In honor of the Space Shuttle Discovery's final launch, here are some of io9's most mind-blowing space stories. You may have noticed that each of these categories are also commonly-used tags on io9, like space porn or space opera. If you ever want to see a tag page on a topic we cover, you can find it just by typing it like this: or

Try it! Or just enjoy these tag pages we've rounded up for you tonight.


Space Porn

Here's a collection of beautiful images of galaxies, nebulas, black hole and other majestic phenomena of the universe.

Amazing video shows the relative sizes of all the planets and stars


Incredible photo over Switzerland reveals the Milky Way in all its galactic glory

A gorgeous time-lapse video of the universe, recorded from a plateau in Chile


Is this galaxy too hot for its own good?

Breathtaking look at a solar eclipse in space


Space photos reveal the weird optical illusion of the squished Moon

Solving the cosmic mystery of the green blob in space


Space Opera

Our favorite stories about swashbuckling adventures in deep space.

An American Live-Action Star Blazers? Why not just release the Japanese one here?


One of the absolute worst space battle sequences we've ever seen

What to expect from Battlestar Galactica prequel Blood and Chrome!


Your First Look at an Intense Dead Space 2 Trailer

Ralph McQuarrie's concept art for a Star Trek movie in 1976-1977


Glitter Beards, Spangle Leotards and Pew-Pew-Pew: Disco Space Opera at Its Most Hideously Wonderful



We delve into the mysteries of black holes and impossible stars.

Giant ice caverns lead the hunt for exotic particles


Watch a revealing interview with the astronomer who has led the search for exoplanets

Neutron star observed creating otherwise impossible form of matter

A new model of the universe shows the first stars are still alive

The universe is at least 250 times bigger than it looks

The Milky Way might be surrounded by invisible dark matter galaxies

The biggest black hole in the universe could swallow our entire solar system

Why aren't galaxies evenly distributed throughout the universe?

What happens when two black holes are smashed together?


Space Exploration

Will we really visit other planets some day? We hope so. Here are some stories about the real-life steps towards stepping out into the cosmos.


Now is the time to start mining helium on the Moon

Laser-powered rockets could be our pipeline to outer space

Watch astronauts land on Mars….in a building in Russia

The NASA spaceship that could take humanity into deep space…if we had the money for it


What happened to all those "Moon trees" whose seeds went into space?

Have we already hopelessly contaminated the search for extraterrestrial life?

Carbon nanotubes will lift us to space

The fastest way to send humans to Mars is to not worry about bringing them back