Watch NASA Test Its Rocket-Powered "Flying Saucer" Live On io9!

After scrapping all of its planned test launches earlier this month, NASA will today attempt to release its Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) from the edge of space. The rocket-powered, flying saucer–shaped landing vehicle will then return to Earth on a dramatic path through Hawaii's skies. Watch it live, here! » 6/28/14 10:40am 6/28/14 10:40am

Your Guide To Watching This Week's Halley's Comet Meteor Shower

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 6, debris from Halley's Comet will light up the sky in this year's Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible. » 5/04/14 9:30am 5/04/14 9:30am

What would it look like from Earth if the Moon were a giant disco ball?

So, technically, this is what it would look like if the Moon were a disco ball AND orbited Earth at the same distance as the International Space Station, i.e. roughly 420 kilometers (260 miles) above the surface of the Earth. But that doesn't make it any less incredible looking. » 4/05/14 9:30am 4/05/14 9:30am

The Worst Blunders People Make in Inventing Fictional Alien Worlds

We love stories that take us to alien planets and let us explore whole new environments. But not every alien planet is totally realistic, especially given how much we've learned about exoplanets lately. So we asked six experts to tell us the biggest mistakes they see in fictional habitable worlds — and here's what… » 2/20/14 12:20pm 2/20/14 12:20pm

Game Developer Recreates the Solar System While Looking for Work

Chris Albeluhn's out of work, like all too many Americans. But instead of wasting time on Facebook or sleeping until 3 p.m. like I used to do when between jobs, Albeluhn made an interactive 3D map of the universe using the popular Unreal Engine. The out-of-work developer started raising funds on IndieGoGo and… » 4/23/12 2:30pm 4/23/12 2:30pm

Mercury Didn't Have A Satellite, So We Gave It One

The planet closest to the sun better be on its best behavior, because we're watching it. As of last night NASA's Messenger probe is the first man-made satellite ever to orbit the planet Mercury. What do we hope to find? » 3/18/11 2:30pm 3/18/11 2:30pm

Astronomers Bear Witness To The First Planet Birth

Astronomers are abuzz over what could be our very first glimpse of a planet being born in the dust surrounding a young star some 350 light-years away from the earth, but don't start passing out cigars just yet. » 2/25/11 2:00pm 2/25/11 2:00pm

The Massive Chaos-Causing Solar Flares Are Just Getting Started

This week the sun shot off a massive class X solar flare. Its effects on radio broadcasts, electronics, and power are still being felt today, and this is only the beginning. » 2/17/11 2:00pm 2/17/11 2:00pm

Witness The Awesome Power Of A Runaway Star

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer captured this amazing image of the star Zeta Ophiuchi plowing through a radiant dust cloud at 54,000 miles per hour. Why is Zeta Ophiuchi on the run? » 1/25/11 2:00pm 1/25/11 2:00pm

Scientist Plan Probe To Study Uranus

Uranus is a cold and distant world that hasn't been seen up close for 25 years. British scientists propose a plan to launch a satellite in that could shed new light on the mysteries of the frozen planet. » 1/12/11 2:30pm 1/12/11 2:30pm

Size Matters When You're The Former Planet Pluto

Nearly four and a half years after Pluto was demoted from planet to dwarf planet, astronomers are still trying to figure out how big it is. The title of Largest Dwarf Planet in the Solar System hangs in the balance! » 1/11/11 2:30pm 1/11/11 2:30pm

Don't Skip Your First Shower Of 2011

Since the mid 1820's stargazers have been watching the skies in early January to catch a glimpse of the annual Quadrantids meteor shower. Are you going to miss out on witnessing a potential 65 to 160 meteors per hour? » 1/03/11 2:30pm 1/03/11 2:30pm

Saturn's moon Rhea may have a breathable atmosphere

Saturn's icy moon Rhea has an oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is very similar to Earth's. Even better, the carbon dioxide suggests there's life - and that possibly humans could breathe the air. » 11/26/10 4:17pm 11/26/10 4:17pm

You Are Much Smaller Than This Pixel

And now for some much-needed perspective on our place in the universe, courtesy of science and Photoshop. In this image, we see our fiery life-giving orb the Sun, represented as a single pixel. And this is the more flattering picture. » 7/23/10 9:00pm 7/23/10 9:00pm

Mars Looks Like A Great Place For Some Destructible Buildings

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to deliver an amazingly detailed view of Mars to Microsoft Research's free Worldwide Telescope application, with images so detailed you can almost see the Google Maps camera cars roaming about the surface. » 7/13/10 5:00pm 7/13/10 5:00pm

This Is More Likely How The World Ends

We can daydream about alien invasion, killer robots, and rampaging genetic mutations, but the world is more likely to go on until something like this happens: the death of a star. » 5/26/10 6:00pm 5/26/10 6:00pm

Monster Runaway Star Rampages Through Universe

30 Dor 016 is a star 90 times the size of our sun, ejected from its home, moving through space at a speed of 250,000 miles per hour. Anyone lose the plot to an epic science fiction video game? » 5/12/10 2:30pm 5/12/10 2:30pm