Astronomy

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right)

Why Neptune Appears Bluer Than Its Cousin Uranus

Though the solar system’s two outermost planets are very similar, their color is a puzzling difference

Scientists want to open a dialogue with intelligent extraterrestrial beings in the Milky Way.

Art Meets Science

Why NASA Scientists Want to Send Nudes to Space

The naked truth: It’s a plan to make contact with intelligent life forms in the Milky Way

The first-ever image of a black hole in the Milky Way

New Research

Here’s What the Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way Looks Like

A team of scientists from around the world collaborated to get a visual peek of the supermassive object

Dorchester County artist Michael Rosato painted a mural of Harriet Tubman in Cambridge, Maryland.

Women Who Shaped History

Harriet Tubman Is Famous for Being an Abolitionist and Political Activist, but She Was Also a Naturalist

The Underground Railroad conductor's understanding of botany, wildlife biology, geography and astronomy allowed her to guide herself and others to safety

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Feb. 3, 2022 carrying a batch of 49 Starlink satellites.

Solar Storm Knocks 40 SpaceX Satellites Out of Orbit

A solar outburst is increasing atmospheric drag and pulling the satellites back down to Earth

Stargazers watch Comet Neowise shoot across the sky on July 19, 2020 outside of Los Angeles, California.

Ten Dazzling Celestial Events to See in 2022

Stargazers in North America can look forward to meteor showers, lunar eclipses and a stunning multi-planet lineup this year

One reader wonders what graffiti was like before spray paint.

Ask Smithsonian

What Did Graffiti Look Like Before Spray Paint and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

An artist’s conception of the James Webb Space Telescope at work.

The James Webb Telescope Successfully Launches Into Space

A rocket carrying the $10 billion dollar invention blasted off Christmas morning and powered up as planned, providing astronomers with a long-awaited gift

Webb’s 18 mirror segments can lock into the largest telescopic mirror humankind has ever built.

Future of Space Exploration

The Five Big Ways the James Webb Telescope Will Help Astronomers Understand the Universe

The highly awaited observatory is set to break new ground in many areas of astronomical research

A region within Mars's Valles Marineris (pictured) called the Candor Chaos had a large amount of hydrogen about a meter below the surface.

Beneath Canyons on Mars, Astronomers Find Potentially 'Water-Rich Area the Size of the Netherlands'

A Martian orbiter located a large reserve of hydrogen in a mountainous area of the Red Planet

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Construction of multiple telescopes has begun on Saishiteng Mountain—near the town of Lenghu in the Qinghai province of China. The site could be China’s first major observatory, on par with those in Hawaii, Chile, and the Canary Islands.

Future of Space Exploration

Why the Tibetan Plateau Might Be the Ideal Spot for the Telescope of the Future

A team in China has identified a location that could give the Eastern Hemisphere its first major observatory

An illustration of Saturn and its "fuzzy" core.

Saturn's Seismic Activity Makes Waves in Its Iconic Rings

Scientists uncover new insight into the planet's core based on observations of its rippling rings

DESI will analyze light collected by the four-meter Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona.

New Project Aims to Create Most Detailed 3-D Map of the Universe

An instrument named “DESI” will chart up to 40 million galaxies, ten times more than any previous survey

After about a month of darkness, Hubble is back online and already collection impressive scientific data.

Retired NASA Engineers Return to Fix Hubble Telescope

The repaired space computer is back online and already beaming spectacular images of distant galaxies back to Earth

Jupiter and its largest moon Ganymede are shown in this image. Ganymede is slightly larger than the planet Mercury. Meanwhile, Jupiter's new 80th moon is much smaller, likely only a few dozen miles in diameter.

Amateur Astronomer Discovers New Moon Orbiting Jupiter

Kai Ly spotted the unnamed satellite using telescope images from 2003

A new image of a powerful jet firing out of the black hole at the center of the radio galaxy Centaurus A, taken with the Event Horizon Telescope.

New Research

New Black Hole Image Shows Plasma Jets Blasting Into Space

Researchers say the new, detailed image of the black hole at the center of the Centaurus A galaxy could reveal how its jets formed

People lie on the ground to view the Perseid meteor shower in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado at an astronomy night event on August 12, 2018.

How to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

Known for its 'fireball' meteors, the Perseid shower began on July 14 and will peak in mid-August

Palomar 5 is located about 80,000 light-years from Earth in the Milky Way’s inner halo.

Scientists Discover Bevy of Black Holes in Our Own Galaxy

Palomar 5's unusual cluster may explain some of the Milky Way's star streams and other phenomena

A newly discovered white dwarf star (right) is only slightly larger than the moon (left).

New Research

Incredibly Dense White Dwarf Star Packs the Mass of the Sun Into the Size of the Moon

Researchers say if the star was any more massive it would likely collapse under its own weight and explode

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