Ian O'Neill

Contributing Writer

Ian writes about space and especially enjoys writing about astrophysics, Mars exploration, black holes and our brave space robots that allow humanity to push beyond the final frontier. He's a British guy living in Los Angeles with a Ph.D. in solar physics and a master's degree in astrophysics. He digs tea and craft beer, and has an obsession for science fiction and computer games. He's forever optimistic that, despite the chaos and uncertainty of our daily lives, we are only at the beginning of the human story from a cosmic perspective. Space exploration is an adventure; it's his job to chronicle our journey. You can also follow his writing and videos on Astroengine.com.

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS


The Kepler Space Telescope seeks out small habitable exoplanets that may share similar qualities to Earth.

TRAPPIST-1 is a mini version of our solar system, and astronomers have started figuring out what life on those exoplanets might be like.

You could be reading this article deep in a dark matter rainforest filled with creatures in a roaring dark matter ecosystem — but have no clue.

Researchers threw the ingredients of the universe into a virtual box and let the known laws of physics bake a cosmic cake. The results are stunning.

Scientist have figured out why two historic avalanches happened on the same unlikely slopes within weeks of one another.

It all started with the suspicious behavior of a single star.

All those intrepid colonists are going to need a plentiful supply of water, and it turns out that accessing one may not be as hard as we thought.

The apparently random flashes in the sky known as FRBs have resisted being pinned down by astronomers. Until now.

When our planet was young, it took a beating from an unrelenting storm of planetesimals falling from the skies. Some of that debris meant more gold for the planet.

The question is, how did it get to be so big so fast?

It's the first interstellar rock we've ever found!

And it's just a galactic hop, skip and a jump away.

Neither massive planets nor tiny stars, brown dwarfs are entirely different substellar curiosities that possess qualities of both.

The very existence of this planetary heavyweight is puzzling astronomers.

Get ready for the most powerful electromagnetic explosion the universe has ever known.

Scientists are calling the collision they detected the "gift that will keep on giving."

Ripples in space-time traveled 1.8 billion light-years to wash through our planet on Aug. 14. And this time not two but three detectors picked them up.

It turns out that not all supermassive black holes are devouring matter at the same breakneck pace.

Now that Cassini has met its end by plunging into Saturn, it's time to reflect on what we've learned over the decades.