NASA’s plan to nudge an asteroid

In the sci-fi movie Armageddon, astronauts intercept a killer asteroid heading for Earth, saving mankind. NASA is taking the first step to develop the technology to do just that, by planning a mission to slightly alter an asteroid’s orbit. The mission will also serve as an initial test of a solar-electric propulsion system and other technologies essential for a manned […]

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How the moon was made

How the moon was made

People always wonder how the moon was made. The birth of the planets 4.5 billion years ago was extremely violent. They grew to full size by absorbing rival planet embryos in a series of titanic collisions—one of which probably gave Earth its moon (below). The moon’s large size, low density, and other features suggest that it emerged from an explosion […]

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Mystery Mars Rock Found On Surface

A mystery Mars Rock

Space scientists are trying to figure out how the mystery Mars rock shaped like a jelly doughnut suddenly appeared on Mars’s surface, in full view of the rover Opportunity’s camera. NASA scientists noticed the mystery Mars rock when reviewing images taken by Opportunity as it explored Endeavor Crater. One shot depicted an empty patch of ruddy ground, but the next […]

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Russia has plans to nuke Earth-bound asteroids, if necessary

From 2012 to 2015, Russia researched ways of deflecting Earth-bound asteroids using nuclear weapons and came up with a best-case scenario. The Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine Building, an arm of Russia’s state-run Roscosmos space agency, worked on the asteroid problem with other countries (including the United States) in a program called NEOShield, which was largely funded by the […]

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Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe is no easy task. New data from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite is giving astronomers their most complete look yet at the very earliest moments of the universe. Planck, which measures microwave radiation, has created a heat map of the temperatures present in the universe a mere 370,000 years after the Big Bang. The data […]

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The most Earth-like planet yet

Have we found Earth’s twin? For the first time, astronomers have identified a planet outside our solar system that is both Earth-size and orbits its star in the so-called Goldilocks zone, where temperatures may be “just right” for supporting liquid water—and, therefore, life. Researchers discovered the planet while reviewing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which has spent the past […]

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