Are we alone in the Universe? Probably. Like the others.

The American cartoonist Matthew Inman published a brilliant comic titled “The Oracle” on his website “The Oatmeal”. Inman’s comic gives the most probable answer (IMHO) to Fermi Paradox, which can be summarized in these three words – “Where is everybody”.

Continue reading “Are we alone in the Universe? Probably. Like the others.”

Sputnik 1: the 62nd anniversary of humanity’s space exploration

On October 4, 1957, the first artificial satellite. Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union. Thus, began the space age. It orbited the Earth until January 4, 1958. Sputnik made 1440 orbits and traveled about 70 million kilometers (43 million miles).

The successful launch shocked the world, according to NASA, and giving the former Soviet Union the distinction of putting the first human-made object into space. Its “unanticipated” success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War.

The word ‘Sputnik’ originally meant ‘fellow traveler,’ but has become synonymous with ‘satellite’ in modern Russian.

Today is the 62nd anniversary of Sputnik 1’s launch. Russian space agency Roscosmos has published a video on Twitter to celebrate.

Continue reading “Sputnik 1: the 62nd anniversary of humanity’s space exploration”

Wandering Earth: rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet

Matteo Ceriotti, University of Glasgow

In the Chinese science fiction film The Wandering Earth, recently released on Netflix, humanity attempts to change the Earth’s orbit using enormous thrusters in order to escape the expanding sun – and prevent a collision with Jupiter.

The scenario may one day come true. In five billion years, the sun will run out of fuel and expand, most likely engulfing the Earth. A more immediate threat is a global warming apocalypse. Moving the Earth to a wider orbit could be a solution – and it is possible in theory.

Continue reading “Wandering Earth: rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet”

Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator

What would happen if you stuck your body inside a particle accelerator? The scenario seems like the start of a bad Marvel comic, but it happens to shed light on our intuitions about radiation, the vulnerability of the human body, and the very nature of matter. Particle accelerators allow physicists to study subatomic particles by speeding them up in powerful magnetic fields and then tracing the interactions that result from collisions. By delving into the mysteries of the Universe, colliders have entered the Zeitgeist and tapped the wonders and fears of our age.

Continue reading “Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator”

Watch: ancient distance and apparent size of the Moon

Today, on average, the Moon is 384,400 km (238,000 miles) away from the Earth. But that was not always the case. Our satellite was much closer in the past.

Now, Dr. James O’Donoghue (@physicsJ on Twitter) created the animation below showing how close was the Moon to the Earth and how was its apparent size in the sky in ancient times (and then now).

Continue reading “Watch: ancient distance and apparent size of the Moon”

What Earth’s changing climate can teach us about altering the surface of Mars

Gareth Dorrian, University of Birmingham and Ian Whittaker, Nottingham Trent University

In a rare instance of environmental success, the United Nations has just announced it believes the damage to the Earth’s protective ozone layer will be fully restored by the year 2050. This stands in stark contrast to the increasing alarm over the climate emergency, caused by an increasing greenhouse effect.

Continue reading “What Earth’s changing climate can teach us about altering the surface of Mars”

The Impact of Overtourism on our Environment

When you think of the Grand Canyon or the Great Smoky Mountains, beautiful scenery immediately comes to mind. You might begin to imagine the incredible views, towering cliffs, lush landscapes and color schemes that far exceed anything you’ve ever seen in a painting.

Continue reading “The Impact of Overtourism on our Environment”

Expedition 61 Launch from the ISS – an amazing view

American astronaut Christina H. Koch shot an amazing view of the Expedition 61 launch from the International Space Station (ISS).

Koch tweeted: “What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space. Caught the second stage in progress! We can’t wait to welcome you onboard, the crew of Soyuz 61!”

Continue reading “Expedition 61 Launch from the ISS – an amazing view”