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The Countdown

The Countdown

What’s happening in space, right now!


The Countdown, Episode 4: Cave-Dwelling Astronauts, Two-Star Solar System, Voyager on The Edge, Millions of Quasars, New Mars Mission

Story 5Astronauts from five different space agencies are participating in the CAVES project, an underground training exercise beneath the island of Sardinia.Links:Astronauts Heading Deep Underground for Spaceflight Training Story 4Scientists have discovered a two-star solar system orbited by two planets, an astronomical first.Links: Two Alien Planets Found with Twin Suns Like 'Star Wars'' TatooineStory 3Voyager 1, which launched 35 years ago, was thought to be approaching the edge of our solar system...

STAFFSeptember 6, 2012 — Eric R. Olson
The Sciences

The Countdown, Episode 3: Quantum Teleportation, Mars Rover Mix Tape, MASER Beams, Funding Ax for Telescopes, Radiation Space Probes

Story 5Chinese, European and Canadian scientists recently set distance records for quantum teleportation.Links: Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over Record Distances Physicists Spooked by Faster-Than-Light Information Transfer Quantum Entanglement - The Movie Story 4The Mars Curiosity Rover receives a morning wake-up call from NASA engineers.Links: NASA Reveals Mars Rover's Morning MixStory 3A physicist at the UK's National Physical Laboratory has successfully created a room-temperature Maser, a breakthrough that has eluded science for nearly 60 years.Links: Microwave laser fulfills 60 years of promise Story 2Belt-tightening at the National Science Foundation may spell the end for two ground-based radio telescopes.Links: Major U.S...

STAFFAugust 23, 2012 — Eric R. Olson
The Sciences

The Countdown, Episode 2: a Mars Party, Star vs. Black Hole, Thunderous Gamma Rays, Meteoroid Fireworks, Money for Space Taxis

Story 5 NASA's Curiosity rover touched down on Mars early Monday morning, setting off a worldwide celebration.Links:NASA's Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on MarsVideo: NASA Lands Car-Sized Rover Near Martian MountainCuriosity Targets Gale CraterMars Party of the Decade Reaches Fever Pitch Story 4 Black holes have the size and mass to devour entire stars, although this has never been observed--until now.Links: Satellites Watch Stellar Death Throes Story 3 Scientists are beginning to understand how thunder clouds produce powerful gamma rays--and antimatter.Links:Thunderclouds Make Gamma Rays—and Shoot Out Antimatter, Too [Preview] Story 2 Early in the morning on August 12th, you'll be able to see the Perseid meteor shower, named for the constellation Perseus.Links:August Perseid Meteor Shower Has Long Legacy, Bright FuturePerseid Meteor Shower Weather ForecastEarthSky’s Meteor Shower Guide for 2012 Story 1 NASA recently granted three companies 1.1 billion dollars to develop private space taxis, which will ferry astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit...

STAFFAugust 9, 2012 — Eric R. Olson
The Sciences

The Countdown, Episode 1: Earliest Spiral Galaxy, Earth as Art, the Pioneer Anomaly, a Rocket-Loving Gopher, 7 Minutes of Terror

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 Story 5 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.See Primordial Pinwheel: Astronomers Spot Oldest Prominent Spiral Galaxy Yet...

STAFFJuly 26, 2012 — Philip Yam

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