Ars takes a clean room tour of JPL’s asteroid-orbiting Psyche spacecraft

Enlarge / Artist’s illustration of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, set to launch in August 2022. The Psyche mission will explore a metal-rich asteroid of the same name that lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU) Ars Technica had the rare opportunity to tour NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California this week, […]


Fish fossils show the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs struck in the spring

An international team of scientists used synchrotron radiation to image and analyze fossilized fish from the Tanis deposit in North Dakota. Some 66 million years ago, a catastrophic event wiped out three-quarters of all plant and animal species on Earth, most notably taking down the dinosaurs. The puzzle of why so many species perished while […]


Dark matter asteroids (if they exist) may cause solar flares 

An X1.6 class solar flare flashes in the middle of the sun on Sept. 10, 2014. (credit: NASA/SDO) Dark matter is proving to be a rather frustrating topic for physicists, cosmologists, and other outward-looking scientists. All the data for dark matter is gravitational, and the lack of other evidence only draws a box on the […]

Entertainment Tech

Don’t Look Up is fiction. Here’s the real science of that doomsday scenario

Enlarge / Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence co-star as low-level astronomers in Don’t Look Up (credit: Netflix ) Two low-level astronomers discover a “planet killer” comet hurtling toward Earth but struggle to get anyone to pay attention in Don’t Look Up , a new satirical sci-fi from Netflix. Directed by Adam McKay ( The Big […]


For the second time, an asteroid sample Yields on Earth

Expand / The Hayabusa2 spacecraft spies its shadow because it descended toward Ryugu to set up two little rovers. Early on Sunday afternoon, the heavens over a lush military complex in central Australia is going to probably soon be brightened by a fireball plummeting to Earth. It’ll be a showy homecoming to its sample return […]