Paul Scott Anderson
"Lunar flare" spot on the moon.

What causes flashes on the moon?

People have reported seeing Transient Lunar Phenomena – unusual flashes and other lights on the moon – for at least 1,000 years. Yet they’re still mysterious. Now a scientist in Germany is using a new telescope to try to solve the mystery.

Series of images showing bright balls of light ascending.

Has the ball lightning mystery been solved?

What is ball lightning? Scientists have been trying to figure that out for hundreds of years, and now it seems they may finally be close to solving one of Earth’s most intriguing natural mysteries.

Filament-like rocks.

Will evidence for life on Mars look like fettuccine pasta?

The search for life on Mars usually involves looking for past or present microbes, invisible to the eye. Scientists at University of Illinois suggest searching instead for a type of rock formation known on Earth to be created by microbes.

Infrared view of Jupiter.

Is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot disintegrating?

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a giant storm, the largest known in our solar system. It’s been seen through earthly telescopes for more than 300 years. Lately, it’s been showing signs of breaking apart. Is this the beginning of the end for the beloved Spot?

Linear sand dunes on Mars.

Martian sands move in unearthly ways

Mars is a desert world, with sand dunes similar to those on Earth. But the processes that create them can be quite different from those on our planet, according to a new study from the University of Arizona.

Mud ball meteorites rain down in Costa Rica

“Mud ball” meteorites – full of clays, organics and water – are unique among space rocks. And a lot of them fell in April 2019 on a small town in Costa Rica, much to the delight of scientists.

Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting its star.

Astronomers find 18 more Earth-sized exoplanets in Kepler data

A new survey algorithm – called Transit Least-Squares – has just caused the number of known, rocky, Earth-sized worlds orbiting distant stars to grow again, as astronomers add another 18 exoplanets to the list.

Pluto in natural color.

New evidence for Pluto’s subsurface ocean

Does Pluto have an ocean? That idea seems preposterous at first, but a new study adds to the growing evidence for a subsurface ocean on this distant dwarf planet … and explains how it stays liquid.

Water vapor leaving Mars' atmosphere.

Scientists find new periodic water cycle on Mars

A new study shows that Mars has a unique water vapor cycle that occurs only once about every 2 years. The cycle might help explain how Mars lost most of its water.

Planet destroyed by white dwarf star.

How some planets can survive their stars’ deaths

A new “survival guide for exoplanets” outlines how different kinds of planets fare when their host star dies. It suggests the smallest rocky worlds are the most likely to escape annihilation.