Are you awake before dawn? Good. Go outside. Look east. Bask in the astronomical wonder of seeing all the brightest planets out at the same time, pinpricks of worlds drifting up from the horizon. Missed it? Try again any morning for the next month.
All the best-dressed explorers wore glittery spacesuits more suitable to the Silver Surfer than somber NASA astronauts in the early days of the Space Age. These are the helmets, gloves, and boots for the Mercury Seven astronauts.
How do you follow a trail more than 200 years old, when even the maps they used uncertain? You look for specific historical deposits. And famed explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, made some very unusual ones.
Space is really, really big, and there’s been a couple of great videos out there that show off the relative size of objects. This video puts the scale of the solar system into real perspective by showing how it takes you pass through the solar system at the speed of light.
Earlier this year, NASA’s MESSENGER mission continued to take photos of Mercury right up until it crashed into the planet. This enhanced image of the usually grey-looking planet shows how color doesn’t quite capture the diversity of the planet’s make up.
It had a great run, but MESSENGER is dead. And here is how it ended.
After four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER mission is coming to an end. With its maneuvering propellant depleted, the probe is expect to crash onto Mercury’s surface tomorrow. Here are some of the last pics taken by MESSENGER we’ll ever see.
With only a few weeks to live, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has been capturing some of the most detailed images we've ever seen of the Solar System's innermost planet. Here's the latest batch of Mercury porn.
Astronomers have been at a loss to explain Mercury's excessively dark and unreflective surface. But a new study published in Nature Geoscience suggests the innermost planet was painted black by a steady stream of comet dust. The process took millions of years as comets disintegrated close to the sun, shedding carbon…
After four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER mission is sadly coming to an end. But before it plunges to its doom, mission controllers are taking full advantage of the spacecraft's close proximity to the surface. Here are some of the most detailed and vivid images ever taken of the Solar System's…
The late 1700s were not known for their long life-expectancy. One of the many sources of death, at the time, was a nasty little thing with the incongruously pleasant name of "cinnabar." We'll show you how fashion trends combined with chemistry to kill people off.
It's been nearly four years since the Messenger spacecraft arrived at Mercury, and during that time it's exceeded its mission goals, sending more than 250,000 images back to Earth. Faced with an unexpected surplus of real estate, the International Astronomical Union wants your help naming the planet's craters.
As millions of people observed the total lunar eclipse on October 8th, NASA's MESSENGER probe was also watching from its orbit around Mercury. The spacecraft, 66 million miles from Earth, captured several images of the Moon as it passed behind Earth and into the planet's shadow.
People like to make lists of things, especially lists of superlatives: the best, fastest, oldest, largest, heaviest and so on. There are lists of the ten fastest animals and the ten longest rivers and even of the ten highest-paid rock stars. The Guinness company created a small industry from publishing lists exactly…
Astronomers stuck on Earth miss a lot of astronomical wonders. Fortunately, the Curiosity Rover on Mars is helping to fill the gap with our first-ever look at another planet traversing our sun, as seen from a planet that's not Earth.
The planet Mercury is oddly iron rich. So are some exoplanets. Scientists trying to work out how this happened have come up with a crazy theory. Starlight itself might be sorting out the solar system through a technique called electrophoresis.
The planet Mercury is our solar system's shrunken head. The scorched first rock from the sun has contracted into itself even more than previously thought — losing four miles (7 km) of elevation in some parts, according to new research using data from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.
Mercury the cat was found at five weeks old with no front legs. His limbs were unfortunately too injured to accommodate prosthetics, so being the industrious cat that he is, he instead learned to walk on his hind legs. This makes Mercury's perhaps the fuzziest, most adorable T. rex impressions in the history of T. rex…