2020's best space moments

More than any other scientific area, space is the one that's richest in new discovery. Here is Inverse's annual review of the space moments we found most interesting.
2020 countdown
origins

These celestial objects may be responsible for life in the universe

We really are all made of star stuff.

Flying the flag

Flag for Mars: Elon Musk's city slowly gains an identity to call its own

The SpaceX CEO's plan for a Martian city is taking shape.

new look

30 years later, Voyager reveals new details about one of the Solar System's strangest planets

There’s nothing like looking at 30 year old data with fresh eyes.

boom

Scientists capture a stunning black hole outburst

We can stare at this forever.

bubbling over

With a single image, scientists changed our understanding of the Sun forever

Snap, crackle, and pop.

new neighbors

The Solar System may actually have a ninth planet

In a series of observations, researchers are building a case for the existence of a ninth planet in the Solar System — but it's not Pluto.

Space in 2020

Why tardigrades spilled all over the Moon in 2020

The microscopic creatures have survived the harsh conditions of space before.

burn baby burn

The Sun has entered a new cycle of solar activity

In December 2019, the Sun entered Solar Cycle 25. NASA announced the new cycle has begun in September 2020.

brush your shoulders off

Mars rover selfie reveals the toll of life on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has spent a long seven years on Mars, roaming the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life.

locust swarm

Werner Herzog makes an apocalyptic prediction about Elon Musk's Mars City

"The thought alone is an obscenity."

devils and dust

The answer to where the water on Mars went may lie in its atmosphere

It’s the biggest mystery of our Solar System.

growing pains

NASA data undermines a fundamental principle of cosmology

Galaxy clusters revealed a hidden fact about the universe.

2019
Science

Scientists pinpoint a missing ingredient from recipe for life on Earth

In the beginning, there was soup.

Science

In 2019, a 42-year-old NASA mission gave unprecedented insight into our Solar System

Voyager 2's crossing into interstellar space revealed surprising new details about our small corner of the Milky Way.

Science

How ancient cosmic explosions may have forced humans to walk upright

A wild new hypothesis links supernovae to a pivotal moment in human evolution.

Science

Scientists recreated the origins of the universe in a 2x2 inch tube

Think of it as the 'Little Bang.'

Science

Scientists trace origin of mysterious molecules to dying stars

The weirdest molecules in the universe finally have an origin story.

Science

Scientists mapped Titan's awe-inspiring terrain for the first time

Liquid methane lakes, icy dunes, and labyrinthine canyons pepper the landscape of Saturn's largest moon.

Science

Water may once have flowed beneath Mars' surface

Scientists discovered the first geological evidence of groundwater on Mars.

Science

Watch: Wild video captures meteor slamming into Jupiter

The impact released an amount of energy equivalent to 240 kilotons of TNT.

Science

In praise of Starhopper, SpaceX's little Starship that could

While SpaceX's giant Starships capture the world's attention today, Starhopper shouldn't be forgotten.

Science

Chicxulub crater study reveals the terrible end of the dinosaurs

The Age of the Dinosaurs came to an abrupt, chaotic, and terrible end. 

Science

Scientists detected a metal "anomaly" deep beneath the lunar surface

It's more likely to be from asteroids than benevolent aliens.

Science

Study: The Milky Way is "a bit warped"

A 3D map reveals our home galaxy has has an unexpected S-shape warp in it''s stellar disc.