AstronomyThe study of the universe and space, including planets, the solar system and comets
Nothing gets your attention quite like a meteor screaming in at 40 miles a second.
May 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Lunar dust sticks to everything! It’s electrically charged! It causes silicosis – astronauts on the Moon will get “black lung” disease, just like coal miners on Earth! It’s so abrasive that under its obnoxious influence, moving parts slowly grind to a halt! We can’t possibly cope with it! So m...
April 24, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The Mini-SAR imaging radar aboard the Indian Chandryaan-1 spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon has been sending back some amazing images for the last couple of months. We are nearing the end of our first radar mapping season (which occurs when the sun illumination conditions on the Moon are unfa...
March 29, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The Daily Planet, my new companion blog here at Air & Space magazine, highlights a speech recently given by my good friend Dr. Neil Tyson at the Space Foundation breakfast. Noted is Neil’s oft-mentioned concept that historically, three drivers are responsible for societies or nations undertaki...
March 15, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
There is a brief but vociferous debate about the value of human spaceflight over at Space Politics, under a discussion of the new NASA proposed budget. An often expressed opinion is that in general, humans contribute little to the scientific exploration of space. Indeed, my scientific colleagues ...
February 28, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
We’ve known since the beginning of the space age that the Moon has no global magnetic field. Before we returned samples from the Moon, this was thought to be well understood – compared to Earth, the Moon is a small body (1% the mass) and it rotates very slowly (almost 30 times slower). The large ...
February 08, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The first images obtained by the Mini-SAR radar instrument aboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, currently orbiting the Moon, were released yesterday. Although the spacecraft arrived last November, we are only now getting ready to map the poles of the Moon. The data released are test images...
January 17, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
It would appear that we are in the midst of yet another attempt to define the goals and objectives of our national space program. This time, the National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study on the Rationale and Goals of the U. S. Civil Space Program. After completion, this study will no dou...
January 09, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The masters of time are about to give us a little extra. Use it wisely.
January 2009 | By James R. Chiles
If you really want to know the planet, flip through Mike Malin’s photo album.
January 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin
There’s a huge hubbub in the press revolving around alleged “obstructionism” at NASA toward the Presidential Transition team. As this rather overwrought piece at the Orlando Sentinel has been posted and commented upon endlessly at several web sites, I do not propose to rehash it. Instead, I want ...
December 12, 2008 | By Paul D. Spudis
Mars’ foremost photographers pick their favorite images of their favorite planet.
November 18, 2008 | By airspacemag.com
A small band of believers urges NASA to take its next step—onto an asteroid.
July 2008 | By Michael Klesius
Earth dwellers view the sun from 93 million miles away. What will NASA’s next solar probe see from up close?
May 2008 | By Bruce Dorminey
MESSENGER’s first images were taken by a very used camera.
April 03, 2008 | By Bob Craddock
The Chandra X-Ray Telescope, explained.
January 2008 | By Damond Benningfield
When choosing landing gear for Mars spacecraft, engineers have to weigh their options-literally.
August 2007 | By Tony Reichhardt
We've already seen water ice on Mars. NASA's Phoenix lander will reach out and touch it.
August 2007 | By Charles Petit
Speak up, space aliens. These 42 new radio telescopes are all ears.
July 2007 | By Tony Reichhardt
When it comes to Martian studies, Mike Carr wrote the book.
March 2007 | By Bob Craddock