Grades 9-12

Interactive

Observing Jellies

Long ago, people studied jellies by peering over the side of a boat and drawing the creatures as they bobbed nearby. See how much has changed since the 1800s.

Article: Lemurs in Madagascar—Now

Article

Article: Lemurs in Madagascar—Now

The ring-tailed lemurs that romp around the research camp at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwest Madagascar spend plenty of time behaving badly. The same isn't true for their counterparts in the wild.

Essay: Will Dark Energy Please Come to Light?

Essay

Essay: Will Dark Energy Please Come to Light?

Two teams working independently in 1998 came to the same conclusion: An invisible force, one that seems to act opposite gravity, is separating the matter in space at an increasing pace. Find out more about their “jaw-dropping” discovery.

Essay: Waiting for Gravity at LIGO

Essay

Essay: Waiting for Gravity at LIGO

If LIGO regularly registers gravitational waves, it will more than vindicate Einstein. The observatory may help answer pressing questions about the cosmos’s biggest mysteries, among them black holes, dark matter, and the Big Bang.

Essay: A Rogue's Gallery of Gravity-Makers

Essay

Essay: A Rogue's Gallery of Gravity-Makers

Anything with an accelerating mass has a gravitational effect — an atomic bomb, a spinning aircraft carrier, even you. Learn more about these ripples in space and how LIGO is designed to capture the biggest gravitational waves.

Essay: LIGO's Extended Family

Essay

Essay: LIGO's Extended Family

LIGO, or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, is just one of five large-scale gravitational-wave detectors in the world. Find out how they rely on each other to achieve their goals.

Essay: Capturing Phantoms: Gamma-Ray Bursts

Essay

Essay: Capturing Phantoms: Gamma-Ray Bursts

Our eyes can only detect a fraction of light in the electromagnetic spectrum — otherwise we’d see gamma-ray bursts, flashes that outshine the sun by a million trillion times, about once a day. Learn more.

A Tale of Two Rovers

Article

A Tale of Two Rovers

In early 2004, two unlikely explorers traveled to the red planet and found strong evidence to confirm water once existed on the surface of Mars, and in sufficient quantity to possibly have harbored life.

Why Go to Mars

Article

Why Go to Mars

So much of what drives cosmic exploration involves the quest to learn whether or not we're alone in the Universe. But that's not the only reason to go to Mars. Find out others from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Article

Visions (and Revisions) of Mars

The invention of the telescope in the 17th century provided scientists with unprecedented, yet hazy, images of Mars. Some observers saw canals; others saw diagrams drawn for "interplanetary communication."

When Worlds Diverge

Article

When Worlds Diverge

For all their similarities, Mars possesses unique geophysical traits — traits that early on set Mars on a developmental path distinct from Earth's.

Is the Signature Still Wet?

Article

Is the Signature Still Wet?

A series of satellite photographs taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, which has been mapping Mars since 1999, raise the exciting possibility that liquid water may have existed there very recently.

Article: First Planet Finishes Last

Article

Article: First Planet Finishes Last

Mercury is the most unusual of the four planets closest to the Sun. It’s also the most neglected. Until MESSENGER, it was the only one of the four that hadn’t been comprehensively imaged.

Probability and 2004 MN4: A New Drama

Article

Probability and 2004 MN4: A New Drama

In 2004, news of Asteroid MN4 hit the blogosphere: "So, in summary, there's a 1-in-233 chance of the worst disaster in recorded history happening on April 13, 2029, and a 232-in-233 chance of nothing happening." Take a closer, scientific look.

In Hot Pursuit of Asteroids

Article

In Hot Pursuit of Asteroids

Given the potential for asteroids to literally and figuratively impact life on Earth in a profound way, asteroids have been quite sought after since the first and largest one, Ceres, was discovered in 1801. Learn more.

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