“It’s bullshit,” Alan Stern, principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, has said about the demotion of Pluto from the ranks of official planet status. Now Stern is heading up a team of NASA scientists who have proposed a new definition of planets that would do more than just reinstate the icy…
My life now has a purpose. I’ve discovered what I have to do before I die. From now on, every decision I make will be motivated to do one thing and one thing only: to find my way to Point Nemo, a place in the Pacific Ocean that’s the loneliest place on Earth.
What happens when two iconic scientists talk about saving our planet? Read on to find out what happened when E O Wilson and Sean Carroll—two giants in their field—sat down to discuss just that.
This trippy orb isn't the result of a youth misspent. Instead, the it's the fruits of complex computer simulations which use the speed of seismic waves from earthquakes to visualize the existence of subterranean structures far beneath the surface of our planet.
The North Pole is just at the top of the Earth, right? Well, not really: there isn't really a 'top' of a
sphere spheroid and, anyway, depending on how you measure things the pole can be in one of many different spots. So which one's right?
The existence of our solar system's innermost planet has been common knowledge since ancient times, but that doesn't actually mean we've always know much about it. Mercury's proximity to the Sun has allowed it to jealously guard its secrets, and so this NASA video offers an unprecedentedly detailed view of the…
Planets have to start out somewhere, and the leading theory is that they begin as dust particles clumping together to form larger and larger building blocks, before finally emerging eons later as full-blown planets. But the exact physics that would allow such clumps to form has long been frustratingly unclear.
Over 47 million light years away, in a galaxy called NGC 4845, there's one hungry black hole. In fact, scientists have watched in awe as, soon after it stirred from dormancy, it chomped away at a planet 30 times the mass of Jupiter.
Some briny deeps are brinier than others. The Atlantic Ocean has two huge "deserts" of extra-salty water, the result of little rainfall and lots of evaporation.
If I were Pluto, I would be really pissed off with the astronomers that just announced the tiniest planet ever discovered. It's a new planetary system called Kepler-37, which is centered around a star similar to our sun about 210 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lyra.
Remember 55 Cancri e? Sure you do — and if you don't, you should. After all, it may be the first diamond planet ever discovered that orbits a Sun-like star. At least we think it is; if there's one thing 55 Cancri e is good at, it's fooling astronomers into thinking it's something that it's not.
Most simple explanations of climate change suggest that rising sea levels are a result of melting ice in the polar regions. While that's true to an extent, there's a simple piece of physics behind the rising waters that you might not have been made aware of. This video helps explain why it's thermal expansion that's…
There is no getting around the fact that a lot of people would be very excited if extraterrestrial life existed. But while plenty of scientists are working hard to find it, others aren't as convinced—and a team of Princeton physicists has gone as far as publishing an academic article explaining exactly why they think…
After spending an eternity rocketing through the interstellar void, rogue planets can sometimes end their travels and find new solar systems to call home. But these adoptive parent stars aren't all that welcoming of their new planets.
At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything particularly remarkable about star HIP 11952 and its two planets. But its iron-poor composition reveals these planets are 13 billion years old — almost as ancient as the Big Bang itself.
The wildest ride in the galaxy is found on hypervelocity planets. These worlds got too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and have been flung away at a twentieth of the speed of light.
Scientists looking at Earthshine reflected from the moon have concluded that, indeed, there is life on our planet. Though the result may be obvious, the findings can help in the search for life on other worlds.
The latest estimates suggest there are at least 160 billion exoplanets in the Milky Way alone, which means there could easily be several billion potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy. But are all these Earth-like planets really like our home?
Zachory Berta says that "GJ1214b is like no planet we know of." Like Berta, part of a team at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics lead by David Charbonneau, his colleagues were surprised when they discovered that this planet is made mostly of water.
We now estimate that every star in the galaxy has at least one planet, but that is leaving aside the potentially billions more planets that were ejected from their solar system and are now hurtling through the universe all alone.