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How Big Is Proxima Centauri’s Planet?

Earlier this year, astronomers announced amazing news: The closest star to the Sun, called Proxima Centauri, has a planet! Not only that, but the planet’s size is roughly the same as Earth’s, and at its distance from Proxima it getsShow More Summary

Earthrise, from the Moon

If you go outside over the next few nights shortly after sunset and look east, you’ll see the waxing gibbous Moon rising. In the twilight you can see quite a few details on its surface with your naked eye. For example, most obvious are...Show More Summary

Time's Arrow Explained by Minute Physics

Why does time flow from the past to the future? That’s an extraordinarily deceptively simple question. It seems so, well, straightforward. But when you start to really investigate it, you wind up going down a rabbit hole of twisty, complicated physics. When I first started reading about this, I was surprised to learn that it’s tied to entropy. Show More Summary

Would You Vote for Someone Who Thinks the Earth Is Flat?

Think about this for a moment: Would you vote for someone running for Congress —or to be President of the United States— who thought the Earth was flat? And I don’t mean someone who’s just flirting with the idea, but someone who really, truly believes the Earth is a flat disk floating in space. Show More Summary

Blue Origin Tests Its Rocket Escape System in a VERY Dramatic Way

Yesterday, Blue Origin had a helluva day. After a handful of short holds, the company’s New Shepard rocket lifted off for the fifth time from the Texas desert proving grounds, heading up into space. Like the previous four test flights,...Show More Summary

Seeing double?

Watch the amazing AIM animated video in virtual reality (VR glasses and phone needed)

Elon Musk Wants to Put a Million People on Mars

It’s no secret that Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. This week, he showed how he—and a lot more people—just might do it. At the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico on Tuesday—and after teasing it for many months—he finally revealed his vision for the future of SpaceX, and possibly humanity. Show More Summary

Shaking Hands with Pele

Our world is extraordinary. Of all the planets, ours alone has a surface driven by tectonics. Under the relatively thin crust lies a layer of incredibly hot rock under unimaginable pressures. The physics of this material is so bizarre...Show More Summary

Does Climate Change Affect Our Weather? Yes. Yes, It Does.

What’s the different between weather and climate? There are lots of ways to answer this. Weather is what’s happening now, while climate is what you expect long term. Weather is your mood, climate is your personality. Weather is a dog walking with its person, while climate is the person walking with the dog. Show More Summary

Blue Origin Will Test Its Capsule Abort System ... in Flight!

Come October, the private space company Blue Origin will put on quite a show. The company has already flown its New Shepard rocket four times into space—above the arbitrary but common-sense 100 kilometer height above Earth’s surface—and landed it successfully on its tail. Show More Summary

Hang out with Rosetta

Watch an ESA Hangout on 19 September at 12:00 GMT / 14:00 CEST with mission experts ahead of Rosetta’s grand #CometLanding finale

Down Under and Spinning the Wrong Way

We live on a giant spinning ball of rock and metal. That is such a counterintuitive statement! Standing on its surface, the Earth looks flat, but that’s an illusion borne of the Earth’s huge size compared to us. The spheroidal nature...Show More Summary

Hank Green Tells You How to Register to Vote

My friend (and former boss) Hank Green has done something amazing: He and his team (Nicole Sweeney, Nick Jenkins, Taylor Behnke Peters, and Derek Knabenbauer; Nicole and Nick worked on my Crash Course Astronomy series) have created a series of videos—50 of them!—giving U.S. Show More Summary

Two rocket failures get autumn off to a bad start

Cape Canaveral explosion destroys ‘Facebook satellite’, while mystery surrounds fate of Chinese mission September has not seen a good start for rocket launches, with both US and Chinese failures. At 9.07am EDT on the 1st, a SpaceX Falcon...Show More Summary

Time-Lapse: Hades Exhales

Getting an email from Harun Mehmedinovic is always good news: It means he has a stunning new time-lapse animation of the night sky he’s made. His most recent note to me did not disappoint: It’s an ethereally beautiful video showing the heavens above the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone, and holy wow. Show More Summary

Grasping Climate Change

These are facts: Global warming is real, and almost entirely caused by human activities. Natural variability in temperature is minor compared with what we’re doing. This increase in temperature is causing the climate to change, in many ways that are not only predictable but actually observed. Show More Summary

Astronomers Discover a New Planet Orbiting the Closest Star to the Sun!

There’s no other way to phrase it. This is HUGE news: Astronomers have found a planet orbiting the Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun! Holy wow. Seriously. Wow. Before I get into details, let me sum up what we know: The planet,...Show More Summary

Super Slow Motion Beauty of SpaceX Rockets

Every now and again, I think, everyone can use a little eye candy. In this case, though, it’s more than that: It’s also hope for the future. Watch this high-speed footage of SpaceX rocket launches and landings, and see what the future...Show More Summary

Global Warming Has Now Made the Northwest Passage a Thing

Over a century ago, explorers dreamed of a Northwest Passage, a route from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic by plying the waterways north of Canada, threading through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, huge icy islands north of Canada. Show More Summary

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