Astronomical conjunctions occur when celestial objects appear close to one another in the night sky—this happens all the time and they’re not particularly unusual. But a conjunction happening tonight is notable in that it involves two very bright planets—Venus and Jupiter—and they’ll be closer together than they’ve… »
Something lit up the sky over a whole swath of the lower Eastern states last night, catching eyes all the way from Florida up through West Virginia. So what are we looking at here? A meteor, perhaps, or a fireball? Nope, it’s actually something a lot stranger. »
Once again, SpaceX has audaciously attempted to land a rocket in the middle of the ocean, and once again, something went horribly wrong. Unlike the first two tries earlier this year, this one didn’t make it to the ground, not even close. »
When it comes to water scarcity, the loss of groundwater is like the silent killer: It isn’t as easy to measure or monitor as, say, a shrinking reservoir. We’ve known that many aquifers are overtaxed, but a new report shows we’re draining major aquifers faster than they’re being replenished. Not just in… »
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has recently begun sending back the first color images of Pluto and Charon, and they are spectacular. But prior to the probe making its close approach to Pluto on July 14th, scientists have been scouting Pluto’s atmosphere using a 98-inch telescope mounted inside a highly modified Boeing… »
Clouds are not usually the most enthralling part of nature. But in the late spring and summer, weather conditions conspire to create noctilucent or ‘night-shining’ clouds, high-altitude clouds that glow with an electric-blue hue long after the Sun has set. »
Ever come across a gorgeous Hubble image, or an article showing some of NASA’s cool new Mars lander tech, and wish you could remember where those lovely photos live? Rejoice, space nerds: NASA is making your life easier than ever, with the launch of a new mega gallery where you can browse all of the space agency’s… »
The best thing about being in zero gravity (aside from being in zero gravity, of course) has to be how liquids become amorphous blobs that can just float around. Here’s a collection of awesome experiments that NASA has conducted of water in zero gravity. They’re amazing! »
NASA’s Greased Lightning GL-10 is a beast of a drone (it has 10 engines!) that’s the closest thing we have to a Transformer in real life. It can flip itself into a helicopter and then fly like an airplane and then revert back to helicopter mode. It’s awesome seeing the wings tilt back and forth as it changes gears.
Going to the gas station in a car is a chore made to remind you of your own mortality. Going to the (metaphorical) gas station in a F-15 jet? That’s a delightful dessert made to show off our awesomeness. Here’s a video of a NASA F-15 jet taking a pit stop to get refueled while in mid-flight mid-air from the jet’s… »
The US has a plan for Americans to live in space. In 2012, the National Research Council was commissioned by Congress to roadmap the future of human space exploration. Last June, the team published its findings in a massive report, which called for several action steps to be taken immediately. One year later, are we… »
The pock-marked surface of this spherical chunk of rock looks a lot like images of our own Moon—but in fact, this is much, much further away. »
Human teenagers don’t have the best rep for being stable, rational individuals. And so too with quasi-stellar objects in their formative years, which scientists are now calling “all messed up”. »
It’s Space Habitats Week here at Gizmodo and io9. Planetary settlements have garnered a lot of attention lately, from caves on the Moon to eventual outposts on Mars (we’re not going to talk about Mars One). Today, you can ask Al Globus, an expert on orbital settlements, about why humanity’s future is in orbit rather… »
Despite the obvious similarities, this isn’t another satellite shot showing the Droughtpocalypse engulfing California. Instead, it’s a radar scan of methane-filled lakes on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. »
We’ve seen how NASA recreates the vacuum of space right here on Earth, but what about the gravity of space? What about the forces of inertia? When large objects move and behave so differently, how to you train for a mission so you know what to expect when you get there? Like this.