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Why Do All The Planets Orbit In The Same Plane?

Our Solar System is an orderly place, with the four inner planets, the asteroid belt, and the gas giant worlds all orbiting in the same plane around the Sun. Even as you go farther out, the Kuiper belt objects appear to line up with that same exact plane. Given that the Sun is spherical and that …

Universe

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

Forty years ago, we sent a message to extraterrestrials—a collection of sights and sounds of life on Earth.<p>We inhabit a small planet orbiting a medium-sized star about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the Milky Way galaxy—around where Track 2 on an LP record might begin. In cosmic …

Astronomers may have discovered the first exomoon

A team of astronomers believe they have spotted the first moon outside our solar system.<p>Phys.org reports that the team lead by Dr. David Kipping, assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia University, has spotted what might be the first evidence of a moon orbiting an exoplanet. By harnessing data …

Jupiter is oldest planet in solar system, ancient meteorites show

Jupiter formed in a geologic blink. Its rocky core coalesced less than a million years after the beginning of our solar system, scientists reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Within another 2 million or 3 million years, that core grew to 50 times the mass of …

Astronomy

The first trip to Mars will include the longest layover ever

Nobody likes layovers, but the first astronauts heading to Mars will get to experience one of the longest such experiences of their lives. They’ll …

What's The Largest Planet In The Universe?

In our Solar System, Jupiter is the largest planet we have, but what’s the upper limit to planetary size?<p>If you get too much mass together in a single object, its core will fuse lighter elements into heavier ones.<p>At about eighty times the mass of Jupiter, you’ll have a true star, burning hydrogen …

Universe

Check Out Stanley Kubrick’s Original Treatment of THE SHINING

Stanley Kubrick, outré auteur and conspicuous perfectionist. Stephen King, prolific doyen of digestible suspense. Both are deservedly lionized for …

Thousands of worlds may lurk beyond Pluto — and a stunning new animation shows the ones we've found

You may be familiar with our solar system's eight planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. There's also their famous dwarf-planet companion, Pluto.<p>But this icy world may just be an appetizer to what lurks in a region beyond Pluto called the Kuiper Belt.<p>As this …

'Hidden Figures' and the true NASA stories behind the movie

The women who helped pioneer space travel have rocketed into the public eye thanks to the acclaimed movie "Hidden Figures". We spoke to NASA's chief historian to learn more about the remarkable true story of these pioneering mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists, and to explore how the …

Space Travel

Beyond Pluto: NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Heads to Next Adventure

To Pluto and beyond!<p>Nearly two years after its historic encounter with the dwarf planet Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is getting ready for …

See What the Huygens Spacecraft Saw When It Landed on Titan

Images taken by the spacecraft were used to make an amazing video of the descent into the clouds of Saturn's mysterious moon.<p>Perhaps the most exciting part of the Cassini spacecraft's 12-and-a-half years orbiting Saturn was back in December 2004, when the mothership deposited the European Space …

Astronomy

Europe's Bold Plan for a Moon Base Is Coming Together

The ESA's Director General calls it "Moon Village," and the rest of the world seems to be coming around to the idea.<p>Imagine an international research station on the moon, where astronauts and cosmonauts and taikonauts and any other-nauts from around the world conduct science experiments, gather …

Space Exploration

"Brightest Supernova Ever" Turns Out to Be a Star Ripped Apart by a Supermassive Black Hole

The event was originally classified as the largest supernova ever documented, but it turns out that it was something even more volatile.<p>Last year, light from an incredibly violent and luminous explosion in a galaxy some 3.8 billion light-years away finally reached us here on Earth. The event, named …

Universe

[Exclusive] Draw in 3D with the ‘Mental Canvas’ Illustration App

The new app combines traditional illustration with 3D computer-aided design software.<p>There are apps like uMake that rather easily turn 2D sketching into useful 3D models for prototyping, but the new app Mental Canvas takes a different approach. It fuses the illustrator’s need for aesthetics and …

NASA is helping Stephen Hawking get a tiny ship to Alpha Centauri

NASA is helping Stephen Hawking and Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner with the monumental task of getting a tiny probe to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to Earth. Project Starshot aims to propel a lightweight silicon "StarChip" to one-fifth the speed of light by hitting it with lasers …

Stephen Hawking

Japan launches 'space junk' collector

As well as delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), the vessel has a device that will remove space junk in orbit. The launch was …

Woman Captures Rare Sight of a Perfectly Spherical Cloud Floating in the Sky

We’ve all seen clouds that seemingly resemble real things, but what about a fluffy orb that just hangs in the sky? <i>That</i> is truly unusual. Twitter user @pmxpvrtmx (aka Poppy) recently witnessed this incredible sight and captured the spherical cloud as it hovered above houses in Fujisawa, a city in …

The Massive Amount of CO2 Locked in Our Soil Appears to Be Leaking

Uh oh.<p>A key greenhouse gas responsible for warming the planet, carbon dioxide, isn't just hanging around in the air. It's also locked up deep under …

'Star in a Jar' Fusion Reactor Works and Promises Infinite Energy

For several decades now, scientists from around the world have been pursuing a ridiculously ambitious goal: They hope to develop a nuclear fusion …

NASA creates new climate-science mission

NASA is the world leader in Earth and climate research, and it's now confirmed its commitment to that position. The space agency has just announced a brand new, long-term, first-of-its-kind mission to study vegetation health and greenhouse gases from a satellite in space.<p>It's called the …

Geophysics

NGC 4696: Ravenous Supermassive Black Hole Creates A 'Cosmic Oddity'

A team of astronomers have, using the Hubble Space Telescope, captured a stunning new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 4696 — a "cosmic oddity" located …

European Space Agency releases first images from ExoMars spacecraft

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first images from its ExoMars spacecraft, which has been in orbit around the red planet since …

NASA Has Compiled a List of the Best Air-Cleaning Plants for Your Home

Many of us spend most of our time indoors, so it’s important to cultivate a space that’s a healthy one. A simple—and beautiful—way to do this is through houseplants; they add some green to your home while being an effective way to purify the air.<p>NASA hardly seems like the organization that would …

NASA's fight to keep our dying spacecraft alive

Sometime in the next 10 or so years, the massive antennas that comprise NASA's Deep Space Network will pick up a faint, distant signal for the final …

Spaceflight Industries unveils BlackSky satellite’s first pictures of our planet

Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries is sharing some of the first pictures of Earth ever taken by its low-cost, high-resolution BlackSky Pathfinder-1 …

What Sonic Black Holes Say About the Real Deal

In a 1972 lecture at the University of Oxford, a young physicist named William Unruh asked the audience to imagine a fish screaming as it plunges …

Black Holes

Why NASA May Ferry the First Cosmonaut to the Moon

The big space agencies are planning their next project together—a human outpost that orbits the moon.<p>Half a century after the US and the USSR raced to the Moon, a Russian cosmonaut might make it to the moon on American hardware. She might find herself looking down at the lunar surface a few hundred …

Space Exploration