NASA has a plan to combat rogue interstellar objects — and even a Planetary Defense Officer. Asteroid hunter, space scientist and writer Carrie Nugent reveals the array of tactics, from the tested to the far-out.
How do you build a real-world machine to test the most abstract of theories? Janna Levin talks with Rai Weiss, one of the original designers of LIGO, the four-kilometer-long sensors that have now twice detected the distant reverberations of two black holes crashing into one another.
Planetary scientist Alan Stern explains why he believes new close-up pictures of Pluto prove beyond doubt that it should have its planet status reinstated. Also, close-up photographs of Pluto!
Aerospace engineer Jeremy Kasdin explains how two new NASA reports hold promise for those hoping to detect habitable planets orbiting nearby stars — and might even see the launch of the “starshade” occulter.
If English teacher (and citizen scientist) Hanny van Arkel can discover a rare astronomical object in her spare time, maybe you can too.