A couple of years ago, we were blown away by Steve Gildea’s work titled Planetary Suite: a sliver of each planet forming a single, wonderful image. There was one problem though: he didn’t know what Pluto looked like. Now, we do.
This is what one day looks like on Earth from space. The footage condenses 24 hours of imagery from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite into 12 seconds and shows us how the our beautiful blue marble peels itself from the darkness in unbelievable detail. The reveal of Earth is just beyond words. No planet is as beautiful as…
On January 24th, 1986, Voyager 2 swept past our system’s seventh planet, Uranus, on its way through the solar system. It was the first and last time we visited the gas giant, and we found it’s one of the stranger locations in our solar system.
There could be a new ninth planet floating beyond the dark edges of our solar system, according to new research published in The Astronomical Journal from CalTech professors Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin.
Like, a lot of power. Scott Manley delves into the science of the planet destroying business and came up with the numbers that it would take to destroy a planet in Star Wars. To destroy an Earth-like planet which was like Alderaan, you’d need three trillion trillion trillion Joules of energy. There are five billion…
Wow. A million wows, really. Here’s a truly spectacular image from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows Earth in all its glory from the perspective of being on the surface of the Moon. It’s an Earthrise and it’s just gorgeous and amazing to be able to “see” it. The image was “composed from a series of images…
Okay, seriously NASA, release your staff for the holidays. They’re clearly bored, and when nerds with access to world-class planetary data get bored, bad stuff happens. Case in point? Christmas Pluto.
Galaxies far far away often seem much more exciting than this one: fascist Empires ruled by ancient sorcery cults, giant space slugs, endless disposable droids. But when you get down to it, many of the planets in the Star Wars universe aren’t so different from our own.
Our biggest planet in the solar system is also one of the best: it’s got crazy weather systems, it’s probably saved Earth from enormous impacts, and it’s got hundreds of moons orbiting it. The Atlantic goes over all the ways Jupiter is their favorite planet.
The hunt for a hypothetical planet called Vulcan near Mercury fascinated author Tom Levenson for years. It took some tough talk from Ta-Nehisi Coates to get him to finally write a book about it.
This is a seriously cool visualization of the solar system. What if you turned the planets into a sort of music box? That’s the point of Solarbeat, which turns the movement of the planets into music.
We once considered the Sun a planet, and it took finding Uranus to decide that moons should really be their own category of thing. These are all the places in our solar system that were once planets—but now have far more suitable names.
Naming a planet used to be an honor reserved for the astronomer who discovered it, but these days, we’re finding too many to keep up. Now, the International Astronomical Union has opened the sacred process up to the internet, bless their brave souls.
What a hypnotizing look at the red planet. We get to see the view that ESA’s Mars Express see as it explores Mars, specifically a stunning look from orbit. I just love seeing it spin and twirl and then zoom in and then repeat the beautiful process all over again. I can see this in my dreams.
Yesterday, we looked at an interactive infographic on the relative orbits of everything in the solar system. Today, let’s compare the planets to one another. This site shows us how all of the solar system’s planets (and Pluto) stack up.
This is pretty awesome: an interactive map of the solar system that lets you see how the major objects in our solar system move around the sun. Click and drag to see where everything will be relative to one another at any given date.
At some future juncture, we’re going to need more living space, whether it be found on another planet or through the expanse of our planet’s existing surface area. In his latest venture into worldbuilding, Oxford University research fellow Anders Sandberg explores some of the more extreme possibilities.
This stunning Chandra image of ngc6388 suggests that “a white dwarf star may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close.”
In this brand new map of the Ares Vallis region of Mars, released by the German space agency DLR, you can see the true differences in height between the high and low parts of our neighboring planet. The highest parts, expressed in red, are about 4000 meters (2.4 miles) above the lowest parts, in blue.
A new open-access database of biosignatures has been designed to help astronomers map which alien planets may be capable of supporting life. It catalogues colors that reflect from 137 microbe species, a brilliant range "from the egg-yolk yellow of Halorubrum chaoviator" to "the deep blue-green of Dermocarpa violacea."