Outer Space & Universe
Outer Space & Universe
Space, also known as outer space, is the near-vacuum between celestial bodies. It is where everything (all of the planets, stars, galaxies and other objects) is found.
On Earth, space begins at the Kármán line (100 km above sea level). This is where Earth's atmosphere is said to stop and outer space begins. This is not a firm boundary but is a convention used by scientists and diplomats.
Items in space are free to move back and forth; up and down; and left and right. These three dimensions are what make 3D space. Items also move forward through time, which is sometimes called the fourth dimension.
The majority of space contains very little matter and so most of it is a vacuum. Scientists do not know how big space is but we do know that space is extremely big, and is always expanding.
According to the big bang theory, all matter and energy in the Universe was compressed into a very small space. Then it exploded and started expanding. Space is still growing in size today; this means the distance from one galaxy to distant galaxies is getting longer.
Gravity is the force that keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth and the planets in orbit around the Sun. Gravity can stretch and bend space similar to how a heavy ball placed on a stretched sheet of rubber will cause the rubber to stretch. The scientist who discovered that space can bend is named Albert Einstein. How gravity bends space is part of his theory of general relativity.
Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Taikonauts and Spationauts
An astronaut is any person who is trained by NASA to travel and perform tasks in space. Although the space traveler may not necessarily be a United States citizen, each astronaut does go through a rigorous training regiment by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Other space travelers go by other names then astronaut depending on their country of origin.
In the United States, astronaut is derived from the Greek words ástron (star) and nautis (sailor). While, in Russia, a space traveler goes by the name космонавт (English: cosmonaut), which is derived from the Greek words kosmos (universe) and nautis (sailor). Westerners call a space traveler from China a taikonaut, based on the 1998 writings of Chiew Lee Yik and Chen Lan where the term tàikōng (great emptiness), Chinese for “space”. In China, the term yuháng yuán (universe navigator) is used for space traveler.
Only the United States of America (United States), Russia (earlier, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), and the People’s Republic of China (China) have sent manned spacecraft into space. Other countries have assisted these countries by sending their own space travelers on space missions. For instance, a French space traveler is called a spationaut (from the French word spationaute), which is derived from the Latin spatium (space) and Greek nautis (sailor). (plural in Greek nautes = sailors)
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A Space Launch System rocket RS-25 engine was test fired at Stennis Space Center on Nov. 29, 2023. It was the "third hot fire in a critical 12-test certification series," and engine gimbaling was evaluated, according to NASA. Credit: NASA Stennis Space Ce
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A full duration test-fire of the new Ariane 6 rocket was conducted on November 23, 2023. See highlights of the test here. Full Story: https://www.space.com/europe-ariane-6-rocket-test-fire-november-2023Credit: ESA - European Space Agency
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Sunspot AR3500 blasted a M9.8-class solar flare on Nov. 28, 2023. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured footage of the flare in multiple wavelengths. Views from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory show an Earth-directed coronal mass eject
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NASA Mars Odyssey orbiter has been rotated to capture imagery of the Red Planet that would be similar to what an astronaut would see. Odyssey Deputy Project Scientist Laura Kerber explains. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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This image was captured with Webb’s Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam). Infrared imaging is powerful in studying newborn stars and their outflows, because the youngest stars are invariably still embedded within the gas and dust from which they are formed. The
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This luminous tangle of stars and dust is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1385, that lies about 30 million light-years from Earth. The same galaxy was the subject of another Hubble Picture of the Week, but the two images are notably different. This more rece
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A cluster of galaxies, concentrated around what appear to be two large elliptical galaxies. The rest of the black background is covered in smaller galaxies of all shapes and sizes. In the top left and bottom right, beside the two large galaxies, some gala
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In this image, which was captured using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), the galaxy appears to be quite isolated: visually, it looks a little like a loose stroke of bright paint across a dark background. However, looks can be deceiving. NGC 281
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The James Webb Space Telescope's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) has captured a stunning view of Herbig Haro object 797 (HH 797). “Herbig-Haro objects are luminous regions surrounding newborn stars (known as protostars),” according to NASA.Credit: Space.com
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The Ingenuity helicopter on Mars flew for the 59th time on Sept. 16, 2023. See views of the flight from the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity cameras. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechMusic: Quest for the Skies by Christoffer Moe Ditlevsen / courtesy of http://www.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 23 Starlink satellites from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 11:20 p.m. EST on Nov. 27, 2023 (0420 GMT on Nov. 28). Full Story: https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-launch-group-6-30The Falcon 9's first st
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Low-Earth Orbit has been home to the International Space Station for 25 years. Hear from the people helping make history daily with the laboratory and from some of those who made it possible from the start!
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El astronauta de la NASA Frank Rubio, quien acaba de cumplir una misión récord, es el presentador de un video con el primer tour narrado en español del hogar de la humanidad en el espacio: la Estación Espacial Internacional. El recorrido por la estación e
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Microgravity gives researchers the chance to learn how humans, machines, and materials react to months-long stays. It jumpstarts medical research, proves material strength, and generates new markets for items that can only be made in orbit.
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China’s Long March 2D rocket launched a ‘test satellite’ from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Nov. 23, 2023. The satellite will test “internet technologies,” according to China Central Television. Credit: Space.com | footage courtesy: China Central
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The supermassive blackhole at the center of elliptical galaxy M87 is connected to a massive jet that "extends for thousands of light-years," according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Astrophysicist Dr. Padi Boyd explains. Credit: NASA's Goddard Spa
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A North Korean Chollima-1 rocket launch, and possible first-stage explosion, on Nov. 21, 2023 was captured by a meteor camera run by Yonsei University's Survey Astronomy Lab in Seoul, South Korea. Full Story: https://www.space.com/north-korea-rocket-stage
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The sun erupted with a flurry of solar flares and filament eruption on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23, 2023). See NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory's view of the fireworks. Credit: Space.com | NASA/SDO | edited by Steve Spaleta (https://twitter.com/stevespaleta)
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The Ariane 6 heavy-lift rocket's single Vulcain 2.1 engine was fired up for a long duration test on Nov. 23, 2023 at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Full Story: https://www.space.com/europe-ariane-6-rocket-test-fire-november-2023Credit: Arian