NASA's prettiest spaceship yet will take actual photos of alien worlds

PlanetQuest is NASA's effort to search for new Earths, exoplanets like ours that would probably contain life too. They're doing some really cool stuff, like this sunflower-telescope combo spaceship—"a cutting-edge effort to take pictures of planets orbiting stars far from the sun." Imagine that—seeing the actual planets! » 3/21/14 11:36am 3/21/14 11:36am

Why Hubble Has a Telescope Named After Him

Just about everyone has heard of the Hubble Space Telescope. A space-based observatory on "the highest mountain" the world can provide; it is the technology behind many of today's great discoveries in space. Started in 1977 and launched into orbit in 1990, it has aided in humans determining the expansion rate of the… » 2/04/14 8:30am 2/04/14 8:30am

This Wacky Telescope Lets You Listen To What You're Looking At

Unless you're a synesthete, the five senses are pretty straightforward—but designers keep on coming up with cool ways to mix-up the experience for those of us who don't have the natural ability. Which is what makes the Wassiliscope so neat: This thing transforms color frequencies into corresponding sound frequencies,… » 1/28/14 6:00pm 1/28/14 6:00pm

The World's Largest Telescope Array Is Now Peering Into the Sky

ALMA has arrived, and she is enormous. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, was officially opened today in the high desert of the Chilean Andes. Guests including the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, gathered to celebrate the the largest ground-based astronomical project in the world. » 3/14/13 5:22am 3/14/13 5:22am

These Tiny Telescopes Could Save the Earth from a Deep Impact

A 50-foot wide, 10,000-ton meteor that packs triple the force of the nuke dropped on Hiroshima is nothing to scoff at. But in the grand scheme of things, the meteor that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia, last week is a cosmological runt. Space rocks as much as 100 feet across are estimated to strike every hundred years or so… » 2/21/13 12:40pm 2/21/13 12:40pm

IBM's $43 Million Computer For the World's Largest Radio Telescope

When it's built, the Square Kilometer Array will be the world's largest radio telescope. Then, when it goes online, it will spit out 1,000,000 terabytes of data each day—and IBM is trying to make a computer which can handle it. » 4/02/12 5:49am 4/02/12 5:49am

Everything a Serious Stargazer Needs To Enjoy the Celestial Show

We've already brought you a beginner's guide to astronomy, and the heavens recently lined up for an impressive celestial peepshow. Now, it's time to take a look at the stargazing gear that will guarantee a fantastic front row seat to the heavens. » 3/27/12 5:15pm 3/27/12 5:15pm

Scientists Find a Planet Similar to Mars Outside Our Solar System

Someone call John Lithgow and pull French Stewart out of storage, a team of astronomers using the Kepler telescope have discovered the smallest exoplanets, in the tiniest solar system, so far. And their existence may show that our solar system isn't all that unique. » 1/12/12 1:00am 1/12/12 1:00am

Hubble's Personal Telescope Is Beautifully Vintage

This is one of Edwin Hubble's personal telescopes, the one Hubble used before he finished his Ph.D. It was given to a teacher when he left for graduate school and has been handed down from generation to generation. The telescope is beautifully vintage and to just think about the great man's eye looking through it, and… » 2/26/11 3:00pm 2/26/11 3:00pm