Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse…

(Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

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How Distant Planets Affect Earth’s Ice Ages And Gave Rise To Civilization

Business Insider, By Leslie Baehr

Human-induced warming is sending Earth into frightening and uncharted climate territory — but humans are not the first force to cause colossal changes to our climate.

Other celestial bodies, including planets, tug at Earth causing it to move in ways that affect our ice caps in history-shaping ways, as discussed […]

Gravitational waves: have US scientists heard echoes of the big bang?

Discovery of gravitational waves by Bicep telescope at south pole could give scientists insights into how universe was born

The Guardian, By Stuart Clark, March 14

There is intense speculation among cosmologists that a US team is on the verge of confirming they have detected “primordial gravitational waves” – an echo of the big bang […]

Scientists await spacecraft’s wake-up call ahead of first-ever comet landing

AFP – One of the most ambitious missions ever undertaken by European scientists will pass a critical test on Monday, when the Rosetta spacecraft “wakes up” after almost three years of deep-space hibernation and prepares for the first-ever comet landing.

Rosetta has travelled to a point located around 675 million kilometers from the sun since […]

Chinese spacecraft lands on moon

CNN, By Sophie Brown, December 14

China’s first lunar rover landed on the moon Saturday, less than two weeks after it blasted off from Earth, Chinese state news reported.

The landing makes China one of only three nations — after the United States and the former Soviet Union — to “soft-land” on the moon’s surface, […]

Neutrinos from deep space detected on Earth

CBC, By Emily Chung

Discovery at Antarctica’s IceCube opens up new area of astronomy, may solve cosmic ray puzzle

High-energy subatomic particles called neutrinos from beyond our solar system have been detected on Earth for the first time ever.

The researchers involved say the discovery opens up a new area of astronomy and has the […]

Lost world — what happened to Mars?

CNN – You may have heard it before: billions of years ago Mars probably looked more like Earth does now, with clouds and oceans and a much thicker atmosphere. It may even have had some type of microbes. But now it’s a barren, frozen desert.

So what happened? Where did the air and water go?


Radio Bursts Discovered From Beyond Our Galaxy

(NASA) -Astronomers, including a team member from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have detected the first population of radio bursts known to originate from galaxies beyond our own Milky Way. The sources of the light bursts are unknown, but cataclysmic events, such as merging or exploding stars, are likely the triggers.

A radio […]

Applicants wanted for a one way ticket to Mars

(BBC) – Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet.

Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even […]

Al Worden: ‘The loneliest human being’

Seven men in the history of humanity stand apart from the rest of us. These are the Apollo command module pilots who spent time alone in orbit around the Moon, while their colleagues walked on the lunar surface. When they were on the far side of the Moon, these astronauts were completely out of contact, […]

Now, Voyager

Voyager 1 has crossed over into a medium that is not the Solar System and not quite interstellar space, NASA announced yesterday.

Launched 35 years ago, Voyager 1 and her sister craft, Voyager 2 were intended as emissaries from earth to whatever civilization it encounters over the course of millions of years.

The most interesting […]

Bright comet ‘lighting sky’ as it flies by Earth

BBC, By Rebecca Morelle, March 8

Stargazers could enjoy a rare spectacle as a bright comet swings into the Northern Hemisphere.

The icy mass, called C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs, should be visible with binoculars or a telescope from 8 March.

But in the following days, it will become even brighter and could be seen with the […]

Cosmos may be ‘inherently unstable’

BBC, By Jonathan Amos, February 19

Scientists say they may be able to determine the eventual fate of the cosmos as they probe the properties of the Higgs boson.

A concept known as vacuum instability could result, billions of years from now, in a new universe opening up in the present one and replacing it.


Scientists hail unique, and surprisingly damp, Mars find

Los Angeles Times, By Amina Khan, January 5

Los Angeles — Scientists have identified the first meteorite to originate from the surface of Mars, a 2.1-billion-year-old specimen that contains about 10 times more water than any other space rock from Mars.

Discovered in the Sahara Desert, the rock – called NWA 7034 – is unlike […]

It’s Full Of Stars!

The new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope in Australia hopes to find over 700,000 new galaxies in the next year. Awesome. Nothing like a bit of news such as this to give you some perspective as you contemplate the coming year.