Planets

FOCUS: Our Place in the Universe

Maeve Madigan, Philip Clarke and João Melo explain the central concepts behind the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize. The first half of the prize, awarded for the detection of a planet orbiting a star like our own, teaches us about our cosmological neighbourhood as it is today. The second half, awarded for research on the understanding of our cosmological history, teaches us about where the Universe as we know it came from.

Most distant planetary flyby in history

The NASA probe captured photographs of the distant object Three years ago, NASA’s New Horizons probe made its famous flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto. On New Year’s day 2019, the probe made history again, in its flyby of Ultima Thule. This is the farthest away object humanity has ever visited in the Solar System, 6.5 billion km away from the Earth. Flying as ‘close’ to the object as 3,500km, New Horizons took a series of stunning

What if We Touched Mars?

Patrick Lundgren reflects on the scientific and moral implications of humanity’s dream of space exploration coming true. Humans have always been captivated by the beautiful bright speckles of light scattered across the night sky and the prospect of exploring these unknown worlds beyond ours. erefore, it is not surprising that the sciences pertaining to outer space (astronomy and its derivatives astrophysics, astrochemistry, astrogeology, and astrobiology) have successfully appealed to a wide