Last week we talked about sample return missions from the Moon and Mars, but scientists have retrieved samples from other objects in the Solar System, including comets and asteroids. What does it take to return a piece of rock from space, and what have we learned so far?
We’ve sent robots to other worlds, but the amount of science we can deploy to another planet can’t compare with the vast science labs we have on Earth. That’s why more and more missions are for a sample return, bringing pieces of alien worlds back to Earth, were we study them with proper equipment.
Wherever we find liquid water on Earth, we find life, so it makes sense to search for water across the Universe, and hopefully we can find evidence of life. But what about worlds which are completely covered in water, oceans hundreds of kilometers deep. Can there be too much water?
NASA’s Juno spacecraft has completed dozens of flybys of Jupiter, seeing the planet from many angles and delivering some of the most beautiful images we’ve ever seen of the Jovian world. Now it’s focusing in on Io, sending home images of the tiny volcanic world from just 1,500 km away. And the best is yet to come.
Solar cycle 25 is shaping up to be a doozy, with plenty of flares and coronal mass ejections blasting off the Sun. As the solar activity continues to rise, how are things shaping up?
Last week we looked back at some of the ideas that science has changed its mind about. This, we look forward, into the future, at some of the big ideas that astronomers are making progress in. What space science are we looking forward to?
Astronomers talk about all the amazing discoveries they’re making but sometimes, it turns out, they were wrong. After decades and centuries of discoveries, how have they changed their minds?
Just a warning, the holidays are rapidly approaching. It’s time, once again, to think about what to buy all the space nerds on your lists. Here’s what we like.
How the time flies. It’s been over a year since JWST went operational, with other missions joining the fun. What new insights have we gained about the Universe thanks to these powerful new tools?
Finally, we reach the end of our tour through the missions in the Solar System. Out beyond Mars, to Jupiter the Kuiper Belt and Beyond. Recorded live during the CosmoQuestX 2023 Hangout-a-Thon.
Another week, another review of space missions in the Solar System. Today we set our sights on the red planet. What are all the active missions at Mars today?
Our journey through missions continues, this time we focus on the Moon. There are many nations on the Moon, near the Moon, around the Moon, travelling to the Moon. It’s a lot. We’ll talk about it today.
Our journey through space missions continues. Now we move away from the Earth to the rest of the solar system. What’s out there orbiting, roving and flying on other worlds and in interplanetary space. Today we look inward and we’ll talk about the missions studying the Sun, Mercury and Venus.
Last week, we brought you up to speed on the spacecraft which are helping to study Earth from above. Many of our missions are in Earth orbit but looking outward to study the Universe. Today, we’ll talk about the missions close to home, helping us understand our place in the cosmos.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is one of its most iconic features, first seen hundreds of years ago. Although it’s certainly long-lasting, it’s been changing in size over the last few decades, shrinking and changing in color. Is it fading away? And what can the changes tell us about storms on giant planets?
We’ve looked at Earth’s changing climate, now let’s see what it’s like for another world: Mars. Much looks familiar, but some of it is totally alien, from ice caps of frozen carbon dioxide to planetary dust storms that can obscure the entire world from view.
We’re going back to the Moon. In the next few years humans will set foot on the Moon again, ideally this time to stay. But this will be different than the Apollo era, going to the scientifically fascinating, and difficult southern pole of the Moon. What needs to be done to prepare the way back to the Moon?
The permanently shadowed craters on the Moon are the focus of so much research. That’s because they seem to contain vast reserves of water ice. Water we could use for oxygen, propellant and so much more, but also, to help us understand where the Earth’s water came from.
Astronomers first noticed the strange behaviors of rotating galaxies almost 100 years ago, suggesting there’s an invisible dark matter hold them together with gravity. Or maybe we just don’t understand how gravity works at the largest scales. Observations are much better now, and astronomers have found examples of galaxies that almost entirely made of dark matter. Does this tell us anything?
In 2017, astronomers detected the gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation from colliding neutron stars. This had been long theorized as one of the causes of a certain type of gamma-ray burst. By studying the event and its afterglow, astronomers have learned a tremendous amount about the formation of the heaviest elements in the Universe.
Last week we talked about rogue stars. This week we’re going to take things up a notch and talk about an even more extreme event. Rogue black holes. Astronomers recently discovered a supermassive black hole on an escape trajectory, leaving newly forming stars in its wake. It’s wonderful, terrible, nightmare fuel.
Okay sci-fi writers, today we’re going to give you a guided tour of building planets. How they form, how they grow, and how things can go horribly horribly wrong.
Whenever astronomers discover something surprising, the answer often turns out to be dust. Dust obscuring our view, dust changing the polarity, dust warming things up, dust cooling things down. It’s always dust. Until it isn’t.
We’ve spent a lot of time gushing about Saturn’s rings, but there are other places with ring systems. And not just Jupiter and the ice giants, but asteroids, dwarf planets, centaurs and even exoplanets. Today we’ll gush about them.
Ice is ice, right? You know, what you get when water freezes. Well, maybe here on Earth. But across the Universe, water can be squeezed together at different temperatures and pressures, leading to very different structures. Today we’ll talk about the different forms that ice can take.