Five intriguing discoveries and recent news items
Tis the season for science fiction fun, but could we even tell if the universe around us was filled with galactic empires and rebel forces?
On Monday, the Onion reported that the “Nation’s math teachers introduce 27 new trig functions.” It’s a funny read.
Campaigns to name exoplanets seem like Shakespearean farce
A United States federal agency is not necessarily the first place you think of when it comes to answering some of the deepest existential questions for our species.
Some natural phenomena need few words to explain why they’re fascinating. Eclipses, transits, and phases in astronomy tend to fall into that category.
The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the "shadow" that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast.
Science and common sense are alike grounded in human experience. Yet these ways of thinking about things are often in conflict. Sometimes the simplicity of most commonsense explanations can make it hard to win people over to the complexity and uncertainties of most scientific arguments.
Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, is a near-future tale of astronauts departing a dying Earth to travel to Saturn, then through a wormhole to another galaxy, all in search of somewhere else humanity could call home.
More to explore: Universe May Be Curved, Not Flat (Scientific American) http://www.s
More to explore: Voyager 1 Leaves the Solar System—for Real This Time (Scientific American) Voyager Has Entered The Interstellar Medium (Scientific American Blog Network) Space Farming: The Final Frontier (Modern Farmer) The inside of our Milky Way in 3D (Max Planck Institute) Moon Mission to Suck Up Lunar Dust (Nature News) (Scientific American is part [...]
A telescopic survey looking for trans-Neptunian objects has chanced across a 37 mile wide chunk of rock and ice that instead moves around the sun in the same orbit as Uranus, just further ahead of the planet.
There may be something funny going on with the stuff covering the Moon, and a new NASA mission launching next month is aiming to solve the mystery.
The Perseids meteor shower, which peaks August 11-12, isn’t just a dazzling celestial show. The annual event also supplies our atmosphere with an essential ingredient for groundbreaking astronomical research.
NASA Ames researcher, former astronaut muse on the challenges and advantages of spending time on the high-gravity planet
This is the story of the evolution of life on earth during one photon’s journey across the universe. Told by Saul Perlmutter who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe.
NASA’s former director of astrophysics plans to revolutionize space science with agile, privately funded missions
Leading up to Yuri Gagarin's historic Vostok 1 flight, the Soviet Union launched two missions with a man-like mannequin, Ivan Ivanovich, on board.
Converting the energetic hail of cosmic radiation into audible tracks has produced better understanding of the solar wind and other astrophysical events—along with musical enjoyment
Back in February these pages discussed a newly discovered long-period comet, ISON (otherwise known as C/2012 s1), that is falling sunwards for what is probably its first passage through the inner solar system later this year – on a beautiful near parabolic orbit.