An enhanced-contrast image of Jupiter and its moon Ganymede taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2000.

Jupiter Reclaims Title of Planet With the Most Moons

After the discovery of 12 new moons, the gas giant now has 92 known natural satellites—and scientists expect to find more

The forged manuscript in the university’s collection

Historian Discovers a Prized Galileo Manuscript Was Forged

The fake document at the University of Michigan was likely created by a famous 20th-century forger


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

The false-color mosaic shows how features on the Moon differ from each other because of its meteoric impacts and volcanic past.

What NASA's Technicolor Mosaic Images of the Moon Can Teach Us About the Lunar Surface

The vivid hues showcase soil composition and ancient volcanic history

Streaked across Ganymede's surface are bright light-colored regions of ridges and grooves that overlap darker-colored terrains along the icy shell. The textured scar-like areas suggest that the moon's surface underwent extreme geologic changes over time.

NASA's Juno Space Probe Zooms by Largest Moon in the Solar System

The flyby will be the closest any spacecraft has flown near Ganymede in over two decades

European authorities recovered 200 rare books, including valuable first editions of works by Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, last week.

Stolen First Editions by Galileo, Newton Discovered Beneath Floor in Romania

Authorities have recovered 200 rare books pilfered in a 2017 London heist

Portrait of Galileo Galilei (1636) by Justus Sustermans

Newly Discovered Letter Catches Galileo in a 400-Year-Old Lie

Fearing repercussions of his groundbreaking scientific claims, which flew in the face of church doctrine, the famed astronomer fibbed

The remnant's of Kepler's supernova imaged with modern instruments.

How a 1604 Supernova Presented a Challenge to Astronomers

The supernova provided proof to Galileo, Kepler and others that the heavens were not fixed–although they were wrong about what caused the bright star

Patrons of the sciences once offered cash prizes, exotic pets and even islands for world-changing discoveries. Here, Louis XIV surveys the members of the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1667.

For Your Contributions to Science, I Humbly Bequeath You This Pet Moose

A history of motivating scientific endeavor through cash prizes, islands and exotic pets

Happy 452nd Birthday, Galileo

The revolutionary who helped shape modern astronomy

Galileo Demonstrating Telescope

Was Shakespeare Aware of the Scientific Discoveries of His Time?

For his new book, Dan Falk followed a group of scholars who argue, unlike most, that the playwright was up to speed with the latest astronomy

Galileo impersonator Mike Francis and curator David DeVorkin look at the skies through their respective telescopes.

378 Years Ago Today: Galileo Forced to Recant

Curator David DeVorkin, an expert on the history of astronomy who has been known to stargaze with Galileo himself, tells the real story


First Edition of Galileo Book on Display

David Zax is a former writing intern at Smithsonian magazine and is the author of "Galileo's Vision."

David Zax on “Galileo’s Vision”


Galileo, Reconsidered

The first biography of Galileo Galilei resurfaces and offers a new theory as to why the astronomer was put on trial

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