The billionaire founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. He provided an update on their Mars colonization plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)Notes 1 in Adelaide, Australia this week. Musk plans sending 1 million people to Mars using BFRNotes 2, and “making life multiplanetary”. He has highly ambitious plans like launching and landing at least two uncrewed cargo ships on Mars as early as 2022.
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Launched on October 15, 1997, NASA’s Cassini spacecraftNotes 1 went into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. Since then, it has taken thousands of photos of Saturn, the second-largest planet in the Solar System, its prominent rings, and moons. And on September 15, 2017, Cassini plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere and disintegrated. Here are the 20 most beautiful photos that the spacecraft has sent back to Earth during its 13-year voyage around the gas giant.
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On Monday, August 21, an estimated 2 million to 7.4 million Americans traveled to see the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to go coast to coast in the United States, which went from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. But, some of them were unlucky, as the weather was overcast in some places. But, luckily for them (and for us), NASA captured some amazing and beautiful images of the eclipse and published them on their web site.
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On September 1, 2017, a potentially hazardous asteroid named 3122 Florence skimmed past Earth from a mere 4.4 million miles (7 million km) distance. The huge asteroid, which is around 2.7 mile (4.4 km) wide, was the “biggest object passed this close to Earth since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began”, according to Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The close flyby was captured with an amateur astronomer using a 80 mm F5 Apo telescope and a Canon 6D camera, and published on youtube.
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You have probably heard references made to the “dark side” of the Moon – there’s even a Pink Floyd album with that name. But, in fact, there’s no “dark side” of the moon. Because it is not illuminated by the Earth, it is illuminated by the Sun. All the surface of the moon lit by the Sun as the Moon rotates.
Continue reading Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?
Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But all things must pass. The life on Earth, even the planet itself, won’t last forever. What’s more, the humans may go extinct before our planet (and probably before the life on it) dies out.
Here some possible (and horrible) ways how planet Earth could die.
Continue reading How Earth Could Die – 8 Horrible Ways
Our Solar system is big, and vast, despite it is really small compared to our galaxy, not to mention the complete universe. To put this into a perspective, you can think yourself as a photon emitted by the Sun. It takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth after a photon has been emitted from the Sun’s surface. And it takes 5 hours to get out to Pluto from the Earth. The edge of the Solar System is far beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Continue reading Leaving the Solar System at the Speed Of Light
People believe many things which are actually not true, and some of them are even ridiculous. Here are the top ten misconceptions about Earth.
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What is the size of Earth? How big our planet is compared to our planets, and even stars? When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with the really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” the space (we are far, far away from that – and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth, as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.
Continue reading The Size Of Earth Compared to Other Planets and Stars (and the Universe)
In 240 BC, the Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician, music theorist and librarian Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276 BC – c. 195/194 BC) calculated the circumference of the Earth without leaving Egypt. Here’s how:
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