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.


NASA's mega Moon rocket passes critical hydrogen fuel test — but there's a catch

Today's cryogenic demonstration test was a success, despite constant wrangling with — you guessed it — hydrogen fuel leaks.

glow clouds (all hail)
The right stuff

New study shows one of Saturn’s icy moons may be extremely habitable

Beneath Enceladus's frozen surface, the moon's ocean could contain phosphorus, a key ingredient for building cells.

Making an impact

Mars lander uses seismic data to locate meteorite impact craters for the first time ever

The InSight Mars lander recorded seismic waves from three meteor strikes in 2021 and traced them to brand new Martian craters.


Behold! Webb Telescope’s first Mars image reveals a troubled planet

The James Webb Space Telescope reveals a landscape of meteor impacts, massive eruptions, and flowing water.

One ping only

Wow! Astronomers have an intriguing hypothesis for a decades-old extraterrestrial mystery

The Wow! signal is still an enigma, 45 years after its detection, but at least one possibility so far can’t be ruled out.

New desktop background

Look! This new Webb Telescope picture of the beloved Orion Nebula is glorious

Webb takes us inside a nearby nebula to shed light on the mysteries of star formation in the recent universe.


New Hubble image shows a lazy river of stars whirlpooling into a huge star cluster

In two studies, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope spotted the same phenomenon in a nearby galaxy.


One unusual planet type could be abundant in the universe — study

A new study of exoplanet densities reveals that many are about 50 percent water, whether it’s liquid or ice.


Look! Astronomers explore the Orion Nebula's radiation-scorched cloud

Gargantuan young stars blast this region with ultraviolet radiation, and that may play a key role in how solar systems eventually form.


Ancient ice volcanoes may have stained Pluto’s moon blood red

Charon: where the floor is lava, and the lava is ice.


Look! The James Webb Space Telescope's first exoplanet image is finally here

James Webb Space Telescope's first exoplanet image could tell us a lot about our own Solar System.

distant traveller

Physicists accidentally re-created a rare, weird galaxy in the lab

This is what a lab accident in astrophysics looks like


Aurigids: You need to watch the most mythical meteor shower of the year this week

The annual Aurigid Meteor Shower peaks on September 1 and is visible to stargazers in most of the Northern Hemisphere.


Perseverance rover: New evidence points to a shockingly violent origin for Mars crater

Reactions between water and volcanic rock may have fueled a microbial ecosystem on ancient Mars