Why is it so

  • Explosions, evolution and energy: favourite Cosmos explainers

    If you get stuck for a conversation topic, fascinate your companion with a few facts from our bes...

    TAKE 27 LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYWhere do deep space probes get their power? As you are reading this, the Voya...

    Technology December 29, 2017
  • Why are smells so evocative?

    Smell is our most primitive sense, but how it works isn’t entirely understood, says Alex Russell.

    Childhood smells, like chocolate cake, can evoke memories for a lifetime. – Brand New Images / Getty Images ...

    Social Sciences July 13, 2015
  • Why X marks the unknown

    How the letter X became an algebra star.

    The letter X stands for the unknown or the mysterious: Project X; the X-Men; the X-Files. When physicist Wilhelm Rönt...

    Mathematics June 15, 2015
  • Why is Mars red?

    The planet’s rusted iron dust was most likely caused by liquid water, says Roger Rassool.

    A ‘selfie’ of the Mars Curiosity rover taken on the red planet in January 2015. – NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS ...

    Space May 11, 2015
  • Why can’t anything travel faster than light?

    How we began trying to measure the speed of light.

    We all know the number one traffic rule of the universe – nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And that...

    Physics January 5, 2015
  • Why are there two tides a day?

    In most places on Earth, there are two high tides each day.

    It’s early January, and the Sun is blazing. Sweltering in the hottest week of the past 100 years, temperatures well a...

    Earth Sciences March 31, 2014
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