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Scientists Calculate From Just How Far You Can See A Candle Flame

Your eyes are good — but how good? There’s a long-standing argument about the distance from which humans can observe a burning candle, but now a pair of astronomers has calculated an answer based on the science of how we see the stars.

Is Earth's Closest Cousin A Dying Planet?

Last week, the human race met its very first Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star in the habitable zone. Kepler-452b’s discovery was met with resounding excitement, but the news was bittersweet. Because life on this distant world — if it exists at all — could be facing imminent extinction.

Beautiful New Topo Map Of Ceres Shows A Complex, Icy World 

NASA has just released a stunning new topographic map of Ceres, the other dwarf planet astronomers are getting to study up close and personal this summer. Unlike Pluto’s freakishly smooth and youthful surface, Ceres’s exterior is riddled with craters, creating a battered old landscape of peaks and valleys.

The Hidden Cargo Aboard The Jason And The Argonauts' Ship Constellation

This is the constellation known as Argo Navis, said to represent the ship of the same name that Jason and the Argonauts used in the quest for the Golden Fleece. And, as the ship likely did, it houses some secrets of its own.

Pluto's Atmosphere Is Billowing Away Into Space

Pluto just can’t stop blowing our minds. Not only is it a geologically active world with ice mountains the size of the Rockies and frozen plains of methane and nitrogen, we’ve just learned that Pluto’s atmosphere is pouring away into space. It’s leaving a massive tail of charged plasma in its wake.

Why It Will Take New Horizons 16 Months To Send Us This Week's Data

Early this morning, NASA rolled out the highest-resolution image of Pluto to date, taken 16 hours before today’s historic flyby. Tomorrow, we’ll receive a new set of images at a resolution ten times higher. And Pluto Christmas is just getting started, because it’s going to take NASA 16 full months to download all the data New Horizons collects this week.

Here's What We Just Learned About Pluto

At a NASA briefing in the wee hours of this morning, Alan Stern, New Horizon’s principal investigator, answered questions from the media and the public on today’s historic flyby, discussing the team’s latest impressions of Pluto’s surface, how the data is being transmitted back to Earth, and much, much more!

Giz Explains: How Did We Get To Pluto So Fast?

On July 14, the New Horizons spacecraft will make history when it sails past Pluto, formerly known as the ninth planet. Even more incredible is how fast we got there. The spacecraft travelled 4.8 billion kilometres in nine and a half years. That’s about 1.6 million kilometres a day for almost 10 years. How the heck did we do it?

Rare Shot Of Venus Crossing The Sun May Help Us Find Alien Life

The image you’re looking at is a rare and beautiful event. Every 115 years, Venus crosses our sun in Earth’s line of sight — twice. And when the most recent crossing took place, scientists used the event to take a peek at Venus’s atmosphere, refining tools that will one day help astronomers search distant worlds for signs of life.

First Signs Of Geology Spotted On Pluto's Surface

We’re so close to Pluto, we’re starting to see geologic features on the dwarf planet’s surface. In its latest portrait from the New Horizons spacecraft, scientists are able to pick out distant surface formations, including a polygonal band of terrain stretching east-northeast across the planet, and a dark band near the south pole that’s now being called ‘the whale.’

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