Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait recently visited the SpaceX construction factory. His visit also included a chat with CEO Elon Musk. This should excite you. Plait is a consummate nerd, and Elon Musk is Elon Musk. Bring them together and you're bound to get good things (the quote up top, for instance).
On his Bad Astronomy blog, Phil Plait puts forth a novel theory about the mysterious location of Springfield, hometown of the Simpsons.
Throughout the year, as Earth progresses through its orbit around the sun, one can witness stars in the night sky rise and set at different times. It's an example of an astronomical cycle visible to the naked eye, and the first of three subjects in Episode 3 of Crash Course Astronomy, a new series by Bad Astronomy's…
A conspiracy theory is floating around that someone other than Mother Nature is responsible for Atlanta's latest snowfall, spurred on by clips of people burning snowballs black. This video, using a lighter and some snow, explains why they're wrong — and explores the phenomenon of "snow that doesn't melt."
In movies, when aliens invade our planet, they usually have a ludicrous motivation. Like, they're after our water. Or our gold. (Hint: Asteroids have gold.) Space travel is incredibly difficult and expensive — so why would aliens actually bother to come and invade us? We asked some experts for reasons that actually…
Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, it's every bit as excellent as it sounds.
This week on the io9 show, we ask why it is that NASA can put a robot on Mars, but Hollywood can't make any realistic movies about the red planet. We examine the worst Mars movies ever, and special guest Phil Plait (the good astronomer behind the Bad Astronomy blog) helps us figure out how realistic they are.…
How do the minds behind Battlestar Galactica, Prometheus, X-Men: First Class, and Torchwood go about juggling science fact and science fiction, to tell a believable story? Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait hosted a panel at San Diego Comic-Con yesterday to discuss this issue, along with the making and breaking canon in…
When I was a kid – and who am I kidding; when I was an adult too – I made fun of the science in movies. "That's so fakey!" I would cry out loud when a spaceship roared past, or a slimy alien stalked our heroes.
Unless you're an astronaut, we're willing to bet that you have never seen the Moon depicted as stunningly as it is here. For close to three years now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been snapping high resolution photos of the Moon's surface. Now, the Goddard Visualization Studio has used those images to…
This morning, at 9:47 am ET, the Moon passed in front of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, temporarily blocking the satellite's view of the Sun. Fortunately for all of us, the Observatory's cameras were rolling — and what it captured is an incredible sight to behold.
Many of you have probably heard about asteroid 2005 YU55, the massive rocky body that tomorrow night will
collide with Earth in a ball of flames pass the planet safely, albeit closer than any asteroid in the last 35 years.
This video of an M class solar flare condenses three hours of explosion into a dramatic 1-minute video.
Last night was the debut of io9 pal Phil "bad astronomer" Plait's new Discovery show, Bad Universe. It was an explodey investigation of what would happen if Earth were hit with an asteroid, and how we could prevent it.
Check out this galaxy's weird curved shape, almost like an arrow-head. That's because it's hurtling through the Fornax cluster 600 km per second. Picture it screaming in fear and exhilaration as it roars towards a galactic collision.
The Hubble Space Telescope's newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 took the deepest image of the universe ever in infrared light. The reddest and faintest galaxies date from just 600 million years after the Big Bang.
At the awesome panel called "The Science Behind Science Fiction," Phil "Bad Astronomer" Plait was joined by Kevin Grazier, a rocket scientist and science adviser for Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. Grazier said that sometimes the actors on the shows are as rabid about getting the science right as he is: James…