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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)

 

  • 07:09 Students Send Ants To Space Station | Video

    Students Send Ants To Space Station | Video

    by shub Added 495 Views / 0 Likes

    NASA Associate ISS Program Scientist Tara Ruttley talks about the experiment and other science on the latest Orbital Sciences cargo run.

  • 01:28 Robonaut 'Waltz': Space Station Droid's Legs Get Movin' | Video

    Robonaut 'Waltz': Space Station Droid's Legs Get Movin' | Video

    by shub Added 476 Views / 0 Likes

    New limbs of the robotic ISS crew member, Robonaut 2 (R2), are demonstrated to the 'Waltz of the Blue Danube' music. Legs will increase the mobility of the robot for work in and out of the Space Station. Read More about Robonaut here: http://goo.gl/fFGx2y

  • 02:24 What Comet Probe 'Rosetta' Did Before It Hibernated | Video

    What Comet Probe 'Rosetta' Did Before It Hibernated | Video

    by shub Added 691 Views / 0 Likes

    The European built probe is the most complex mission to a comet. Since its launch in March 2004, it has flown by Earth 3 times, snapped images of asteroids and more. It has been hibernating since 2011 and will be awoken in Jan. 2014.

  • 02:48 RoboSimian: Four-Footed Robot Competes at DARPA Challenge | Video

    RoboSimian: Four-Footed Robot Competes at DARPA Challenge | Video

    by shub Added 491 Views / 0 Likes

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's entry performs in the disaster-response competition at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in December 2013.

  • 04:54 Where Flood Waters Flowed On Mars - Spacecraft Images Animated

    Where Flood Waters Flowed On Mars - Spacecraft Images Animated

    by shub Added 543 Views / 0 Likes

    The Kasei Valles outflow channel system extends ~1865 miles (3000 km). ESA's Mars Express photographed the area in 2004. A 67-image mosaic was used to create this animation.

  • 02:04 Commercial Human-Rated Spacecraft: Prototype Tests Continue | Video

    Commercial Human-Rated Spacecraft: Prototype Tests Continue | Video

    by shub Added 638 Views / 0 Likes

    NASA Commercial Crew Program partners Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX are on-track to provide astronauts with rides into orbit at much less cost than government-built vehicles.

  • 05:00 Planet Orbiting Sun's Twin Discovered In Star Cluster | Video

    Planet Orbiting Sun's Twin Discovered In Star Cluster | Video

    by shub Added 732 Views / 0 Likes

    Exoplanets have been found in star clusters but this is the 1st orbiting a star almost exactly like the Sun. ESO's HARPS planet hunter instrument, mounted on a Chilean telescope, found the hot gas world in long-lived cluster Messier 67. -- Read more here:

  • 01:20 Star Cluster Messier 67 Harbors Planets | Fly-Through Animation

    Star Cluster Messier 67 Harbors Planets | Fly-Through Animation

    by shub Added 648 Views / 0 Likes

    The old star cluster in the Cancer constellation is home to at least 3 planets. - one of which orbits the Sun's twin. ESO's Harp planet hunter instrument, mounted on a Chilean telescope, found the hot gas world. This animation reveals one world. Read more

  • 01:02 Weirdly Passive Black Hole Discovered Orbiting Fast-Spinning Star | Animation

    Weirdly Passive Black Hole Discovered Orbiting Fast-Spinning Star | Animation

    by shub Added 717 Views / 0 Likes

    The MWC 656 system consists of a massive "Be" star and a companion black hole. The star rotates at very high speed, ejecting an equatorial disc of matter that is transferred to the black hole through an accretion disc. Read more here: http://goo.gl/qNF6B3

  • 01:12 Dangerous Mercury Levels Produced By Arctic Sea Ice Cracks | Video

    Dangerous Mercury Levels Produced By Arctic Sea Ice Cracks | Video

    by shub Added 665 Views / 0 Likes

    Clouds rising from the cracks near Barrow Alaska are pumping mercury down to the ice and ocean. It can be toxic to animals residing in the area, and can contaminate the food chain.

  • 04:22 Ants In Space Work Hard To Move In Microgravity | Video

    Ants In Space Work Hard To Move In Microgravity | Video

    by shub Added 650 Views / 0 Likes

    Deborah Gordon, who researches animals' collective behavior, explains her experiment aboard Space Station into how ants would react to varying surfaces in a microgravity environment.

  • 01:24 Giant Planet Forming Solar System Discovered By Japanese Astronomers | Animation

    Giant Planet Forming Solar System Discovered By Japanese Astronomers | Animation

    by shub Added 640 Views / 0 Likes

    Astronomers from the Osaka University and Ibaraki University have found evidence of dust particles colliding to form protoplanets around a young star named HD142527. It was observed using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

  • 04:38 Commemorating Neil Armstrong's Flight Testing Years | Video

    Commemorating Neil Armstrong's Flight Testing Years | Video

    by shub Added 638 Views / 0 Likes

    From 1955 to 1962, Neil Armstrong was a research pilot at the NASA Research Flight Center now named in his honor. While flying there, he tested numerous cutting edge craft, including rocket powered jets and jet capable of sweeping its wings.

  • 04:26 Nuclear Bomb Sensors Detected New Year's Asteroid Strike | Video

    Nuclear Bomb Sensors Detected New Year's Asteroid Strike | Video

    by shub Added 629 Views / 0 Likes

    A global network of infrasound detectors, used to monitor for nuclear explosions, pinpointed the location of the asteroid 2014 AA's atmospheric airburst. The explosion was estimated to explode at 500 tons of TNT force.

  • 02:22 Polar Vortex Chilling Effects Spied by Heat-Seeking Satellite Cam | Time-Lapse Animation

    Polar Vortex Chilling Effects Spied by Heat-Seeking Satellite Cam | Time-Lapse Animation

    by shub Added 670 Views / 0 Likes

    The weather phenomenon that brought frigid temperatures -- minus 18°F in some places -- to the United States in the first week of 2014 was probed by NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

  • 00:15 60-Year Global Temperature Visualization Is Distressing | Video

    60-Year Global Temperature Visualization Is Distressing | Video

    by shub Added 637 Views / 0 Likes

    Since 1950, average temperatures have increased 1.1°F to an average of 58.3° in 2013. Increase in greenhouse gas levels continue to drive the temperature increase.

  • 02:18 Lagoon Nebula is a Sea of Starbirth | Video

    Lagoon Nebula is a Sea of Starbirth | Video

    by shub Added 630 Views / 0 Likes

    110 light-years across and 5000 lights year from Earth, the Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523) is one of just two star-forming regions  visible to the unaided eye from the northern hemisphere. Europe's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile capture these images.

  • 01:11 Supernova Explosion Seen In Nearby Galaxy | Video

    Supernova Explosion Seen In Nearby Galaxy | Video

    by shub Added 644 Views / 0 Likes

    The light from an exploding star in the Messier 82 (M82) galaxy was first photographed from Earth on January 22nd, 2013. The galaxy is ~12 million light years away so the explosion occurred about 12 million years ago.

  • 03:06 Xombie Rocket Diverts Itself To New Landing Pad | Video

    Xombie Rocket Diverts Itself To New Landing Pad | Video

    by shub Added 875 Views / 0 Likes

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory tested its G-FOLD divert algorithm experimental landing system aboard the Masten rocket in Sept. 2013. This algorithm allows the rocket to autonomously select an alternate landing site.

  • 02:30 'Fat Pipe' For Astronauts Coming Via New TDRS Sat | Video

    'Fat Pipe' For Astronauts Coming Via New TDRS Sat | Video

    by shub Added 573 Views / 0 Likes

    The third generation advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) will deliver a boost in transmitting power and a higher frequency band for video and data. It is set to launch on January 23rd, 2014.TDRS-L and Atlas V Readied for Liftoff

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