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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SPOILER ALERT - Fmr. NASA astronaut Tom Jones talks about how similar some of the aspects of the movie are to the real thing. Recorded at Popular Mechanic's screening of the movie on October 3rd, 2013. (Many key elements of the movie are discussed) -- Mor
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The European Space Research And Technology Centre (ESTEC), hosted its 2013 Open Day on Oct. 6th, 2013 in Noordwijk, Netherlands. Over 8,500 people attended and had a chance to meet astronauts, see its technical labs highlights, fly drones and more. Credit
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UC San Diego became the first university to design, print and test an 'additively-manufactured 'rocket engine. It was printed from Cobalt Chromium. The students were part of UCSD's chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Cr
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The meteor shower (Halley's Comet remnants) peaks from October 20 to 23 and the penumbral Lunar eclipse occurs on Oct 18th. Find out how and where you can view them.
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NASA's SDO and SOHO websites continue to be automatically updated during the government shutdown (with a disclaimer stating the data may not be up to date.) The two spacecraft delivered imagery of the eruption that occurred on Oct 8th, 2013.
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The NASA probe, that will study how the Gas Giant formed, will use a gravity-assist from Earth on October 9th, 2013 to gain the necessary momentum to reach its destination.
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Northern lights were on display over a small village on the archipelago of Lofoten in northern Norway. Photographer Chad Blakley http://lightsoverlapland.com was on hand to snap footage. (looped)
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An M2.8 class flare erupted from Sunspot AR1865 on October 9th, 2013. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the fireworks. (looped)
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Elliptical galaxy PGC 6240 is the product of a galactic merger. Astronomers liken it to a pale rose, that is constructed by hazy shells of stars. The Hubble Space Telescope had delivered sharply detailed imaged of the Hydrus constellation galaxy.
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NASA's SOHO spacecraft's cameras have been following a ~32-foot wide Kreutz family comet on its way to its fiery demise on October 10th, 2013. A comet of this size has a small chance of survival.
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NASA's SOHO has imaged a small comet disintegrating on October 8th, 2013 and a larger on-track to burn up on October 10th.
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A sun-diving Kreutz-family comet came to its conclusion on Oct. 10, 2013. NASA's SOHO was on hand to witness it.
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In November 2014, NASA will launch the Sunjammer with the worlds largest solar sail, which will unfurl from the compact spacecraft.
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The Sunjammer spacecraft will use a massive solar sail as propulsion in space on a mission to monitor the sun, test out the technology, and inspire people and businesses around the world with an innovative space technology.
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Rosetta's decade long trip to comet 67P/Churyumov--Gerasimenko out near the orbit of Jupiter is nearly over and in 100 days time the spacecraft will be woken from it's deep-space hibernation.
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Sir Richard Branson and George Whitesides talk about the Space tourism company's future at the largest gathering of future astronauts to date. The 'Your Flight DNA' event was hosted at Mojave Air and Space Port.
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Sir Richard Branson reaches out to the public to join in on the adventure that their spaceliner will provide.
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The 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle rose to an altitude of 744m (2440 feet) on October 7th, 2013. A single camera hexacopter got closer than any previous flight, delivering the stunning view.
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Engineers with the Indian Space research Organisation prepare the country's first Mars probe, the Mars Orbiter Mission, for its fall 2013 launch toward the Red Planet.
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Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submilimeter Array in Chile, astronomers probed the supermassive black holes that are at the center of most galaxies, principally to analyze the molecular gas their massive gravity wells propel into powerful jets.