Kiona Smith

Kiona Smith is a science journalist. She also writes regularly for Ars Technica and Forbes. Based in Tulsa, she shares her office with two dogs, a lizard, and a wildly impractical number of books. Find her on Twitter @KionaSmith07.

ring around the asteroid, pocket full of space dust

Look! JWST captures images of an asteroid with a ring playing peek-a-boo with a star

Two separate studies recently pointed JWST's instruments at Chariklo, the only asteroid in our Solar System with its own rings.

gotta go fast

NASA and DARPA want to build a nuclear-powered spaceship

The rocket could have its first orbital test "as soon as 2027."

and I feel fine

The Doomsday Clock is now at 90 seconds to midnight — here's what that means

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight than ever, citing Russia's war on Ukraine and the worsening climate crisis.

the ice grains cometh

Look! Webb Telescope finds icy ingredients for organic chemicals in deep space

The coldest, most distant ices ever measured could have big implications for planets -- and life.

mars rocks

Astronomers find a surprise layer of volcanic rock in Mars’ massive canyon

Plagioclase feldspar doesn’t often turn up in volcanic rocks on Mars — but scientists just found a huge deposit in the walls of Mars’ largest canyon.

"My God, it's full of stars"
light pollution

Future humans may not be able to see the stars from Earth — study

Light pollution is getting rapidly worse, according to recent study.

They can't *all* be alien spaceships

Our Solar System may be surrounded by a halo of 10 million interstellar objects

A recent model suggests that passing interstellar objects should get pulled into our Sun's orbit fairly often.

Space is super weird

Look! Astronomers discover weird crisscrossing jets lurking in 14-year-old Hubble photo

The Butterfly Nebula is really “a tempestuous fire-sneezing dragon, with eyes that project ultraviolet light,” according to astronomer Bruce Balick.

it's not magrathea

New super-Earth study solves a baffling exoplanet mystery

A new model suggests why some solar systems collect remarkably similar large, rocky worlds.

i have no air and i must scream

Webb Telescope's first exoplanet is the same size as Earth — but there's a hellish catch

Astronomers say their data on LH 475b proves that JWST can measure the atmospheres of Earth-sized rocky planets.

one ping only

Enigmatic deep space radio signals could unlock the secret to the Milky Way’s weirdest habit

Astronomers recently traced 30 new Fast Radio Bursts to their host galaxies, and one has already helped us better understand our own.

mind if i cut in?

JWST images turn up galaxy-sized sonic booms disrupting gas clouds in distant cluster

One of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first color image targets has a turbulent inner life.

raid n trade

Viking DNA study finds they were more genetically diverse than modern Scandinavians

The Viking Age brought surprising genetic diversity to northern Europe, but it didn’t last.

when you care enough to send the very best

Forget alien Voyagers — our first encounter with alien probes could be sleek newer models

Back-of-the-envelope map suggests interstellar probes get faster every year.

who you gonna call?
Incoming comet
Star light, star bright

New experiment may challenge a key principle of life on early Mars

Minerals previously thought to be evidence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere, suitable for life as we know it, may actually suggest the opposite.


You need to see this year's most elusive meteor shower right after New Year’s Day

The Quadrantids, peaking just after the New Year, are one of the most spectacular but hardest-to see meteor showers of the year.