In the world of comets, Halley’s Comet stands out for more reasons than one. Besides its visibility and relatively short orbital period, many facts about Halley’s comet have been observed by — and influenced — human societies for more than 2,000 years.
It’s been nearly three years since NASA’s Stardust spacecraft returned to Earth with the first-ever sample of particles gathered from a comet, and researchers studying those particles continue to be surprised by what they find.
People have been trying to understand the beginning of the universe — what it is, why it is — since the earliest days of civilization. Read on to fine ancient cosmology’s various theories on the origin of the universe.
Saturn is not the only ringed planet in the solar system — Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have rings — but it does by far display the most fascinating and complex system of rings anywhere in our planetary neighborhood.
The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) has a big birthday coming up. While its anniversary on paper arrived this summer (President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958), the agency marks 50 years of official operations on Oct. 1.
What do you know about Saturn’s aptly named moon Titan? For a planetary satellite, Titan has many unique features, including its large size (it’s the second largest moon in the solar system) a thick and frigid atmosphere, and lakes of methane and ethane.
Whoever becomes the next president of the U.S. could decide the future of the U.S. space program for many years to come, and both the Democratic and Republican nominees say they will actively promote space research and exploration efforts.
We’ve learned a lot about the planet Venus since 1962, when Mariner 2 discovered not the balmy, Earth-like planet scientists expected but our hellishly hot “evil twin.” The ESA’s Venus Express will help us understand even more about the planet.
So NASA has a goal of finding and tracking at least 90 percent of the asteroids and comets that could cause catastrophe if they collided with Earth. Let’s say the agency does one day finds a potential planet-buster headed our way. What then?
At first glance, the planet Venus seems like it could be Earth’s twin. Beyond superficial similarities of size, mass and composition, though, Venus isn’t a sibling Earth would want to emulate, as it’s the poster child for the greenhouse effect run amok. Let’s look at some basic facts about Venus:
In 2009, the “The International Year of Astronomy,” marked the 400th anniversary of the telescope. Galileo made the first telescope in 1609, an instrument that revolutionized — and continues to revolutionize — our view of the world and the universe.