Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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


It may be supermassive, but snagging this one-of-a-kind pic was no easy feat.

Rovers are getting some practice hunting for microbes here on Earth before they head to Mars in 2020.

It's tricky to see the true shape of the Milky Way when you're stuck inside it. So how did scientists figure it out?

On a galactic scale, that's kind of like finding a tree in your backyard that you'd never seen before.

Auroras are one of the best parts about living on a planet with a global magnetic field. And they still puzzle space weather experts.

No worries though. Jupiter, Neptune or Uranus could create their own beautiful, bright ring display in the distant future.

Things just got more interesting on this enigmatic exoplanet.

Those stars twinkling in the nighttime sky may actually be crystal spheres. And our beloved star is headed in that direction, too. Eventually.

In this stellar nursery, firstborn stars are ruthless.

That means it takes nearly 17 hours for a radio signal, traveling at the speed of light from Earth, to reach Voyager 2.

We've identified 11 different times gravitational waves have passed through Earth. Yep, we're getting good at detecting these ripples in spacetime that Einstein predicted.

After cruising 300 million miles and spending seven months in space, the InSight spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars' surface. How awesome is that?

And this hot DOG's ferocious appetite shows no signs of slowing down.

But you can forget about Barnard's Star b bearing any resemblance to our planet.

A stunning accusation has been made: About 10 billion years ago, a small galaxy strayed too close to ours, so our galaxy ate it.

It's a small world with an astonishingly long orbit around our sun. And it could lead us to the fabled Planet X.

Something very strange is afoot above the frozen landscape of Antarctica.

It dashed through our solar system like a cigar-shaped signal from another star system. But which one? Astronomers are on the case.

This stellar noodle is the strongest material in the cosmos!

Maybe there aren't more dimensions beyond the four that we know and love so well.