Gino Curtis

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Birds Evolved From Dinosaurs Slowly—Then Took Off

An 80-million-year transition was capped with a burst of feathered diversity.<p>Birds evolved from dinosaurs in patchwork fashion over tens of millions of years before finally taking to the skies some 150 million years ago, paleontologists report.<p>Birds are defined by a plethora of traits that are …

Earth's Water Is Older Than The Sun

Why that’s good news for alien hunters<p>Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might …


APOD: A Launch and a Landing (2014 Sep 27) Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace Explanation: Taken from an Atlantic beach, Cape Canaveral, planet Earth, four identically framed digital images are combined in this night skyscape. Slightly shifted short star trails dot the sky, but the exposure times were adjusted to follow the flight of a Falcon 9 rocket. The September 21 launch delivered a Dragon X capsule filled with supplies to the International Space Station. Above the bright flare seen just after launch, the rocket's first stage firing trails upward from the left. After separation, the second stage burn begins near center with the vehicle climbing toward low Earth orbit. At the horizon, the flare near center records the re-ignition and controlled descent of the Falcon 9's first stage to a soft splashdown off the coast. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

In a Planet-or-Not Debate, Some Astronomers Say "Long Live Planet Pluto"

Disagreements continue over Pluto's planetary status, with a recent debate held at Harvard for scientists to weigh the pros and cons.<p><b>Pluto is a planet.</b><p><b>No, it's not.</b><p><b>It depends what you mean by "planet."</b><p>Last week, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics revisited the perennial debate over how …