Saturday marks 44 years to the day since the late Neil Armstrong set the first human foot on the moon. And on the eve of this milestone, Jeff Bezos -- a guy who wants to sell you everything on Earth while also preserving our means for escaping its bonds -- says his team has finally identified the remains of one of the rockets that took that Apollo 11 team the first leg of the journey toward our satellite.… Read more
Carl Sagan was not the first to make this observation, but perhaps he put it most succinctly when he wrote in 1973, "Our sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes, were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star stuff."
That's what immediately came to mind when we saw Spanish artist Sergio Albiac's Stardust, a series of portraits made up of the stuff of the universe. There's something about that small piece of knowledge that is comforting; although we may not last forever, the stuff of which we are made continues on, in some form or another.
Creativity, Albiac believes, is also eternal -- and while the artist might die, what if a work could continue on? … Read more
Although the solar maximum isn't expected until late 2013, we're starting to see some pretty spectacular effects. On Tuesday, the sun erupted in a massive coronal mass ejection, or CME, that sent billions of tons of particles into the solar system in the direction of Earth.
It's expected that this wave of particles will pass Earth within about three days, causing a phenomenon known as a geomagnetic storm. This is normal, and will cause no absolutely direct harm to humans.
The sun enters solar maximum, the period of its cycle in which it is most active, every 11 years. This means we'll see a rather marked increase in the number of coronal mass ejections and flares, with some pretty interesting effects here on Earth. … Read more
Here at Crave, we love space photography, and this year's David Malin Awards produced some stunners.
Amateur astronomers and photographers from around Australia vied for top honors -- and thousands of dollars in equipment from Canon -- in the contest, which was judged by David Malin, the renowned astrophotographer for whom the awards were named.
Winning images were chosen based on their ability to capture the beauty of the sky, and the photographer's interest in astronomy, in an "aesthetically pleasing way." Martin Pugh emerged as overall winner, taking the grand prize of a 5D Mark III … Read more
In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft was carrying out a survey of Neptune's moons and rings but inexplicably zipped by the planet without registering what would turn out to be truly big news. That finding would have to wait until earlier this month when Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute, was working with images sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope, when he discovered the presence of the smallest moon in the Neptunian system.
The moon, designated S/2004 N 1, is estimated to be no more than 12 miles across. That helps explain why Voyager 2 failed to notice its presence. NASA said the moon was about one hundred million times fainter than the faintest star you can see with the naked eye.… Read more
While Earth spins around the sun at around 67,000 mph, the sun rotates around the Milky Way galaxy at a zippy 140 miles per second. With such a massive force moving through space, there's bound to be a trail of cosmic dust following behind, but it's always been a mystery -- until now. For the first time, scientists have combined the observations of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite and mapped the solar system's tail, but the length remains unclear.
Capturing the tail, which is composed of solar wind plasma and magnetic field, required three years of observation based upon data from IBEX's powerful energetic neutral atom imaging system. As neutral atoms (and other particles) from other parts of the galaxy flow through our solar system, those atoms eventually collide with faster charged particles -- usually carried by solar winds -- and exchange an electron.… Read more
Pack a sack lunch. Load the kids into the family rocket. We're going to the moon! In some far distant future when every family has a space-worthy vehicle, the typical summer vacation may skip the requisite stop at the Grand Canyon and instead head for the moon. New legislation proposes establishing the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon.
Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, both Democrats, this week introduced HR 2617, which refers to the Apollo lunar program as one of the greatest achievements in American history.… Read more
There's nothing more awkward than when a bit-too-friendly cosmonaut serving with you on the International Space Station finally asks you out.
Caught off guard by his forward request to join him for yet another viewing of "Contact" followed by a romantic spacewalk, you mumble an excuse about having to wash your hair and try to quickly float past him to the nearest hatch.
The showering cop-out isn't just weak sauce because it's an old sitcom trope, but it's gotta sting all the more with the knowledge of the fact that there is no traditional showering on the ISS.
The tale of the Arkyd telescope is like that of the "little engine that could."
What seemed like a difficult task -- raising $1 million from a Kickstarter campaign to launch the world's first public space telescope -- was overcome on Monday as the crowdfunding goal was met with more than $1.5 million in pledges.
Not only did asteroid mining company Planetary Resources achieve its goal, it surpassed it, which means that the extra money can be used to add even more features to the telescope.
More than 17,600 people backed the Kickstarter campaign -- … Read more
Chances are, most of us will never have the opportunity to walk on the moon, but we might have the opportunity to send a tiny spacecraft in our stead. A Kickstarter project from Pocket Spacecraft wants to launch a moon mission full of personalized space gadgets that would report back to their Earth-bound owners.
Pocket Spacecraft is attempting to raise $440,000 to build out a whole fleet of its tiny spacecraft (called Scouts) and invest in an Interplanetary CubeSat Mothership to transport the little tykes to the lunar surface.… Read more