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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As the comet approaches its date with the Sun (Nov. 28th, 2013), it brightness is growing in magnitude. This has opened the door to backyard astronomers with smaller telescopes to glimpse the possible 'Comet of the Century'.
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NASA's public outreach program is looking for innovative ideas of locating hidden asteroids that lurk around our world. SPACE.com caught up with NASA's Andrew Filo at their Maker Faire booth.
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A new camera named ArTeMIS was installed on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile. It returns imagery in millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths and can expose light from dense clouds of interstellar dust grains. Read more here: htt
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The densest galaxy known may have been found by combining data from NASA's Hubble and Chandra X-ray space observatories, plus several land-based telescopes. The galaxy, known as M60-UCD1 is about 54 million light years from our own.
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As the Moon passes through Earth's magnetic field, two lunar-orbiting spacecraft look for turbulence, particle acceleration, and magnetic reconnection. These phenomena control how the solar wind interacts with Earth's magnetosphere.
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According to models, temps and precip. will change dramatically over the next 87 years, with amounts varying per location. Worldwide land area temperatures are predicted to increase, along with areas of heavier and decreased precipitation.
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A new hybrid small satellite called CASSIOPE is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX rocket in 2013. It is carrying a payload named Cascade, whose purpose is to move high volume data anywhere in the world.
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Astronaut Cady Coleman's 180+ days in space put her in a perfect position to advise actor Sandra Bullock on her role in Gravity; from how to move to what to fear, plus some role model grooming tips: Hint: In space, no one can style your hair.
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The Canadian satellite carries two payloads. 1. ePOP: suite of instruments for research on the effects of phenomena such as solar storms in the upper polar atmosphere. 2. Cascade: will demonstrate a high-capacity digital courier system.
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A meteoroid traveling at ~114,000 mph, slammed into Earth's atmosphere almost directly over Columbus, Ohio. It was visible from 14 U.S. States. NASA's all-sky camera in Hiram, Ohio captured the fireworks at 11:33pm EDT on Sept. 27th, 2013. (looped) Read m
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The Orbital Sciences' vehicle was captured by the International Space Station's robotic arm on September 29th, 2013.
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On September 29th, 2013, the Earth's Sun roused itself from the unusual slumber of recent weeks with a massive filament eruption that was partially Earth-directed. NASA's SDO and SOHO spacecraft captured image data of the fireworks.
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'Gravity's' star describes how making the space film changed her and altered her view of astronauts. Bullock discusses the physical and artistic demands of this role, and its story of tragedy and emotional survival, with SPACE.com's @DavidSkyBrody. Read m
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The main ingredient in industrial plastic number 5, has been detected in the atmosphere of the Saturn moon. The propylene molecule was missing in Voyager 1's probe of the moon in 1980, and had baffled scientists until now.
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Launch team comments on their first West Coast SpaceX Falcon 9, which lifted the Cascade Smallsat&Ionospheric Polar Explorer [CASSIOPE] from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex-4 in a crucial test of vehicle and military crew.
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The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) consists of 66 antennas and is located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. North America and Asia each provided 25 and East Asia gave 16. They will helps answer cosmic origin questions.
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To shoot his "love song to space," director/co-writer Cuarón and his team had to invent new cinema technologies, while exploring the deep metaphors around humans in orbit. He spoke with SPACE.com's @DavidSkyBrody about microgravity movie making. Read more
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During the CAVES 2013 mission, astronauts from NASA, ESA and CSA spent two weeks in the dark, cold and serene interior of the Sa Grutta cave in a Supramonte mountain in Sardinia to simulate Mars-like exploration.
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ESA employs 130 ton satellite dishes, dispersed in key areas all over the world to monitor the skies for transmissions. They boost faint signals from spacecraft and in reverse create high energy transmissions to relay commands. Credit: ESA
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Which do astronauts dread more: Death in orbit? Or breaking something unique and expensive? ISS astronaut Cady Coleman and "Hubble Repairman" Mike Massimino open up to SPACE.com's @DavidSkyBrody of personal worries and human relations in space.