Sara Chodosh
at 09:36 AM Aug 22 2017
Space // 

A syzygy feels magical, and not just because it gets you at least 25 points in Scrabble. The whole concept of celestial bodies aligning feels poetic. When it results in a total solar eclipse here on Earth, you can feel for a few moments as though you're part of something much greater and grander than yourself. The transience only makes it more beautiful. Which is why thousands of people will flock to the path of totality on August 21, 2017: to witness a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:36 AM Aug 22 2017
Space // 

Imagine. You are an ancient human and your reliable and faithful sun suddenly and unexpectedly goes dark. This terrifies you. You think, 'What if it never comes back? Oh gods, WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESER...oh, it's back. Phew.' But then, over the years, it keeps happening. You begin to lose trust in the sun's loyalty and start recording when these events happen. Centuries go by and eventually enough of a pattern has built up that early civilizations are able to predict when these crazy events might occur.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:34 PM Aug 18 2017
Space // 

I have a confession to make: I may not go see the total eclipse. And one way or another, I've decided to stop agonizing over that decision. It's really not a big deal.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:34 PM Aug 18 2017

If you can send a spacecraft to the moon and loop around our natural satellite one time, or—even better—gently set a rover down on the lunar surface, there could be money in it for you. $4.75 million, to be precise.

Marissa Shieh
at 10:11 AM Aug 15 2017
Space // 

One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Or in this case, one space telescope's extra data is another researcher's gold mine.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 08:00 AM Aug 8 2017
Space // 

In less than two years, the New Horizons space probe is going to go whizzing by an object a billion miles further away from us than Pluto at speeds of up to 30,000 miles per hour. We know generally where that object—MU69, a cold dark object in the Kuiper Belt—will be thanks to telescope observations, otherwise we wouldn't be able to rendezvous with it at all, but like a blind date, we're not 100 percent sure what to expect. Details like the shape, exact size, color of the object and even if it has close neighbors all remain elusive.

Aparna Nathan
at 12:59 PM Aug 4 2017
Space // 

Picture Jupiter, the gas giant. Now inflate it to over five times its size. Throw in a sun close enough that it can heat the planet's atmospheric surface to 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

 
1 2 3 4 5 ... 188
Sign up for the Pop Sci newsletter
Australian Popular Science
ON SALE 03 AUGUST
PopSci Live