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Mercury Online

What Is Mercury Online?

Mercury Online is the companion blog for Mercury magazine, a quarterly publication that's been bringing space and astronomy news to ASP members since 1972. Mercury Online will showcase articles by our expert columnists after they've been published in Mercury magazine. Support our mission and become an ASP member today to read Mercury articles before they appear on Mercury Online and get access to members-only features.


As protests continue to stall construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Hawaii’s Maunakea, where do we go from here?

The ASP is committed to promoting inclusion in astronomy, so this is an opportunity for the Society to shine a light on the growing Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) controversy.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals the relativistic engine driving the quadruple apparition.

A search in X-rays suggests life might be possible around two of our three neighboring stars.

Observations of this relatively rare phenomenon offers both scientific and educational opportunities.

Tasked with mapping the motions of stars in our galaxy, the European mission is doing so much more.

When humans age, environmental factors can play a huge role in our health—the same is apparently true for galaxies.

In cosmology, Buddha strikes again.

A Chinese satellite got a historic view of the July 2 total solar eclipse from BEYOND Moon orbit.

What do you call an orphaned moon with planetary ambitions?

To avoid the eighth-circle-of-hell tedium of grading, lean on your students’ collaborative creativity and have some fun.

Formal and informal learning have their pros and cons, but the ASP is at the intersection working to get the best out of both.

Another day, another "habitable" exoplanet discovery—and more headlines suggesting that aliens live there.

Feedback from active galactic nuclei may influence a galaxy’s ability to form stars.

The Summer 2019 issue (vol. 48 no. 3) of Mercury magazine is online for ASP members, featuring everything from black holes, awesome radio telescopes, mind-blowing astrophysical concepts to educational matters.

Despite decades of searching for dark matter, we’ve come up empty handed. So, what is the alternative?

Galaxies live inside dark matter halo “houses”—but there seems to be a lot of empty homes out there.

That’s some cosmic trick, but is it done with mirrors?

Some galaxies are extremely massive, compact and filled with dust—how they became so extreme remains a mystery.

Before we had high-resolution observations of the Sun, explanations for sunspots ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime.

If humanity disappeared tomorrow, in 65 million years' time, very little evidence would be left of our nature to explore and understand the universe.

Lunar rocks retain a million-year record of solar energetic particles and galactic cosmic rays.

Without her, the Hubble Space Telescope may not have gotten off the ground.

Computing celestial alignments may be routine today, but for medieval astronomers it was a major undertaking.

How a mission designed to monitor climate change is also a prototype for a technique to detect gravitational waves. [Feature excerpt]

NASA's OSIRIS-REx gets a beautiful crescent view of the asteroid, revealing the incredible array of rocks on its surface.

It’s important for every learner to see themselves reflected in the ongoing exploration of the universe.

On April 11, Israel’s dreams of landing its first spacecraft on the Moon ended after Beresheet crashed into the lunar surface—but it wasn't a failure, not by a long shot. [Feature excerpt]

Welcome to Mercury magazine’s new online destination: Mercury Online!

A cautionary tale about never underestimating a class full of Astro101 students.

The collaboration’s first image has given us a glimpse of what the future of event horizon studies may look like.

Lunar eclipses can help us understand meteoroid impacts and exoplanet atmospheres.

What’s careening through the galaxy at 2.5 million miles per hour and screaming with gamma-rays?

There are some strange similarities between ultra-faint dwarf galaxies and globular clusters—with dark matter anchoring both.

How the event helped a 14th Century astronomer reconnect with Ptolemy’s era.

How supermassive black holes and galaxies evolve together is one of the biggest questions hanging over modern astrophysics.

After arriving at Bennu on December 31, mission scientists with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx quickly realized their spacecraft was orbiting a different kind of asteroid.

After decades of wondering, the Event Horizon Telescope has revealed what a black hole really looks like. [Feature excerpt]

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