Great Scientific Discoveries That Weren’t

Dinosaur DNA! Life on Mars! In the world of science, amazing discoveries don’t quite work out the way the discoverer hopes they will.
NSF early star rendering

The Earliest Stars

Astronomers who noticed a slight blip in space's background radiation got an insight not just into the early stars but into the age and nature of the early universe.

The San Zeno Astrolabe Tracked Time by the Stars

The astrolabe was a revolutionary tool for calculating celestial positions and local time. The device's design dates back to Islamic antiquity.
dark side of the moon

What Awaits on the Dark Side of the Moon?

An unmanned Chinese probe will be exploring the moon's far side in 2018. The side that faces away from the earth differs significantly from the familiar face of the moon. So why are the two sides so different?
Neutron star collision

A Primer on Neutron Stars

In the far off constellation of Hydra; two neutron stars collided, producing vast clouds of gold and other heavy elements. What's a neutron star anyway?
Robert Goddard at chalkboard

Robert H. Goddard, the Forgotten Father of Rocketry

Robert H. Goddard is acknowledged by many as the "father" of rocketry, but it's a strange paternity since he had so little influence on his contemporaries.
Solar Eclipse

An Eclipse is a Scientific Bonanza

On August 21, 2017, North America’s first total solar eclipse in a while will cross the center of the United States from East to West.
Victorian eclipse

Solar Eclipse Tourism: The Victorians Were the Pioneers

People have been planning for this month's total solar eclipse for years. They aren't the first to do so: the Victorians pioneered eclipse tourism.
Jupiter great red spot

The Secrets of Jupiter’s Incredible Great Red Spot

Astronomers have worked out that Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a massive storm system, but what keeps a storm going for hundreds of years?
NASA chain mail

Why Would NASA Want to 3-D Print Chain Mail?

NASA engineers have 3-D printed a new version of chain mail. Why strong, light, heat-resistant materials are so important in space.