Halley’s Comet pays us a visit every 76 years or so, but its exact arrival date cannot be predicted. A team of European astronomers has finally come up with an explanation for this comet’s erratic behavior.
Starting late Tuesday night and continuing on through early morning Wednesday, debris from Halley’s Comet will light up the sky in this year’s Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here’s everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible.
Rosetta's lander Philae is warming up to land on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in just a few hours. It will be our first-ever attempt at touching down on a dirty chunk of ice in space. But how close have we gotten to a comet before?
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 6, debris from Halley's Comet will light up the sky in this year's Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible.
A winter that lasts years isn't just a problem in Game of Thrones. Roughly 1500 years ago, our world was turned upsidown by a winter that witnesses say "never ended." Now there is scientific evidence that there really was a decade of winter.
Science fiction is filled with tales that pit humanity against the natural world: earthquakes, meteor strikes, Sharknados. While some of those stories are birthed from abstract (or entirely made-up) fears, others are inspired by specific occurrences—comets, catastrophes, and climate events.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, May 5, debris from Halley's Comet will light up the sky in this year's Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many meteors as possible.
In the Webcomic Guide to the Apocalypse, I've been drawing short comics about very early apocalyptic fiction. So far, I've covered stories about plagues and the dying Earth, and this week, we're looking above, to some 19th-century tales in which comets threaten to destroy human civilization—and sometimes extinguish…
We know that the world isn't going to end on the 21st of December (or at least isn't more likely to end then than any other day), but it's always nice to remember that there's a firm precedent for the world not ending on schedule. It didn't end in 1844, when William Miller and Samuel S. Snow convinced the Millerites…
This weekend marked the peak of this year's stunning Orionid meteor shower. Photographs of the annual celestial lightshow are still rolling in (stargazers can expect to spot intermittent meteors during predawn hours for the next few days), but here are a few of our favorites so far.
The Orionid meteor shower — one of the year's most spectacular natural light shows — is upon us. This weekend, Earth will plow through a dense stream of celestial debris given off by Halley's Comet. These fragments of Halley will collide with the planet's atmosphere at speeds approaching 150,000 miles per hour,…
In the pantheon of naturist astro-Dracula cinema, very few films outclass Lifeforce. Replete with astronauts behaving like they never graduated middle school and cosmic Nosferatus forgetting their pants, Lifeforce appeals to the galactic Van Helsing in all of us.
Ancient Greek texts reveal the earliest recorded sighting of the solar system's most famous comet 2,500 years ago. Since then, Halley's Comet has repeatedly cameoed in history, getting credit for toppling armies, birthing empires, and even killing Mark Twain.
We say pictures can't replace memories, but when Halley's Comet last swooped across the sky, many of us were too young to care. Our next chance to see it—about 50 years from now—will be probably be our last.