Is there life beyond our world?
Planetary analogues are sites on Earth that are so extreme that they replicate those of celestial bodies in our solar system.
Getty Images/ Javier Zayas Photography
There’s a chance Nishimura might brighten unexpectedly – but it’s a slim one.
Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia
A new study of the meteorite Erg Chech 002 makes it one of the most precisely dated space objects and changes our understanding of how elements were spread around the cloud of dust that formed the Sun and planets.
An illustration of the asteroid Psyche, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.
24K-Production/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Liftoff to the distant asteroid is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2023 – the beginning of a six-year journey to one of the most unusual objects in the solar system.
NASA / JPL-Caltech
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is 20 billion kilometres away and has lost track of Earth. A radio dish near Canberra is the only channel for re-establishing communication.
An artist’s depiction of two astronauts on Mars.
cokada/E+ via Getty Images
If an astronaut were to die on Mars, neither cremation nor burial would be good options.
Artist’s rendering of Planet 9 with an icy surface. Image generated by the authors with the help of GPT-3.
There are suspicions that our solar system could harbour another large planet much further away than Pluto.
Occator crater, Ceres.
If we could go sightseeing across our cosmic neighbourhood, these would be some of the best highlights.
A colour-exaggerated view of Saturn backlit by the sun.
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
New research suggests Saturn’s rings may be surprisingly young.
There’s nothing weird happening with Mercury. In fact, most days of the year there’s at least one planet in retrograde.
Penumbral lunar eclipses slightly darken the Moon.
H. Raab/Wikipedia Commons
Not all lunar eclipses are alike. An astronomer explains the science behind the slight dimming of the Moon on May 5, 2023.
The far side of the Moon is an attractive place to carry out astronomy.
NASA / Ernie Wright
The current race to the Moon is opening up opportunities for lunar astronomy.
Jupiter has more than 80 moons, the largest of which were discovered by Galileo. Many will be studied in depth by the scientific instruments of ESA’s JUICE mission.
ESA, NASA, JPL, ATG, DLR, University of Arizona, University of Leicester
One of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede, could contain more water than the Earth.
Elizabeth Campbell operating the Floyd Telescope, 1922 total solar eclipse.
State Library Western Australia 4131B/3/8, enhanced detail
History might give you the impression astronomical discoveries were only done by men. But women were participating in scientific expeditions of eclipses too, even though it wasn’t easy.
Comets are rarely as bright as this illustration.
The newly discovered comet C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS is anticipated to be spectacularly bright late next year. But it’s important to temper our expectations.
There was little time for water from the Earth’s atmosphere to contaminate the meteorite after it fell.
Trustees of the Natural History Museum
In 2021, searchers recovered a meteorite that fell over the UK just hours earlier. Scientists have now reconstructed its story.
Scientists think Mars rovers may have some blind spots when it comes to finding signs of life.
Our Mars rovers might not be sensitive enough to detect signs of life. But lessons from Antarctica might make future missions more successful.
The Solar System as we know it doesn’t really make sense without a ninth planet. So then why can’t we find it?
Sarah McMullan / UKFN / Global Fireball Observatory
Within hours of its landing, samples of the Winchcombe meteorite had been recovered and its origins tracked back beyond Mars to the asteroid belt.
Artist’s view of what Mars would have looked like a billion years ago.
A study has found that microorganisms living on Mars billions of years ago may have left the planet uninhabitable.