survive its passage by the sun.
Astrophotographer Damian Peach captured this view of Comet ISON and its complicated tail on November 15.
I get it: Ender’s Game is not a science movie, or even a hard sci-fi movie. In many ways it’s barely sci-fi at all, falling closer to the coming-of-age hero fantasy narratives of Percy Jackson or (ducking) The Phantom Menace.