The SEIS instrument on the surface of Mars.

Future of Space Exploration

NASA Detects First 'Marsquake'

A 2 to 2.5 magnitude quake on the Red Planet is the first seismic activity detected outside the Earth and the Moon

A photographic plate of the 1919 total solar eclipse, taken by Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin and Charles Rundle Davidson during an expedition to Sobral, Brazil. The 1919 eclipse was used by Arthur Eddington, who observed it from the island of Principe off the west coast of Africa, to provide the first experimental evidence of Einstein's theory of relativity.

What the Obsolete Art of Mapping the Skies on Glass Plates Can Still Teach Us

The first pictures of the sky were taken on glass photographic plates, and these treasured artifacts can still help scientists make discoveries today

An artist's concept of the Axel rover rappelling into a lunar pit.

NASA Considers a Rover Mission to Go Cave Diving on the Moon

The deep caverns and pits that dot the lunar surface could hold clues to the moon's history and perhaps provide shelter for future human exploration

An artist's concept of the Beresheet lunar lander on the moon.

Israel's Private Lunar Lander Blasts Off for the Moon

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet will gradually raise its orbit to reach the moon, landing after about a month and a half of flight

Apollo 14 Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. assembles equipment on the lunar surface on February 6, 1971.

Earth’s Oldest Known Rock May Have Been Found on the Moon

Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut in space, collected the rock sample during Apollo 14

A Meteor Struck the Moon During Sunday’s Total Eclipse

It may be the first time that such an event was documented from Earth

A picture taken on January 21, 2019 in Duisburg, Germany, shows a view of the Super Blood Moon above an industrial plant during a lunar eclipse.

Ten Stunning Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse was visible across much of the world last night, bathing the moon in a reddish glow

Yutu-2 sets off on its inaugural journey.

The Cotton Plant That Sprouted on the Far Side of the Moon Has Died

China, which is manning the first probe to land on the lunar far side, was hoping to find out how plants fare in outer space

Shucked oyster shells lay beneath the moonlight at Fanny Bay Oyster Company on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

New Research

Oysters Open and Close Their Shells as the Moon Wanes and Waxes

A new study suggests the mollusks may widen and narrow their shells depending on movement of plankton, which shifts with the lunar cycle

Ring in the New Year With Dazzling Total Lunar Eclipse of a Supermoon

The celestial show will be visible on the East Coast around 12:12 a.m. on January 21, 2019

A map of the moon with labeled features, from Selenographia by Johannes Hevelius.

The 17th-Century Astronomer Who Made the First Atlas of the Moon

Johannes Hevelius drew some of the first maps of the moon, praised for their detail, from his homemade rooftop observatory in the Kingdom of Poland

1960s science fiction illustration of lunar exploration.

The Missions to the Moon That Never Left the Drawing Board

From pioneers of science fiction to the height of the space race, these are the ideas for lunar flight that never launched

Beneath the Space Window at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where a seven-gram sample of moon rock is incorporated into the design, a sold-out crowd gathered this week for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8.

NASA Won’t Be Going ‘Back’ to the Moon—It Wants to Go Beyond It

At a 50th-anniversary event for Apollo 8, NASA’s Jim Bridenstine envisioned the moon’s potential for future space exploration

“Everyone involved accomplished many, many firsts with that flight,” says Smithsonian curator Teasel Muir-Harmony. of NASA's near-perfect mission, (above: Apollo 8 command module).

How Apollo 8 ‘Saved 1968’

The unforgettable, 99.9 percent perfect, December moon mission marked the end of a tumultuous year

An artist's rendering of the small rover that will be deployed on the far side of the Moon as part of the Chang'e-4 mission.

China Launches First Mission to Land on the Far Side of the Moon

Not glimpsed by humanity until 1959, the surface of the far side of the Moon has never been visited before

A new Smithsonian Book asks the question: Is there a future for crewed missions to the Moon?

In the Wake of Apollo’s 'Giant Leap,' What’s Next for Lunar Exploration?

A new Smithsonian Book unpacks the possible future of missions to the Moon

The southwestern city of Chengdu may bask in the glow of an artificial moon as soon as 2020

Chinese City Wants to Launch Fake Moon to Illuminate Its Streets

Proposed satellite would cover 6- to 50-mile wide stretch of Chengdu with light eight times brighter than that of the real moon

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in First Man.

Smithsonian Curator Reflects on What 'First Man' Gets Right About Neil Armstrong's Journey to the Moon

The new film lays bare the personal sacrifice and peril that accompanied NASA's historic mission

Well then what would we call a cow that jumps over a moonmoon?

New Research

If a Moon Has a Moon, Is Its Moon Called a Moonmoon?

A new study suggests it's possible some moons could have moons and the internet wants to give them a name—but scientists have yet to actually find one

New Research

Astronomers Find What May Be First Exomoon—And It's an Absolute Unit

Astronomers suspect that there's Neptune-sized celestial body trailing an exoplanet about 8,000 light years

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