The Chirp Heard Round the World: How Scientists Confirmed the LIGO Detection

It’s been a year since researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first direct observations of gravitational waves, the oscillations in the fabric of space and time created by powerful cosmic events—like the merging of two massive black holes. This cosmic phenomenon was first predicted by Einstein in 1915, but it took a century…

This Four-Minute Trailer Supercut is a Star Wars Tsunami

If you’re as excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens as I am (and apparently plenty of others — tickets for the film have already sold out two months before it opens) then you’ll love this: a nearly four-minute “supercut” of all of the trailers and teasers that have thus far been released. Assembled by James…

Deleted Scene From The Martian Shows Even MOAR SCIENCE!!1!

Have you gone to see The Martian yet? (And if you haven’t, my review of it may help speed you on your way.) Did you love it? Just kidding — of course you did. But did you read the book first? If you did, you may have noticed that a lot of Mark Watney’s hands-on…

One Space Blogger’s Review of The Martian

If you’re a space fan and you’ve decided to hold off seeing The Martian on opening weekend until you know what to expect, I totally understand — I very rarely see films on opening weekends myself (I have a thing about overcrowded theaters, but that’s another story.) And I also hate to be sorely disappointed…

This is What it Would Look Like to Fight Flying Dragons on Titan

Obviously this is a totally-for-fun sci-fi video, but what a video! Created by Oscar-nominated Irish filmmaker Ruairi Robinson, it shows fleets of very industrial-looking fighter skiffs hunting giant flying eels through the skies of some very cloudy planet… the first thought that came to my mind was Titan! (Although Titan is more hazy than cloudy…

An Ocean Beyond Earth: Europa Awaits

It’s no secret that Earth’s ocean is filled with life, much of it still a mystery or totally unknown to science. But what about the ocean on other worlds? I’m not talking about sci-fi planets or suspected alien Earths around other stars, but right here in our own solar system, where an ocean even deeper than ours lies…

So What Did Asteroid 2012 DA14 Actually Look Like?

Something like this: This video was made from 72 radar observations made on the night of Feb. 15/16, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, CA. The target object, a ~40-meter wide asteroid named 2012 DA14, passed within 17,200 miles (27,680 km) of Earth — coming several thousand…

Stealing Saturn’s Lightning

This just in: a movie from the Cassini imaging team showing gigantic lightning flashes within a 1,900-mile-wide storm cloud on Saturn! Depicting a 16-minute span of time, the movie shows lightning illuminating large areas within the cloud nearly 200 miles in diameter. (The “zap zap” sounds were added later to represent the radio signals that…

What a Relief

This is a video “flyover” of the images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, riding along the moon’s terminator between night and day. The shallow angle of sunlight makes for very nice relief of the lunar surface. More on the LRO Mission here. Image/animation: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

Chasing Shadows

This animation, made from raw images received on June 22, brings us on a flight above Saturn’s B and A rings looking down over the 3,000-mile wide Cassini Division, following the elongated shadow of a moon cast upon – and through – the ring material. The different densities of the ring segments are made apparent…