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The Ultimate, Indisputable Ranking of Planets in the Solar System The Ultimate, Indisputable Ranking of Planets in the Solar System

Recently, my colleagues at Deadspin posted a ranking of the planets. But it was mostly incorrect. After extensively researching and writing about our solar neighborhood, I feel I’m fairly qualified to take a stab at ranking these bad boys once and for all.

A NASA Spacecraft Will Slingshot Past Earth Today  A NASA Spacecraft Will Slingshot Past Earth Today 

Right now, NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is hurtling through the void in order to link up with an asteroid named Bennu in 2018. While the intrepid spacecraft still has a way to go until its big rendezvous, today it’ll casually fly by…

Brainless Jellyfish Are Making Us Rethink Our Understanding of Sleep Brainless Jellyfish Are Making Us Rethink Our Understanding of Sleep

If you’ve ever seen a jellyfish in the wild, at an aquarium, or in one of those 11-minute-long relaxation videos on YouTube, you’ve probably wondered: What are jellyfish trying to do? What is their goal? The answer is not entirely obvious, as these barely sentient blobs seem to senselessly ferry themselves from one…

Trump's NASA Nominee Wants to Study Climate Change on Mars—But Not on Earth Trump's NASA Nominee Wants to Study Climate Change on Mars—But Not on Earth

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine—a Republican representative in Oklahoma—as NASA’s new leader. Like most people in this administration, Bridenstine actively supports ideas antithetical to his (soon-to-be) agency: he’s an avid supporter of private space companies and denies that…

Hopeful Martians Emerge From 8-Month Experiment To Find Earth Horrific As Ever Hopeful Martians Emerge From 8-Month Experiment To Find Earth Horrific As Ever

Before Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other space enthusiasts can ship humans to Mars as easily as an Amazon Prime delivery, we need to figure out they’ll fare on a foreign planet. Luckily, NASA and the University of Hawaii have been all over this, funding several successful iterations of an experiment called Hawaii Space…

The Anti-Rape Gadgets That Never Delivered The Anti-Rape Gadgets That Never Delivered

It’s like clockwork: every month or so, you’ll be scrolling through your Facebook feed and stumble across a video about a new ring or underwear, color-changing straws or color-changing nail polish, or “smart stickers” that claim to help prevent sexual assault. There’s the inevitable swarm of uncritical media coverage …

The Last Photo Cassini Took Was Its Forever Home on Saturn The Last Photo Cassini Took Was Its Forever Home on Saturn

For those who’ve followed NASA’s Cassini mission these past 20 years, it’s still a bit hard to believe it’s gone. On Friday, September 15th, the spacecraft plunged itself into Saturn’s atmosphere, becoming part of the planet it had studied tirelessly for 13 years. While Cassini’s mission is over, there’s plenty of…

Screaming Hairy Armadillos Articulate Our Existential Dread

Adulthood is kind of like the Olympics where the main event is trying not to fall apart under the weight of your own ennui. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let that internal tension out by screaming into the open air. Or a pillow. Or the frozen foods section at Whole Foods. But honestly, no creature shouts into the void…

A Few Last Words On The Best Spacecraft of Our Lives, Before It Dies A Few Last Words On The Best Spacecraft of Our Lives, Before It Dies

Space has a funny way of making us feel both incredibly small yet infinitely lucky for being part of such a vast cosmic sorority. Of course, humans have barely scratched the surface of the final frontier—we’ve never even sent people beyond the Moon. While many uncrewed spacecraft have done an incredible job of…

Researchers Discover 'Atlantis' For Octopuses Off Australian Coast Researchers Discover 'Atlantis' For Octopuses Off Australian Coast

Since hermit crabs are actually extremely social, octopuses typically earn the reputation as the true hermits of the ocean. These highly intelligent recluses that seem prefer a lonely life in the wild, or if they’re in an aquarium, one in which they can cleverly, constantly toy with their human captors. But new…

Cassini's Last Look at Titan Is Breathtaking and Bittersweet Cassini's Last Look at Titan Is Breathtaking and Bittersweet

The end is nigh for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, the intrepid probe that’s been studying the Saturn system for the last 13 years. On Friday, September 15th, Cassini will plunge itself into Saturn’s atmosphere with its antenna pointed toward Earth, becoming part of the place it’s called home all these years.

How Manatees, Gators, and Flamingos Are Surviving Hurricane Irma How Manatees, Gators, and Flamingos Are Surviving Hurricane Irma

Over the past week, Irma has redefined our expectations of how powerful a hurricane can be and left devastation in its wake: the once-Category 5 cyclone roared through the Caribbean, leaving 1 million people in Puerto Rico without power, and caused significant flooding in Miami, Naples, and many other parts of Florida…

Is This the Beginning of the End for Goop?

Around the turn of the 20th century, American entrepreneur Clark Stanley sold an allegedly healing “rattlesnake oil” out of his stage coach. Stanley marketed his product as a Western interpretation of some ideas he supposedly gathered from Eastern medicine, claiming the product could cure a whole host of illnesses.…

Cassini Dropped Its Most Mind-Blowing Look At Saturn's Rings Yet Cassini Dropped Its Most Mind-Blowing Look At Saturn's Rings Yet

Though Cassini only has a few days left to study Saturn before it dies, it’s seriously making them count. Today, NASA released what it says are “the highest-resolution color images of any part of Saturn’s rings.” In true Cassini fashion, they’re absolutely mesmerizing.

Pluto's Features Just Got Some Seriously Metal Names From Mythology Pluto's Features Just Got Some Seriously Metal Names From Mythology

We all know space is goth. Pluto, however, is the obvious metal baby of the solar system, shrouded in darkness at a distance of up to 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) from Earth. It’s only fitting that everyone’s favorite dwarf planet—named after the Roman god of the underworld—gets some seriously metal…

You Can Use Your Solar Eclipse Glasses to See Another Awesome Sun Feature You Can Use Your Solar Eclipse Glasses to See Another Awesome Sun Feature

If you’ve managed to hang onto your solar eclipse glasses since August 21st, don’t throw them away! If you haven’t already donated your shades to Astronomers Without Borders, you can use them to stare at the Sun and actually learn something cool.

SpaceX Just Launched a Mysterious Space Plane Right Before a Monster Hurricane  SpaceX Just Launched a Mysterious Space Plane Right Before a Monster Hurricane 

SpaceX has pulled off some exhilarating launches and landings in the past, but today’s mission ranks among its most suspenseful. Today, sometime between right now and about 3pm ET, the company will send a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a US Air Force X-37B space plane from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, just…

Curiosity Has Discovered Something That Raises More Questions About Life on Mars Curiosity Has Discovered Something That Raises More Questions About Life on Mars

Everyone from David Bowie to astrobiologists to tinfoil hat believers has pondered the question: is there life on Mars? While we’ve found direct evidence of liquid water on the Red Planet, we have yet to find any microbes there. But not all hope is lost—new discoveries from NASA’s Curiosity rover have brought forth…

Relive the Mind-Blowing Photos From the Voyager Missions Relive the Mind-Blowing Photos From the Voyager Missions

The universe is very good at making us feel both extremely insignificant and lucky enough to be part of something huge. No missions have made this clearer than NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, which have been exploring the cosmos for 40 years. Today, Voyager 1 officially turns the big 4-0, which it’s celebrating by cruising…

Uranus' Moons Are Unluckier Than We Thought Uranus' Moons Are Unluckier Than We Thought

Uranus can’t seem to catch a break these days. Besides spinning on its side like the drunkard of the solar system and being the butt of everyone’s jokes, new research suggests several of its tiny moons will collide in a million years.

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