The Brightest Galaxy Ever Discovered Shines Like 300 Trillion Suns

Using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), astronomers have catalogued 20 previously undetected galaxies that are so bright they belong to an entirely new class of objects, including one that releases 10,000 times more energy than the Milky Way — even though it’s smaller. » 5/22/15 3:00pm Friday 3:00pm

The Beautiful Art That Helped Inspire Space Travel

Chesley Bonestell was born long before the flight of the first airplane, and yet he’s well-known as the most influential people in aerospace art. The painter, designer and illustrator died the year of the Challenger disaster—1986—but not before witnessing humankind embrace space in much the way he’d dreamed. » 5/22/15 9:00am Friday 9:00am

This Watery Graveyard Is the Resting Place for 161 Sunken Spaceships

In a remote stretch of the Pacific Ocean southeast of New Zealand, the broken remains of space stations and robotic freighters litter the ocean floor, four kilometers below the waves. The world’s space agencies call this region the South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area. But it’s also called the Spacecraft Cemetery. » 5/21/15 9:00am Thursday 9:00am

This Is How You Test A Tool Before Firing It Off Into Space

Spending more time in space requires the right tools for the job — and since these tools need to stand up outside the bounds of our own atmosphere, we have to make new tools.And of course, before they go up into space, they need to be tested. Here’s how — and where — they do it. » 5/20/15 12:00am Wednesday 12:00am

Meanwhile in the Future: A Second Moon for Earth

This week on Meanwhile in the Future, we ask what would happen if Earth had a second moon. How exactly that happens I won’t reveal — you’ll have to listen! But once it does, there are some really interesting things that we might notice on Earth, from tides and the night sky, to the potential destruction of Earth. » 5/19/15 3:00pm 5/19/15 3:00pm

Alastair Reynolds Says What It'll Take To Colonize Other Planets

The more we learn about exoplanets and the physics of interstellar travel, the more daunting the prospect of traveling to other stars appears. But in a new essay for Reuters, House of Suns author Alastair Reynolds lays out exactly what we’ll have to do to get to other solar systems. » 5/17/15 6:00pm 5/17/15 6:00pm

The Mysterious Bands Crisscrossing Jupiter's Moon Europa May Be Sea Salt

The icy white surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa is streaked in yellow-brown, cracks made by the ocean below. These dark streaks hint at the chemical composition of the ocean, which is one of the top places to search for alien life. Here’s encouraging news: The dark color may come from sea salt—the same stuff in our… » 5/16/15 6:00am 5/16/15 6:00am

This Is How You Inspect an Exotic Spacecraft Heat Shield

When NASA’s Orion crew module re-entered Earth’s atmosphere in 2014 tests, it did so covered in 180 small squares of an advanced heat-shielding material called Avcoat. Now, NASA’s research scientists are inspecting them to find out how they worked. Yes, that does appear to be a vacuum cleaner. » 5/14/15 3:00am 5/14/15 3:00am