monster machines
The Lick Observatory's Newest Telescope is an Exoplanet Hunting Robot

Exoplanets—planets orbiting stars that aren't our Sun—seem to be popping out of the cosmic woodwork now that we know where and how to look for them. The Kepler mission alone has discovered 961 of them, and it's only looking at a tiny sliver of distant space. Just think of how many we'll find when the new James Lick robotic telescope comes online and starts surveying one thousand of our closest solar neighbors. Read More >>

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Watch the Royal Observatory Answer Some Complicated Questions About Space

The Royal Observatory of Greenwich has crafted three simple animations to explain three very complex things: what's inside a black hole? how do we know the age of the sun?—did you know the Sun weighs 4,000 trillion trillion hippopotamuses?—and how big is the Universe? Read More >>

space
Astronomers Discover First Direct Proof of the Big Bang Expansion

Somebody's going to win a Nobel Prize. At least that's what the physics community is saying after the announcement on Monday that a Harvard team has found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation right after the Big Bang. It's more proof that the Big Bang really was the beginning of it all. Read More >>

space
Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson Go Toe-to-Toe Against Former-Planet Pluto

The demotion of Pluto from ninth planet in our solar system to mere planetoid has been met with its fair share of detractors—one of whom squared off yesterday against astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the American show Late Night with Seth Meyers. And even though the verbal sparring match ended amicably, Tyson left little doubt why our cosmic neighborhood is now (and should be) one resident smaller. Read More >>

astronomy
An Extraordinary Video of Saturn Setting on the Moon

Colin Legg caught something amazing on camera just a few days ago. In the cobalt-coloured sky above Australia, this amateur astrophotographer managed to capture the exact moment that the moon passed in front of Saturn. Read More >>

space
New Satellite Shield Uses Pigment Found in Prehistoric Cave Paintings

The European Space Agency's new solar satellite will be partially shielded for heat protection using a bone-based pigment found in prehistoric cave paintings. The result will be a surreal cross between the earliest era of human cognition and creativity and the outer reaches of our current mechanical sciences. Read More >>

nasa
Help NASA Find Baby Solar Systems Forming Deep in Our Universe

NASA scientists are poring over their most detailed snapshots of our universe, searching for the hallmark shapes that indicate a planet being formed. And you can help them, even if you never got that Ph.D. in astronomy, just by hopping on the Disk Detective website. Read More >>

lasers
Lasers Create Ultra-Lightweight Mirrors from Polystyrene Beads

It's much easier for a telescope to see deep into the universe when it doesn't have to peer through the Earth's atmosphere, but getting them into space is expensive. There is a much cheaper solution, though, as researchers have actually found a way to make incredibly light mirrors using lasers and polystyrene beads. Read More >>

space
The Naked Metal Core of a Dead Planet Is Circling the Sun

You know about those plans to visit an asteroid in the next few years? Well, a select group of astronauts would like to sweeten the deal. Why visit a regular asteroid, when there's a planet's solid metal floating up there and it's likely magnetic? Read More >>

history
Archaeologist Uses 2,000-Year-Old Sky to Study Roman Ruins

If archaeology was once about digging through dirt, it is increasingly—like almost every other profession—about programming computers. Bernie Frischer, an Indiana University "archaeo-informaticist," has came up with a new theory about two Roman monuments. His findings are based on 3D reconstructions of the monuments using video game technology and calculations of the sun's position 2,000 years ago. Read More >>

space
Astronomers Figured Out How to Weigh Entire Planets Using Starlight

Weighing a planet is a tough task. It's not like you can just put them on a bathroom scale. And, while astronomers figured out how to measure the mass of planets in our solar system a long time ago, it's practically impossible to weigh exoplanets. Well, it was until recently. Read More >>

space
First Satellite Built by Secondary School Kids Is Heading to Space Tonight

Your coolest secondary school science project probably involved some baking soda and a paper mâché volcano, right? A little chemical reaction and a big mess? Well, kids these days are smarter than you. They're building satellites and sending them to space. Read More >>

space
One in Five Sun-Like Stars Has Earth-Size Planets in Habitable Zone

The odds of finding a habitable planet elsewhere in the universe just get better and better. A new study claims that one in five Sun-like stars has an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone. That adds up to about 20 billion Earth-size planets in the Milky Way alone. Read More >>

space
This 10 Year Old Just Discovered a Supernova

There goes any feeling of accomplishment us grown ups had today. Ten year old Nathan Gray just discovered a supernova, unseating his own sister as the world's youngest to do so. Talk about sibling rivalries. Read More >>

space
The Sun Spewed Out a Beautiful Solar Flare This Week

The sun emitted a solar flare at 8:30 pm EDT on October 23rd, and NASA captured in all its glory at its Solar Dynamics Observatory. Doesn't it look pretty? Read More >>

image cache
These Stars May Look Mellow But They're Resisting a Huge Black Hole

Nothing is ever as tranquil as it seems. This image is pretty and has lots of fun, trippy colours. But all of that variation is being produced by gas, dust and other matter as whole galaxies fall into a supermassive black hole. Created from Hubble data, the image shows the cosmic tug-of-war going on in the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies 230 million light years away. Read More >>

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