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One of the wonderful things about astronomy is that it is so different from our everyday experience. Things are not what they might seem at first glance. Who could have guessed that those tiny little specks of light in our night sky are actually “suns” hundreds of times larger than Earth? Who would have suspected that the “evening star” is actually a rocky planet about the same size as our own?

God has constructed the universe in a truly marvelous way. As we study it, the universe continually surprises and delights us by challenging our understanding of how things work. More...

When people peer into a telescope and see Saturn for the first time, the typical response is “Wow!” All the other planets appear as simple disks with a few surface features, but Saturn’s rich system of rings makes it look more like a piece of celestial jewelry. Composed of trillions of tiny moonlets—particles of water ice—these rings orbit Saturn, giving it a stunning, three-dimensional appearance quite different from any other planet. More...

For millennia, the science of astronomy was limited to observations that could be made with the unaided eye. That changed in the 1600s with the invention of the telescope. As telescopes grew in size and optical quality, these marvelous instruments enabled astronomers to detect and investigate astronomical phenomena that are difficult or impossible to see with the unaided eye. Not least among these was the discovery of a previously unknown planet—Uranus. More...

The year was 1989. A small, unmanned space probe rapidly approached the mysterious and unexplored planet Neptune. Voyager 2 had traveled over four billion miles during its 12-year mission and was about to become the only spacecraft to visit distant Neptune. Astronomers all over the world waited eagerly for the first high-resolution images. What wonderful secrets would be revealed? More...

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