Earth Day, celebrated on April 22nd in the United States for the last 46 years, celebrates and promotes awareness of the delicate balance of the eco...
Michael E. Brown, a researcher in planetary astronomy at Caltech is a servant of the 24th letter in the English alphabet, forever searching for the next big body in the Solar System, the yearned planet 'X'.
Spring has come at last to simulated Mars. You might be asking: what does that mean? Are the snows melting? Are soft green blades breaking through the bare, furrowed ground?
It's quite a task these days to stay in tune with real time when we have become so estranged from Nature and Her cycles. Perhaps we might use this leap year as a sort of reality check.
Juno broke the record recently when it traveled over the 493 million miles set previously by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. It has still to reach Jupiter, where light from the Sun is 25 times weaker than on Earth.
Since we arbitrarily impose a beginning and an end on our equitable distribution of days, let's reflect on some of the cycles that dominate our existence: the big ones over which we have no control, the smaller ones we might hope to influence, and those about which we don't yet know.
The concept of a Dyson Sphere is not a new one. It was first described by futurist writer Olaf Stapledon in his 1937 science fiction novel, Star Maker.
Though both dark matter and dinosaurs are independently fascinating, you might reasonably assume that this unseen physical substance and this popular biological icon are entirely unrelated. And this might well be the case. But the Universe is by definition a single entity and in principle its components interact.
It's a question that plagues amateur science geeks everywhere: where to go on vacation? The water park is too crowded, and furthermore, teeming with the kind of aggressive microbial subcultures that make relaxation difficult.
"There is no doubt that those Martians perished while waiting to get on the ride," says professor Irwin Lafferdean of the Institute of Interplanetary Amusement. "Can even advanced species survive the quest for reasonably-priced fun for all ages? I don't know. Damn it, I just don't know."
The problem, as with most astronomical phenomena, is the huge timescales in which things happen. We therefore rely on supercomputers to feed them data and get simulations which show us what happens in thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, or billions of years.
Asteroids are leftover rocks from the creation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago.
The Sun's twilight zone is actually full of living worlds -- geologically speaking. And we have no idea why that is, and how that happened. Which is the way discoveries in science are supposed to be made -- as surprises.
Ultimately, it does not matter whether Pluto is called a planet or not. People get together, exchange arguments, give new names to the things around them. But Pluto is whatever it is, and has not changed a bit since we demoted it into a dwarf planet.
"What planet is Donald on?" Well, wonder no longer. The Donald has been located!
The first impressions you glean from the released New Horizons high-resolution images is that Pluto is vastly different from its dwarf planet cousin Ceres. Ceres lives in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and its surface has been pummeled by asteroids, leaving behind thousands of craters from meters to tens of kilometers across.