Space

DART

DART Today, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Robert Duval, Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Morgan Freeman are proud astronauts and scientists. Twenty-four years after the summer that gifted the world with the films Armageddon and Deep Impact, astronomers have finally started the process of catching up with late-20th-century film science. Both movies deal with …

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Peak of Eternal Light

Peak of Eternal Light Today is the first full day of Autumn 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere. The fall equinox means we are currently experiencing nearly identical lengths of night and day. We have “day” and “night” because the planet spins on its axis. Earth rotates once every 24 hours with respect to the sun. …

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Eros

Eros   Millions of asteroids orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter, a band known as the asteroid belt. Most of these bodies circle our star peacefully, chugging around the solar system year after year, without incident. Not all asteroids reside in the belt, however. Some of these rocks hurtle around the sun in orbits that …

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Ceres

Ceres [Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series exploring real locations featured in a novel and television series, called The Expanse. In this sci-fi epic set in the 2300s, Earth and Mars have become independent “nations,” while millions of humans inhabit the asteroid belt, where they mine lucrative resources for the Inner …

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The Belt

The Belt [Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series exploring real locations featured in a novel and television series, called The Expanse. In this sci-fi epic set in the 2300s, Earth and Mars have become independent “nations,” while millions of humans inhabit the asteroid belt, where they mine lucrative resources for the …

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Space Arrows

Space Arrows Sagittarius is the archer of the firmaments. A sky pattern identified by the ancients, Sagittarius was one of second-century astronomer Ptomelmy’s 48 constellations. The Latin word for “archer,” the grouping is still one of the 88 significant constellations by modern standards. We often represent Sagittarius as a centaur – half human, half horse …

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Webb’s First Lightshow

Webb’s First Lightshow After decades of development and a half-year of space travel, the James Webb Space Telescope finally delivered the clearest images of the deep universe ever captured, as NASA released the first four pictures from the spacecraft. These photos display two points with crystal clarity: the universe is utterly gorgeous and the James …

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The Moon Rocket Mystery

The Moon Rocket Mystery Today’s title might sound like a Jules Verne novel, but it takes place in the present of the 21st century, not Verne’s future 21st century.  On 24 June 2022, NASA released an odd press briefing. It noted how astronomers discovered a rocket heading toward the moon in late 2021. They calculated …

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Uranus Rains Diamonds

Uranus Rains Diamonds [This article is the third in a series on Uranus. Read Part I: The Tilting of Uranus and Part 2: Uranus Stinks to make sure you’re fully up to date with Uranus.] We have certainly learned over the years that Uranus is a weird place. Uranus tilts and Uranus stinks, but, as we probe …

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