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 Orbital Science's cargo craft has left the ISS behind after close to a month on October 22, 2013. Its destructive Earth re-entry will commence on October 23rd.
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Designs for the World View Enterprises' space-qualified capsule has been classified as a Commercial Space System by the Federal Aviation Administration. Find out more http://goo.gl/kAvuzH
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A fireball was picked up by the New Mexico State University meteor camera on October 19, 2013. (looped)
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On October 19th, 2013, the Nucleus Gallery in California hosted a party for the grand opening of their new art exhibit. Over 50 pieces of commissioned artwork was available for viewing and sale ranging from photos to painting to knit dolls.
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A Phiddipus johnsoni, or red-backed jumping spider (named Nefertiti), has returned from its time on the International Space Station. Its hunting skills were compromised when attempting to capture its prey, due to its readaptation to gravity on Earth. More
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Visualizers at Goddard Space Flight Center made this video of a 'canyon of fire', created by the eruption of a 200,000 mile long solar filament ripping through the sun's corona.The different colors highlight different temperatures.
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An M9-class eruption lofted a faint coronal mass ejection towards Earth on Oct. 24th, 2013. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the fireworks. For more on solar flares, lick here http://goo.gl/enNIDx
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Photos here: http://goo.gl/gVoRnA Sunspot AR1882 has made its presence known with a flurry of flares on October 25th, 2013. The second eruption registered an X1.7-class flare. The same Sunspot unleashed flares before and after the X.
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Sunspot AR1882 has made its presence known with a flurry of flares on October 25th, 2013. The second X-class eruption registered in the X2 range. Both X-flares are seen in the video.
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B612 Foundation CEO and fmr. NASA astronaut Ed Lu talks about why an infrared space telescope is needed to search for hundreds of thousands of undocumented near-Earth asteroids and why they are doing it privately. More here: http://goo.gl/CX5Sgd
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Sunspot AR 1875 erupted with an X.1-class flare on October 28th, 2013. Geomagnetic storms are expected to reach Earth by Oct. 30th. This is the third solar X-flare in 4 days. Read more here: http://goo.gl/lsUrZ8 Credit: NASA / SDO Mash Mix: SPACE.com
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Asteroid 2013 UV3 will fly closer than the Moon (~.7 Lunar distance) on Oct. 29th, 2013. It is estimated to be between 39 and 89 feet wide. Learn more here: http://goo.gl/ua8Qvp
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ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) undocked front he ISS on October 28th, 2013. It delivered food and supplies the station. It will be de-orbited on Nov. 2 and destroyed upon re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.
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The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) aboard NASA's LADEE mission, fired its data-laser data downlinking an astonishing 622 Mbps and an error-free upload rate of 20Mbps.
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ESA's Mars Express orbited the Red Planet nearly 12,500 times by October 2013. Its high resolution stereo camera images, assembled in this "fly-around," show riverbeds, volcanos, canyons and craters. Learn more about Mars: http://goo.gl/3MHlQv
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Learn more about Chelyabinsk Meteor: http://goo.gl/PBlN1C The space rock that stunned the world in Feb. 2013 had shallow entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Sandia National Laboratories has created a simulation of its effect on the atmosphere.
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How can Earth save itself from city-killing space rocks, or an all out asteroid apocalypse? Shuttle era astronaut Tom Jones lays out the 3 most effective ways, and a possible fourth.
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For the fourth time since Friday Oct. 25th, the Sun has unleashed an X-class flare (the highest class of flares). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the fireworks emanating from Sunspot AR1875 on Oct. 29th, 2013.
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NASA Marshall Flight Center's 3-D print project manager Niki Werkheiser gives a few examples of the spare parts that a 3D printer on the ISS can provide.
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The Canadian astronaut that took the world by storm with a series of videos from the International Space Station stopped by the SPACE.com office to share his stories. (VIDEO IS JOINED IN PROGRESS)