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This Giant Fireball Over Michigan Was Visible From Six States and Canada

The National Weather Service says that the most likely explanation for an object which sent out illumination and a sonic boom throughout southwest Michigan, five other states, and Canada on Tuesday night was the breakup of a meteor, WXYZ reported. The American Meteor Society collected at least 200 reports of the…

Is China Really Planning to Destroy Space Junk With Lasers? Is China Really Planning to Destroy Space Junk With Lasers?

There may be at least half a million pieces of man-made junk orbiting this planet. Tiny pieces can travel around 10 kilometers per second, far faster than a bullet. The International Space Station has had to adjust its orbit just to avoid the stuff. People are rightfully concerned about what to do with all this…

What the Hell Is Going on With This Comet? What the Hell Is Going on With This Comet?

There’s already a strange story behind comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, or just 41P: It took almost 100 years to identify and occasionally flares. And now, its spin is rapidly slowing down.

io9's Top 50 Science, History, and Space Articles of the Last 10 Years io9's Top 50 Science, History, and Space Articles of the Last 10 Years

Way back before io9.gizmodo.com was a url, io9 covered science just as much as science fiction. When Annalee Newitz founded the site in 2008, she wanted it to focus on both as they increasingly intersected, and on how they could both lead culture—pop and otherwise—into the future.

Speculation Rampant as Secretive Zuma Spy Satellite Declared a 'Total Loss'  Speculation Rampant as Secretive Zuma Spy Satellite Declared a 'Total Loss' 

Contradictory accounts are emerging in the wake of the apparent failure of the Zuma mission—a secretive multibillion-dollar spy satellite that was launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, Florida this past weekend. Everything seemed fine on Sunday as the spy satellite was launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX…

Here's How to Watch SpaceX Launch the U.S. Government's Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Tonight Here's How to Watch SpaceX Launch the U.S. Government's Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Tonight

On Sunday night, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch “Zuma,” a mysterious government spacecraft of unknown purpose, on one of its partially-reusable Falcon 9 two-stage rockets from Launch Complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The exact time of the launch has yet to be set, though SpaceX has set a…

Nearby Starburst Surprises Scientists By Having Way Too Many Massive Stars Nearby Starburst Surprises Scientists By Having Way Too Many Massive Stars

Our Milky Way galaxy isn’t alone in this corner of space—it’s orbited by a few smaller dwarf galaxies, including the Large Magellanic Cloud. Inside that cloud is 30 Doradus (or the Tarantula Nebula), a “starburst” where stars are formed at a much higher rate than the surrounding area. And 30 Doradus has too many…

How to Watch the First Blue Moon Eclipse in 150 Years How to Watch the First Blue Moon Eclipse in 150 Years

January 31 will bring a celestial event known as a blue moon, an occurrence that happens every two to three years. While interesting on its own, the real kicker is this blue moon will be the first lunar eclipse of a blue moon in nearly 150 years. Did we mention it’s also a supermoon? Here’s where you can watch it (and…

Set a Reminder for the Biggest Space Events of the Year With Just a Click Set a Reminder for the Biggest Space Events of the Year With Just a Click

Things may not go the way you plan in 2018. Maybe you won’t get that promotion, or stick to your New Year’s resolutions but the universe will keep ticking away like a finely tuned clock. The first day of the year will kick off with the “biggest full moon of 2018,” and many other huge events are on the way. Thankfully,…

Scientists Observe Strange Double Whirlpool Effect in Ocean for First Time Scientists Observe Strange Double Whirlpool Effect in Ocean for First Time

Slow waves meander westward out in the deep ocean south of Australia. Sometimes they carry with them carry large eddies, whirlpools over 100 miles across. But every so often, these whirlpools combine into double whirlpools and travel across the ocean 10 times faster than the rest of the whirlpools, moving in sync for…

Russia Lost a $45 Million Satellite Because ‘They Didn’t Get the Coordinates Right’ Russia Lost a $45 Million Satellite Because ‘They Didn’t Get the Coordinates Right’

In November, Russia lost contact with a 6,062-pound, $45 million satellite. Turns out, that happened because the Meteor-M weather satellite was programmed with the wrong coordinates.

2017's Best Space Explosions 2017's Best Space Explosions

Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It’s still just the sky. The sky isn’t immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of…

The August Eclipse Left A 'Wake' in the Earth's Upper Atmosphere The August Eclipse Left A 'Wake' in the Earth's Upper Atmosphere

A total solar eclipse by itself isn’t so unusual—the moon shades the Sun every 18 months, from the view of somewhere on Earth. But this year’s “Great American Eclipse” was special simply for how much inhabited land it covered, crossing the length of America from Oregon to South Carolina. And that led to some amazing…

Here's Why NASA Selected Its Two Potential New Missions Here's Why NASA Selected Its Two Potential New Missions

Space is great, and it is very fun to have an agency that funds research missions to explore things far from our little planet. On Wednesday, NASA announced two new potential robotic missions: one to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and one to Saturn’s moon Titan.

Radio Brightening Around Monumental Neutron Star Collision Tells a Confusing Story Radio Brightening Around Monumental Neutron Star Collision Tells a Confusing Story

August’s landmark observation of two colliding neutron stars was incredible for its immediate impact on astronomy. It answered questions, like “where did the universe’s gold come from” and “how fast is the universe expanding?” But it left behind mysteries, too. Like, “what the hell is going on with those gamma rays?”

This Could Be Where Mars' Water Disappeared to This Could Be Where Mars' Water Disappeared to

Mars looks like it used to have water—perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can’t even decide whether it’s got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go?

Watch the Historic SpaceX Reusable Rocket Launch Here  Watch the Historic SpaceX Reusable Rocket Launch Here 

After several delays (and let’s face it, a horrible yesterday), it’s probably about time that NASA/SpaceX get a move-on and show us that incredible reused rocket launch. You can watch it below, starting at 10AM Eastern today.

NASA Announces Eighth Planet Around Distant Star, Tying Our Own Solar System NASA Announces Eighth Planet Around Distant Star, Tying Our Own Solar System

Amid considerable hype of its own making, NASA is announcing the discovery an eighth planet around the distant solar system, Kepler 90.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Will Screen in Space Star Wars: The Last Jedi Will Screen in Space

Argue all you want about the best way to maximize your Star Wars movie viewing experience—IMAX, Atmos, and Dolby Vision all suck compared to the format “Literally Among the Stars.”

Van Allen Belt Mystery Solved With Student-Built Satellite Van Allen Belt Mystery Solved With Student-Built Satellite

Oh, that Van Allen Belt—online crackpots love to use Earth’s belt of radiation to bolster their Moon landing conspiracies, suggesting it could be too strong for an astronaut to travel through (not true). But the truth is, scientists do think about the Van Allen Belt and its mysteries. They’ve launched probes to study…

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