A Planet In The Dreaded "Rotisserie" Alignment Could Still Support Life

One of the criteria for the habitability of exoplanets is their obliquity—the angle of the axis relative to the orbit around a star. Current thinking holds that the more extreme the tilt, the less likely the possibility of life. But MIT researchers suggest one notable exception: a world completely covered by water. » 12/18/14 3:03pm Thursday 3:03pm

Some Exoplanets May Be Too Stiff To Support Life

A solar system's habitable zone is the region of space that is warm enough to allow water to exist in a liquid state on a planet. But new geological research suggests that, even if an exoplanet has water, it is doomed to be a dying world unless its rocky mantle is soft enough to allow the flow of heat. » 12/17/14 1:56pm Wednesday 1:56pm

A Tax On Smartphones Could Help Pay For The Removal Of Space Debris

So far, governments have opted to deal with the problem of space junk by implementing policies to reduce the creation of more debris. But that alone won't cut it — we also need to be removing stuff from orbit. One way to cover the high costs of space junk disposal would be a $1 tax on every GPS chip in a smartphone. » 12/15/14 5:48pm Monday 5:48pm

The Real Story Of Apollo 17... And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon

On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This was not only our final Moon landing, but the last time we left Low Earth Orbit. With the successful launch of the Orion capsule, NASA is finally poised to go further again. So it's important to remember how we got to the Moon — and why we stopped going. » 12/14/14 2:59am 12/14/14 2:59am

A Mesmerizing Video Shows One Year Of The Moon’s Phases In Five Minutes

The Moon always keeps the same face to us, but not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see it from slightly different angles over the course of a month. And when each month is compressed into 24 seconds, as in this video, our changing view of the Moon makes it look as if it's wobbling. » 12/11/14 6:37pm 12/11/14 6:37pm