The Moon Might Be Littered With Fossils From Ancient Earth

Earth is an unforgiving place. Volcanoes erupt, rivers erode, continents break up—it's a small miracle every time a millions-of-years-old creature is found fossilized in rock. By comparison, the moon is dead and lifeless; astronaut footprints will be preserved forever in moon dust. So it's the moon that could hold the… » 7/29/14 4:18pm Yesterday 4:18pm

Why Russia Was Studying Space Lizard Sex In the First Place

For a brief moment, the internet was captivated by the thought of geckos copulating madly in a lost Russian satellite. Russia has since regained control of its lizard-sex orbiter, but the whole episode has gifted us an opportunity to consider a topic of extremely legitimate scientific interest. Namely, lizard sex in… » 7/29/14 12:27pm Yesterday 12:27pm

No One Knows What's Causing These Mysterious Radio Bursts From Space

Back in 2007, astronomers detected an incredibly brief, incredibly strong radio wave burst in Australia. And now, on the opposite side of the world, astronomers have detected a second blast of similar proportions. Meaning that A) the first one wasn't a fluke, and B) we have absolutely no idea what's causing them. » 7/28/14 4:08pm Monday 4:08pm

A Russian Lizard Sex Satellite Is Out of Control in Orbit

It began as just another chapter in humanity's ongoing fascination of sending weird shit into space, then things spiraled out of control. Right now an orbital satellite filled with geckos flies more than 200 miles above our heads. But this isn't a slapstick preamble to some clever car insurance commercial, these… » 7/25/14 11:37am Friday 11:37am

The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of… » 7/25/14 9:00am Friday 9:00am

The Ice-Diving Robot That Could Look for Alien Life on Jupiter's Moon

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans… » 7/23/14 5:59pm 7/23/14 5:59pm

Making Faster Optical "Cables" Using Nothing But Lasers and Air

Pulses of light are the absolute fastest way to transfer data (because nothing's faster than light), but old school fiber optic cables can only go so many places. Scientists have a new idea: use high-powered lasers to make a column of low-density air that can carry a light signal just as well as a normal cable. Yes,… » 7/22/14 11:23am 7/22/14 11:23am

Watch NASA's Full TV Broadcast of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Right Here

Exactly 45 years ago today, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon. And right now, NASA is replaying the full TV broadcast from that fateful day in real-time. Watch it below—it's just as exhilarating today as it must have been 45 years ago. » 7/21/14 12:01am 7/21/14 12:01am

How NASA Would Have Handled a Failed Apollo 11

This weekend marks the 45 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission landing the first men on the moon. Like all missions, NASA had a contingency plan. Space historian Amy Shira Teitel explains the astronauts' grim orders if a lunar lander malfunction had left Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stranded on the moon. » 7/19/14 9:00am 7/19/14 9:00am