Enhanced Hubble Telescope image of ISON from April 2013, showing a dusty tail and some evidence of volatile sublimation around the nucleus (NASA, ESA) 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...
Young Mars, old Mars? (Original image: NASA) Summer on our northern hemisphere, and human life slows a little, for some.
(James Gillray) "Science is all metaphor" Timothy Leary We live in an elegant universe.The cosmos is like a string symphony.Genes are selfish.There is an endless battle between thermodynamics and gravity.Do you love these statements, or hate them?...
326 million light years away a cosmic encounter destroys a galaxy but creates something lovely (NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage team, STScI/AURA, Wide Field Camera 3, visible light + near infrared image)...
The original pale blue dot - Earth from 3.7 billion miles away (NASA/JPL/Voyager) One of the most enduring and captivating images from our exploration of space in the late 20th century was Voyager 1's mosaic of our own solar system - a family portrait from 3.7 billion miles away...
Our local cosmic terrain (Credit: Helene Courtois) A new video tours the nearby universe and makes it charmingly familiar. When I was a graduate student I spent a lot of time studying maps of our universe...
I swore I'd never do this, indeed, I'm on record in these very pages as having disparaged the kind of thing I'm about to do.Oh well. All I can say is that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...
Glowing hydrogen and a stellar birthplace 6,500 light years away (ESO/VLT) Fifteen years ago the European Southern Observatory, a consortium of 15 member states, started scientific operations with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal in the Chilean Atacama desert...
Our high wilderness (Credit: T.A.Rector, I.P.Dell'Antonio/NOAO/AURA/NSF) It's only 240,000 miles away, yet this high wilderness still surprises and delights with clues about the origins of the solar system, Earth's own water, and it even supplies the occasional brilliant explosion...
From atmospheric changes, to timelapse imagery from Google Earth...our planetary presence is hard to miss. This past week has seen the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth's atmosphere reach a level of 400 parts-per-million, a value the planet hasn't seen since several million years ago...
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