What Is a Supermoon and When Is the Next One?

The Moon follows an elliptic orbit around Earth. Naturally, sometimes it gets closer to the Earth than the other times. When it’s also full moon at its closest point to the Earth, it’s called Supermoon. As a result, the moon appears larger and brighter than usual in the sky.

The counterpart of a supermoon is called Micromoon. A Supermoon looks around 12% to 14% bigger (in diameter) than the Micromoon.

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Watch: National Ice Core Laboratory Stores Valuable Ancient Ice

The US government keeps a massive archive of ancient ice inside the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) in Denver, Colorado. This ice could hold important information about Earth and its climate.

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Watch: How to Build a Spaceship by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin, the American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company has teamed up with NASA, to build the next generation spacecraft: the Orion, which is intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at low Earth orbit (LEO)Notes 1, or beyond, to Moon and even to Mars! Yesterday, the company published a video titled “Spotlight Space: How to Build a Spaceship”.

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GoPro footage of Expedition 53 Spacewalk

Randy “Komrade” Bresnik Notes 1, the commander of the Expedition 53 (the 53rd expedition to the International Space Station) has published an HD video of their spacewalk. Watch the GoPro footage below:

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Dinosaur-killer asteroid hit “worst possible place”, say Scientists

According to the scientists who drilled into the Chicxulub crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, the asteroid hit the “worst possible place”. They summarized their findings so far in a BBC Two documentary titled The Day The Dinosaurs Died. The documentary presented by professors Alice Roberts and Ben Garod.

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Watch: How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Are we alone in the universe? Or are there any other “living planets” other than Earth? Until 1992, we even don’t know if there are any other planets around the other stars or not. In 1992, two Swiss astrophysicists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the first “exoplanet” (a planet orbiting another star than the Sun). Then discoveries continued. Especially after the launch of Kepler space telescope on March 7, 2009, which is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars, we quickly learned that our Solar System is not a rare phenomenon at all. As of November 2017, scientists have confirmed more than 3,500 exoplanets in more than 2,700 star systems. Now, the question is: are any of these planets (or the planets waiting to be discovered in the future) harbor life? If so, how we can find out? How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Currently, we have only one example: the Earth itself. Studying Earth and trying to figure out how we’d conclude the Earth harbors life from a distance (from space) can show us how to find out if a planet harbors life or not. Since 1997, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean.

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Journey to the ISS with Soyuz Spacecraft

The Soyuz (saw-yooz) is a Russian spacecraft. It was designed by USSR’s Korolev Design Bureau (now RKK Energia) in the 1960s, originally built as part of the Soviet manned lunar programs. The spacecraft remains in service today, and as of November 2017, all expeditions to the International Space Station use Soyuz vehicles Notes 1. One Soyuz is always remains attached to the station to allow a quick return in an emergency.

The European Space Agency (ESA) published a series of videos titled “Journey to the International Space Station” explaining how astronauts and cosmonauts go to the ISS and return back to Earth. Here are the amazing three parts videos below.

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Watch: Our Living Planet From Space

Life makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we’ve discovered so far – there may be extraterrestrial life, or maybe not Notes 1, but it is the only “living planet” that we know of. Since 1997 Notes 2, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean. This view of life from space is furthering knowledge of our home planet, and how it’s changing.

In the Northern Hemisphere, ecosystems wake in the spring, taking in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen as they sprout leaves – and a fleet of Earth-observing satellites track the spread of vegetation. Meanwhile, in the oceans, microscopic plants drift through sunlit surface waters blooming into billions of carbon-dioxide-absorbing, oxygen-producing organisms – and satellites map the swirls of their color.

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Living on Mars is a terrible idea, scientist says. We should colonize Titan, instead

In September 2017, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. They are ambitiously planning to send the first humans to Mars as early as 2024 to build the foundations for the first Martian city. But is Mars really the best place for humans to settle? Some scientists, like Amanda HendrixNotes 1, the American planetary scientist, thinks it’s not, and we should be looking somewhere else and colonize Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, instead.

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