Grades 9-12

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.

Article: The 142-Megapixel Digital Camera

Article

Article: The 142-Megapixel Digital Camera

The Sloan Telescope has a digital camera the size of a dishwasher that’s sophisticated enough to capture every luminous object in the northern celestial hemisphere. Take a closer look.

Article: One in a Million

Article

Article: One in a Million

Have you ever stumbled upon a discovery while looking for something completely different? See what surprises astronomers found as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Article: The Big Questions

Article

Article: The Big Questions

What is the Universe’s arrangement today? What did it look like at its birth? And how did we get from then to now? These are just some of the “Big Questions” astronomers are making headway answering.

The Shining Star of South African Astronomy

Science Bulletins

The Shining Star of South African Astronomy

On cloudless, moonless nights, the stars are so bright over the remote village of Sutherland, South Africa, that a person can walk by starlight alone. Learn more about the village’s Southern African Large Telescope (SALT).

Essay: The Success of Failed Stars

Essay

Essay: The Success of Failed Stars

Scientists have been studying brown dwarfs, or failed stars, for nearly a century. What have they learned? And what answers are they still seeking about these objects stuck somewhere between stars and planets?

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.

In a Future Ocean, It Takes a Thick Skin

Article

In a Future Ocean, It Takes a Thick Skin

The next time you pry a clamshell or crack a lobster claw for dinner, pay a small homage. For many ocean creatures with hard shells, growing that armor is taking more effort than ever. Find out why.

SELECT PAGE