How galaxies influence planet formation

Does the specific location of a solar system within a galaxy affect the solar system's structure? Like does distance from the centre affect how big the star is, or what kind of planets form? Stuart,...

“The Stars Were Aligned”

Sometimes inspiration strikes in unusual ways at unusual times. I was tagged in a quote tweet where Prof Peter Coles states that as an astrophysicist he must contest Prince Harry's statement that "the stars...

Shopping for rings

I have a space question. I know about the Roche limit but is there an upper limit to how big a ring can get compared to its planet? Asked by Dan Of course there are limits, the Universe is all about limits! But they're not as strict as one would think. We have found an object in 2012, J1407b, with a ring system 200 million kilometres in diameter. If the rings were centred on Earth they would cover the inner solar system all the way to the orbit of Mercury on the opposite side of the Sun.

PodcAstroholic – How Can Spiral Galaxies Keep Their Shape?

In this PodcAstroholic we answer the question "How can spiral galaxies keep their shape?"

PodcAstroholic – Main Challenges To Put A Human On Mars

In this PodcAstroholic we answer the question "What are the main challenges to send a human to Mars?"

How dangerous is it to cross an asteroid field?

How easy is to navigate through an asteroid field? Do we need to take precautions when we send probes through them? Andrew, Sidney. I'm afraid TV shows and movies have lied to you: asteroid fields are...
Credit: Wikicommon

Black Holes and Impossible Planets

Black holes are incredibly fascinating. They represent the unknown, the dangerous, the terrifyingly majestic. They are the modern version of the void, the abyss, the bottomless pit. Most sci-fi gets black holes right, but...

Why does Iapetus have two colours?

Iapetus is the third largest satellite of Saturn, and it is the largest object in the solar system not in hydrostatic equilibrium. Iapetus is a moon of Saturn known for its colour dichotomy. It has a dark side and white side, and it is often called the Yin Yang moon.

Why Does The Moon Go Red During An Eclipse?

I know why the moon goes red during a total eclipse. But why does it not go red until near totality? Phil, London This is actually a very interesting question, with an (unfortunately) unsatisfying answer. But...