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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The comet has most likely disintegrated under the high heat and gravitational stress of the Sun on Nov. 28, 2013. It is not visible in Solar Dynamics Observatory footage and NASA scientists confirmed that they do not see it. All things ISON here: http://g
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Reports of Comet ISON's demise may have been premature. Its nucleus may still be intact and the coma is brightening as of Nov. 29, 2013 although the outbound ISON seems smaller after its encounter with Sol. All things ISON here: http://goo.gl/rgQ0u6
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A wispy remnant of the comet survived its whip around the Sun, but is quickly starting to fade from sight. Imagery from NASA/ESA SOHO probe (Nov 30th - Dec 1st) and NASA's STEREO spacecraft (Nov 28th and 29th) are time-lapsed. All things ISON here: http:/
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NASA is vacuum testing the carbon fiber barrier between the Orion capsule and the propellent stage. Its main purpose is to keep dangerous gasses away from the spacecraft. More about Orion here: http://goo.gl/MGS25O Credit: NASA / MSFC
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Want to know where to find Venus and Jupiter in the morning or the double star in Cassiopeia. Check out the Hubblesite's latest guide to the best places to look in the night sky. - Best Telescope Reviews and Buying Guide: http://goo.gl/0qokRy Credit: Spac
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When a planet transits its star, the change in light tells its tale. Size, mass and atmospheric composition can be derived. Especially critical: Does it have oxygen, the marker of life? ---- Signs of Water Found on 5 Alien Planets: http://goo.gl/uxz5Qb Cr
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In one of the few behind-the-scenes looks at the private space company's assets, the hydrogen/oxygen fueled BE-3 rocket engine is test fired. Its being tested for use on the company's orbital launch vehicle. Read more here: http://goo.gl/5Osslt
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The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane program launches its third mission, OTV-3, on Dec. 11, 2012 using a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The mission marked the first reflight of an X-37B robotic space plane. Read more about the secret m
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Venus shines its brightest at 4.9 magnitude this month, the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks in mid December and more!. - - Best Telescope Reviews and Buying Guide: http://goo.gl/0qokRy
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory was treated to another lunar transit on Dec 2, 2013. The SDO team compiled the very best views from different imagers onboard the spacecraft. -- Breathtaking Sun footage from the spacecraft here: http://goo.gl/Qz4Chm Cred
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NASA's Cassini probe has captured the highest resolution video yet of Saturn's odd, hexagon shaped jet stream that spins around the gas giants north pole. Read more here: http://goo.gl/xBU9s8 Credit: NASA / JPL
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On Nov 24th and 28th, 2013, Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario captured imagery of the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane in the night sky. Orbiting Earth for over year, the mission's purpose and capability is "in the black." --- Read more about the secr
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On 5 December 2013, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a sun storm that recently rotated into Earth's view spewing plasma. The largest eruption is over 15 Earth-diameters "tall."
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Approximately every 11 years, the magnetic polarity of the Sun reverses. 16 years of high resolution magnetic field line data are here animated n magnetic lines. Neon green = positive, purple = negative. -- When will the poles flip? - NASA explains: http:
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Dr. Holly Gilbert, NASA Solar Physics Laboratory Chief/Goddard Spaceflight Center, explains what happens when the magnetic field of the Sun reverses polarity and when the process will be complete.
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Japanese Astronaut Koichi Wakata managed to see Comet ISON's tail from the International Space Station before it disintegrated on its pass around the sun.
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Data from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding instrument, MARSIS. aboard ESA's Mars Express has been used to create this animation of the Red Planets north pole. The ice cap is about 1000km in diameter (621 miles).
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The space rock was discovered on October 8th, 2013 by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. It came within 4.2 million miles and currently has a 1 in 63000 chance of impacting Earth in 2032. Read more about it here: http://goo.gl/UYDdCd Credit
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The European Space Agency's Planck Observatory has delivered many discoveries in its 4.5 year career, ranging from our Milky Way backyard to the first few moments of the Universe, 13.82 billion years ago.
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Even with the Moon obscuring the view, NASA's All-Sky Fireball network captured Orionid Meteor Shower's fireballs slam into the Earth's atmosphere. The two seen in this video were captured by several cameras in the United States on Oct. 20, 2013. Read mor