Joel Achenbach

ReporterWashington, D.C.

Latest Articles

One giant leap out the airlock: You go first.

  • Apr 23, 2014

Someone invented a sundial, and it’s been all downhill ever since.

  • Apr 21, 2014

Dreaming in Portugal

  • Apr 17, 2014

How to be more than just an aggregator.

  • Apr 9, 2014

Scientists believe there’s a huge underground ocean on the moon; so, is there life in it?

  • Apr 7, 2014

What the experts tell me about life beyond Earth

  • Apr 4, 2014

Liquid water mixing with rock on this distant moon could create chemistry necessary for life, scientists report.

  • Apr 3, 2014

I favor the simplest possible explanation.

  • Apr 2, 2014

Some say the jet’s disappearance shows the need to modernize tracking technology.

  • Mar 28, 2014

The spare sugar packet: It’s what I got going for me today

  • Mar 28, 2014

Analysis led to the conclusion that the jet went down in the southern Indian Ocean, but finding it is another story.

  • Mar 25, 2014

How they know which way the plane flew

  • Mar 25, 2014

You call it your head, I call it a bizarre knobby protrusion.

  • Mar 21, 2014

Physics, money and practicality shape technological limits in hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

  • Mar 20, 2014

A new birdlike species of dinosaur had a beak, giant claws, a bony crest and feathers everywhere.

  • Mar 19, 2014

The Internet is teeming with theories of what could have happened aboard the plane. Here are the major ones.

  • Mar 19, 2014

The 35-year-old theory of “cosmic inflation” gets a boost from an experiment at the South Pole.

  • Mar 17, 2014

It’s hard not to lose faith in this investigation

  • Mar 17, 2014

What happened on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is unknown — but investigators think it was no accident.

  • Mar 15, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is the mystery of the year

  • Mar 14, 2014
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About Joel

Joel Achenbach writes on science and politics for the Post's national desk. He has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990, started the newsroom’s first online column, "Rough Draft," in 1999, and started’s first blog, Achenblog, in 2005. 

He has been a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1998, writing on such topics as dinosaurs, particle physics, earthquakes, extraterrestrial life, megafauna extinction and the electrical grid. A 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he has taught journalism at Princeton and Georgetown University.

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AchenblogAchenblog collects Joel's musings on politics, science and culture.

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Special series

Destination Unknown
An occasional series on the future of NASA and space exploration.

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Joel's books