Listening to this guy talking about the Universe gave me goosebumps

Remember that time when you first realized that the Universe was an incredibly gigantic place, when you felt humbled and fortunate at the mere thought of existing in this vast cosmic arena? Listen to Professor Tom Burns, of Ohio Wesleyan University and Director of Perkins Observatory. He still feels that way. » 3/04/15 10:39am Today 10:39am

Looking for Alien Life on Bizarre "Eyeball Planets" 

It's easy for us Earthlings to imagine life evolving on planets like ours. But there are exoplanets out there that strain the imagination. Take "eyeball planets," which are half frozen, half broiling with the heat of their suns. Earthlike planet Zarmina, in the Gliese system, is one of these. We shouldn't rule these… » 2/20/15 6:35pm 2/20/15 6:35pm

The Origin of Joy Division's Most Famous Album Cover, Finally Revealed

The cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures is famously graced with the radio pulses of a dying star. Its origins, however, have always been unclear. But now, Scientific American's Jen Christiansen has followed the rabbit hole to the very end—to an obscure 1970 PhD astronomy thesis and the guy who wrote it. » 2/18/15 5:50pm 2/18/15 5:50pm

Two-mile-high structures rising on Saturn's rings

Someone on Reddit posted this old November 2010 image by the Cassini spacecraft. It shows 2-mile-high (3.5-kilometer) structures rising on Saturn's B ring's outer edge. We talked about this back then, but it's a great peg to show this cool artist impression of what it would look like from the ring itself: » 12/29/14 11:33pm 12/29/14 11:33pm

You Can Discover New Planets with a DSLR 

Wouldn't it be cool to discover a planet circling a lonely star light years away from Earth? Maybe you'd even get to name it. Actually exploring deep space is hard, but as IEEE Spectrum's David Schneider points out, detecting exoplanets is pretty simple, simple enough that a basic DSLR and a telephoto lens can do it. » 12/15/14 11:42am 12/15/14 11:42am