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


As the search for Planet Nine wears on, and astronomers have yet to get so much as a glimpse of it, researchers are pondering what else the object might be.

The galaxy has sent another tumbling chunk of frozen interstellar material our way.

NASA just named a rolling rock on Mars after — who else — the Rolling Stones.

The planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, will be able to detect the gravitational waves generated by massive collisions in the deep cosmos.

Researchers at the Zwicky Transient Facility have found an asteroid in Earth's orbit. And this one has the shortest year yet.

And one of the exoplanets in the Teegarden star system could have a temperature range between 32 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

The mysterious microbes living more than half a mile beneath the deepest ocean floors could have something to teach us about Martian life.

Water surrounds us, falling from the sky and pouring from faucets, and yet many of us never ask where it comes from. The answer stretches way back — before tides and thunderclouds to the big bang.

So what does that mean for good ol' Earth someday?

The wait is over. NASA confirms Mars is seismically active.

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.