Welcome to The Countdown, the Scientific American show that counts down the five coolest things happening now in space news.
Episode 1: July 26, 2012
Galaxies from the early universe usually look kind of lumpy or blobby, but scientists have spotted one with a spiral structure, making it look a lot like our own Milky Way galaxy.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Landsat program, the U.S. Geological Survey asked the public to vote on favorite images from the “Earth as Art” collection. The winner: “Van Gogh from Space.”
The strange slowing of the Pioneer spacecraft led to many theories, including speculations of new physics. The answer seems to be recoil generated by the heat of the batteries.
How does a gopher manage to survive the hustle and bustle of a busy spaceport? Evidently, by staying away from the launch pad.
Seven minutes of terror—that’s how NASA describes the descent of the Mars lander Curiosity on August 5. The car-sized lander will undergo complex, never-before-tried landing maneuvers in hopes of a safe touchdown.