Four hundred five years ago this week, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his new telescope to members of the Venetian senate in the Plaza San Marco. This presentation on Aug. 25, 1609, marks the birth of the astronomical telescope and the launching of a scientific revolution.
The sun (Helios) was the divine king of the sky for the Greeks. According to the "Homeric Hymn" of Helios: The sun shines his light on both men and im...
An ambitious campaign by the space fundraising group Uwingu starts today that will allow participants to beam a message to Mars.
Do you want conspiracy theorists to create the nation's scientific research agenda? Does it make sense to take their bizarre views seriously?
In 2006 the IAU "demoted" Pluto to dwarf-planet status, setting off an outcry of public disappointment, first among schoolchildren but later among all classes of astronomy enthusiasts, and even planetary scientists, who disagree with the IAU's logic.
For decades, at least, astronomers will be unable to know that an Earth twin's spectrum that shows signs of both oxygen and methane comes entirely from a single object. In other words, even if we find such a tantalizing signal, we might not know that we've found life on the Earth twin.
In 2009 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) held its general assembly in Rio de Janeiro. Of the 2,109 participants, 667 (or 31.6 percent) were women. Indeed, in recent years, the fraction of women among astronomers has been growing continuously. But who is considered to have been the first female astronomer?
On August 21, 2017 the first total solar eclipse in decades visible from the continental United States will appear in state near you.
Before we can jump straight into writing code and seeing what it does, we need a place to write code, and a way to run it.
The work involved in creating the largest telescope in human history, the Giant Magellan Telescope, must be matched by the energy invested in inspiring and preparing future astronomers to use it.
Scientists estimate that there are over 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy alone -- but we've never heard anything from any of them. Here are 13 possible explanations for why.
Much of modern physics has been about exploring inherently invisible things, which seem to be far more common than the obvious things we experience with our senses. Yet these invisible things follow rigorous laws that allow us to test their existence in many ways. Here is a very short list of some of the "invisible" things that we routinely work with.
While it may be disappointing, I have to confess to people who ask for my insights on the meaning of it all that astronomy doesn't provide any clearly useful data on matters of sin and souls. But it does offer some humbling insight into the scale of the problem.
We may actually be of the utmost significance to the universe, because after nearly 14 billion years of cosmic evolution, it is through our brain power that the universe has finally achieved self-awareness.
This week the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), astronomy clubs, and a host of U.S. national parks across the country celebrate International Dark Sky Week to raise awareness of light pollution.
It is time and then some to move on to the pleasures of spring.