astronomy

A French Inventor Proposed A Giant Mirror To Burn A Message On Mars

When we want to leave our mark on Mars today, we simply send over a few rovers to roll around in its red soil. But 150 years ago, scientists had very different plans for contacting the planet, including one French inventor who wanted to use the refracted light of the sun to sear a welcoming message into the Martian desert.


Beautiful Long Exposure Photo Of The Lunar Eclipse Rising Over China

Image Cache: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this long exposure photo of the lunar eclipse rising over the city of Chongqing, China, captured by photographer Zhou Yannan on 8 October. The zooming tail effect as the Moon went out of the eclipse is fantastic.


This Guy Just Won The Best Little Planet Photo Ever Contest

Photographers, you all can give up, because astrophotographer Göran Strand just won the best little planet photo ever contest with this amazing photo featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: The equinox night on the above Lake Storsjön in Jämtland, Sweden, with auroras and all.


Stunning Depictions Of Ancient Comets That Scared The Hell Out Of Humans

Long-tailed stars and mysterious glowing fireballs from the heavens were among the biggest and most fearful mysteries for stargazing humans throughout history. With the development of astronomy science, comets, meteors, meteorites and shooting stars became familiar objects of our universe, and with the advent of photography, depicting them became more precise. But before that talented artists created amazing drawings and paintings of these mysterious rocks.


Moon Seismometers From Apollo Are Still Helping Solve Physics Mysteries

When Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, they left flags and footprints, yes, but also dozens of scientific instruments. Among them was a network of seismometers originally meant to study moonquakes. Forty years later, data from these seismometers are still helping physicists understand how to detect elusive gravitational waves — a challenge even with our fancy modern technology.


Tiny Orbiting Planets Tell The Time On This Solar System Clock

We usually measure the time it takes for a planet in our solar system to orbit the sun in months and years. But given the compact scale of this desktop solar system, the anodised aluminium balls can instead be used to measure seconds, minutes and hours.


This Incredible Aurora Is 2014's Best Astronomy Photograph

Another year, and another set of winners of the Royal Observatory’s Best Astronomy Photographer. This year’s overall winner is this insane shot of an aurora captured over a glacier, which is so other-wordly it looks like it was made with special effects.


An Asteroid With Active Volcanoes Once Wandered The Early Universe

Back in 2008, astronomers detected an asteroid heading straight toward Earth. For the first time ever, they tracked the rock as it veered towards our planet and exploded over the Nubian desert. Now, pieces of the recovered meteorite are beginning to reveal its secrets — like how it once harbored an active volcano.


The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of outer space ever.


How To Turn An Old Satellite Dish Into A Working Radio Telescope

Radio telescopes, which you may remember Jodie Foster intently listening to for signs of alien life in Contact, pluck out radio waves from far away space. Ordinary communications satellite dishes also pick up radio waves, but of manmade origin. So hmm, how easily can you convert one into another? It’s totally possible, according to New Zealand astronomers who detail how they turned an obsolete satellite dish into a radio telescope for astronomy.


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