NASA Is About to Open a 4.6-Billion-Year-Old Time Capsule

What Scientists Hope to Find When the Dawn Spacecraft Begins Exploring the Dwarf Planet Ceres

I have been in love since the age of 4. The object of my lifelong passion is the universe, which I first recognized when a meteor streaked through the sky over my home in Toledo, Ohio. At 12, I had my first encounter with dwarf planet Ceres, gazing in delighted wonder at a faint dot of light amidst the stars in my small telescope. It had never occurred to me that many years later I would be responsible for the first spacecraft to explore that mysterious, distant orb.

But now, …

Is That Boulder in Your Driveway From Outer Space?

If You Think You Have a Meteorite on Your Hands, Step Into My Office

I am a meteorite researcher and a cosmic killjoy. Although I spend most of my time analyzing extraterrestrial rocks to learn about the geological history of asteroids and the origin …

The Path to Mars Goes From Lebanon to Pasadena

Growing Up in the Middle East, I Loved John Wayne and Gazing at the Stars. I Came to America Believing Nothing Was Impossible.

“Only the United States could do this.” Those words were uttered by the head of a foreign space agency who was one of my VIP guests at NASA’s Jet Propulsion …

Let’s Violate the Laws of Physics

Ideas from Science Fiction That Should Become Reality

Science fiction writers can be eerily prescient. Consider what John Brunner got right about our world in 2010, as described in his 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar: a world shaken …

Saturn Is the Real Lord of the Rings

Hand-Picked Images from Our Solar System’s (Arguably) Most Photogenic Planet

by Linda Spilker

Neither you nor I could survive at Saturn. It’s cold and so far away (900 million miles) that the sun looks like a bright dot. There’s none of …

NASA’s Good Old Days

The Modest, Mighty Voyager and Pioneer Probes Are Still Generating News Today

The speed of light is inconceivably fast. It is just shy of 300,000 kilometers per second. That is, for everyday purposes, instantaneous. A signal from the space probe Voyager 1, …