If we could see our own galaxy in its entirety, as we see NGC 6744, a twin galaxy 30 million light years away, measuring the Milky Way’s mass would be easy. But we see it from our place in one of its spiral arms and must invent new ways of calculating all the mass we cannot see.

How to Weigh a Galaxy

Hint: Consult its neighbors.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole sits atop under-ice detectors (artist impression) that catch the blue glow created by a cosmic neutrino.

Astronomy’s Bat Signal

When a rare cosmic neutrino hit the South Pole, alarms around the world went off.

Though it won't be ready to fly at Oshkosh, as previously expected, we may get to see this XP-82 Twin Mustang fly soon.

A Double-Headed Mustang Flies Again

Restoring a rare XP-82.

"Total Eclipse of the Sun," by E.L. Trouvelot, 1881, color lithograph.

A New Exhibition of Rarely Seen Astronomical Lithographs

E.L. Trouvelot's 150-year-old images are going on display in California this April

An artist’s conception of a visitor from another galaxy: 'Oumuamua, an asteroid just passing through.

It Came From Another Galaxy

A peculiar, cigar-shaped asteroid turned out to be an interstellar visitor.

Helicopter escapades, Cassini's final plunge, and love for the Warthog make up some of our most interesting stories this year.

12 <em>Air & Space</em> Stories from 2017 You Need to Read

Some of our favorite space and aviation stories from the last year.

The mission patch for NPR's Planet Money satellite, featuring their famed squirrel.

Just How Do You Get a Smallsat into Orbit?

NPR’s Planet Money podcast documents the journey of a cubesat from design to launch.

An artist concept of two neutron stars colliding and creating, among other things, ripples in space-time and a quantity of gold that would make Fort Knox blush.

Gravitational Wave Astronomy Just Became a Team Sport

Observatories followed a ripple in space-time to its source

Today, buttons are missing, the paint is scratched and peeling, and monitors have fizzled out. Space Center Houston’s restoration will bring them back to their Apollo-era shine.

“Go” for Restoration

Apollo’s mission control is getting revived.

Crank the volume down from 11, please: The U.S. Air Force combat exercises over the northern plains are rattling cows and children alike.

The War on Noisy Aircraft

The United Arab Emirates’ team, Al Fursan (The Knights), flies Alenia Aermacchi MB 339s over Abu Dhabi during a 2014 airshow.

The Master of Air-to-Air Photography

Katsuhiko Tokunaga’s unparalleled images of airplanes in flight.

A group from the United States’ first national weather service, headed by astronomer Cleveland Abbe, trekked up to the Army Signal Station on Pikes Peak in Colorado (seen here on a snowier day) and endured challenging conditions to view the 1878 eclipse.

A Brand New U.S. Weather Service Joined the Race in 1878 to Observe a Solar Eclipse

The event gave the American scientific community a chance to prove themselves. A new book tells the story.

A swoop competitor performs a flip as part of his “Freestyle Trick,” judged on a point scale for difficulty and execution.

Giant Drone Racing, Swooping Get More Legit

See the swoopers compete for their first FAI title in August.

“Solar eclipse watching point 500 m.” A barren spot in the middle of the Saharan desert was about to become Eclipse City for a few hours in 2006.

The Making of Eclipse City

Where totality crosses the planet, whole cities rise up from nothing for a day.

A total solar eclipse as seen from Indonesia on March 9, 2016. The photographer benefited from today’s modern equipment, making this composite of 15 images by using a Nikon D800 with a 300/2.8 lens controlled by eclipse documenting software running on a nearby laptop.

In Case of Eclipse, You Have 2 Minutes and 40 Seconds to Get the Picture Right

A new book describes eclipse-watchers through history, and how many of them tried to document totality.

Our best stories of the year feature Starships, the fastest jets, flying dogs, and frightened hens.

12 <i>Air & Space</i> Stories From 2016 You Need To Read

Some of our favorite aviation and space stories of the year.

A parrotlet is outfitted with custom 3D-printed safety goggles made by Stanford engineers so the bird could fly through a laser grid.

Tiny Adorable Bird Goggles Allow Innovative Study of Flight

Stanford engineers wanted to measure lift forces, but first they had to protect their avian partner’s eyes.

New Horizons’ speedy fly-by of Pluto has revealed fascinating terrain and an unusual atmosphere. What more is in store from the mission data?

Pluto, So Far

New Horizons has finally sent down all its data from the fly-by. What have we learned about the far-away dwarf planet system?

Please make sure you have all personal items before leaving the aircraft. Lindbergh in the Spirit, shortly before his solo flight.

Look What Lindbergh Left Inside the <i>Spirit of St. Louis</i>

Ninety years later, a restoration team makes an unexpected find.

The Golden Record, shown here with its cover that has instructions on how to play it (upper right), was carried on Voyager in the section indicated with the yellow circle on this artist's impression.

What Would You Have Put on Voyager’s Golden Record?

An author puts together his own “Earthling mixtape” in a new book.

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