Image Cache: If you're reading this post, congratulations on following basic instructions and not burning out your retinas while watching today's eclipse. For a few hours, folks across America could put aside the myriad horrors of this year and stare at the hot ball of gas literally keeping us all alive. It was actually quite pleasant!
Tagged With space
Are they stars? Are they lost planets? Brown dwarfs, the galaxy's dark, wandering orbs, are some of space's most perplexing features. They're larger than Jupiter but smaller than stars, glow on their own and, well, they're just really strange. A new analysis seems to explain at least a few of their mysteries.
If you were to rank the wildest things in the universe, there are a few obvious contenders: Gamma rays, fast radio bursts and quasars, for example. But no list would be complete without black holes and the black hole's less-dense cousins, the neutron star. These hyper-compressed things can do some mind-boggling warping to the shape of space itself. So, what happens if one were to eat the other?
The potential for striking gold at an op shop can be very much dependent on where that store is located. Given NASA's Kennedy Space Center is just an hour away, a pair of university students in Orlando were lucky enough to find six vintage flight suits buried in a box at a Salvation Army store that was going out of business.
Despite our squabbles here on Earth, the universe is full of so much beauty it's almost stupid. Jupiter is perhaps the most unreasonably beautiful thing in our entire solar system, and it's not shy about flexing. Recently, citizen scientists/JunoCam superstars Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created one of the most incredible enhancements of a Jupiter pic we've ever seen. It's rare that Jupiter out-Jupiters itself, but here we are.
Overachievers, this mob.
Australian Scientists have had a busy week - but that hasn't stopped them from helping to solve the mystery of what causes exploding stars - used to measure the accelerating expansion of the Universe.
NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is one of the universe's only unproblematic faves. For over 39 years, it's been cruising along in space, flying by Saturn and the Kuiper Belt, doing nothing but beaming back beautiful photos and scientific research. Now, the intrepid spacecraft — skirting serenely in interstellar space — is being bombarded with requests for nudes, the pee tape, and least predictably, questions about people's dads.
On 14 October 2014, our Sun let out a great big burp, a coronal mass ejection that swept through the Solar System at an incredibly fortuitous angle. Several spacecraft (and one intrepid Martian rover) detected the solar blast, resulting in an unprecedented experiment that stretched all the way from Venus to outer reaches of the Solar System.
On Monday local time, the Great American Eclipse will sweep across the United States. While a total solar eclipse may appear otherworldly and ethereal, there is a ton of science to suggest it is totally normal. But as evidenced by posts on Craiglist and other dark corners of the internet, mounds of scientific evidence won't stop people from believing some pretty bizarre eclipse myths — mostly, ones that involve sex and/or death.
Deadly radiation might have dampened hopes that TRAPPIST-1's seven planets could be home to some sort of life, but that hasn't stopped scientists from continued research and investigation. The latest revelation? TRAPPIST-1 is almost certainly older than our own solar system. Much, much older in fact.
TRAPPIST-1 would like to remind you that it was drinkin' beer while you were still rompin' around in your diapers — or whatever old people say. The ultracool dwarf star system, which first was announced back in February, has garnered a lot of interest because it harbours seven Earth-size planets. At least three of those planets are within the habitable zone that can support liquid water and potentially, life. As we're all clamouring to understand this alien system, a duo of researchers has figured out some pretty salient information about its star's age.
While we wait for a manned mission to Mars, we may as well figure out how astronauts will get around on the barren red planet. Maybe it'll be jetpacks. Or scooters. Or buggies. Or... we could skip all that and just go with a big, honking interplanetary rover that wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi video game or the Bat cave.
As things here on Earth become increasingly more Theatre of the Absurd, NASA's Cassini spacecraft whizzes millions of kilometres away, unaffected by our intra-human squabbling. After 20 years of heading toward and exploring the Saturn system, on September 15, Cassini will plunge itself into the planet's atmosphere, broadcasting the whole thing like a tearfully beautiful sequel to The Iron Giant.
If you, like me, are an overly sweaty nerd with no musical ability who has always dreamed of being a less sweaty nerd with some musical ability, now's your chance: A team of astronomers and musicians have created a program that allows you make songs with the sounds of planets orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. While their program won't make you less prone to perspiration, you will definitely have something that can rightfully be called a work of art.