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What Causes Stars to Look Pointy in Pictures?


When stars are portrayed in media, they are often shown with long spikes emanating from them. Perhaps the most common example is that of the “star of Bethlehem” which, according to the story, led the wise men to baby Jesus.

Dawn Mission Back on Track to Ceres After Exiting Safe Mode


Image Credit: NASA Good news and bad news! NASA’s Dawn spacecraft was recently forced to enter safe mode after a high-energy particle event made life for the mission more interesting, but the spacecraft is OK and has now resumed operation.

Interactive Scale Of The Universe

Trying to imagine the smallest things in our universe is a rather difficult task. Similarly, it is hard to truly conceive of the largest things in the cosmos—supermassive black holes, large quasar groups, and the most massive stars.

History Of The Universe Compartmentalized In 1 Year


Image Credit: NASA/FQTQ Pointing telescopes into the heavens is not merely an arbitrary practice used to study our surroundings.

Spacesuits of the Future May Resemble Streamlined Second Skin


The MIT BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that offers improved mobility and reduced mass compared to modern gas-pressurized spacesuits.

How Many People Have Ever Walked The Earth?


You’ve probably heard the bold and ridiculously untrue assertion that a large percentage of the people who have ever lived are alive right now.

Astronomy Photo of the Day (APotD); 9/22/14 — NGC 2841


Image Credit: Hubble, Subaru; Robert Gendler (STScI/NASA/CADC/NRC/CSA) This exquisite beauty is NGC 2841; a spiral galaxy that lurks more than 46 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major.Its impressive looks are only beaten by its large stature.

Could you Hike to Space on Mars?


If you were to take a hike to the highest point of Olympus Mons, would you be in outer space? If, not, how close?

Study Shows How Epigenetic Memory is Passed Across Generations


Nucleosome structure. Image credit: Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2005 A growing body of evidence suggests that environmental stresses can cause changes in gene expression that are transmitted from parents to their offspring, making “epigenetics” a hot topic.

SpaceX Blasts 3-D Printer To ISS In Stunning Night Flight


A time-exposure photo of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 on Sunday. (Photo: AP/Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today) Earlier today (Sunday, September 21st) a SpaceX cargo ship headed out to the International Space Station (ISS).

Watch Live as MAVEN Meets Mars!


MAVEN Meets Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: NASA. Watch here live, below, for the Mars orbital insertion of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, on Sunday, September 21 (or early Sept.

“Sparky” Helps Scientists Understand Early Galaxy Formation


Artist’s impression of stars being born inside a young elliptical galaxy. Credit: NASA, Space Telescope Science Institute 11-billion light years away, nearing the edge of the observable universe, there is a galaxy that is helping revolutionize our understanding of galaxy formation.

Astronomy Photo of the Day (APotD): 9/21/14 — NGC 6745


NGC 6745  (Image Credit: NASA, ESA/STScI/AURA/Acknowledgement: Roger Lynds) We have a vast collection of colliding galaxies cataloged, but this example — designated with the name NGC 6745 —  is surely one of the most unusual-looking ones.

Childbirth vs Getting Kicked in the Balls

As I’m sure you’re all aware, there is a “who’s tougher” debate being waged in the public eye. Is it more painful to give birth to a child or to get kicked in the family jewels?

Electric Car Breaks 200 mph Barrier, Sets New Land Speed Record


BYU’s Electric Blue, a world-record holding E1 streamliner. Image credit: BYU An electric car built by BYU engineering students has once again set a world land speed record, this time besting the previous mark by nearly 50 mph.

Planarians, Regeneration, and the Medicine of the Future


Planaria regenerating its brain (and memories).( Image credit: Lobo/Malone/Levin/Tufts) Planarians are rather small flatworms.

Introducing the “Sea Tree”


It’s no secret that we’ve been facing multiple issues pertaining to the environment over the last few decades, from climate change, to pollution (intentional or not) and all of the things in between.

Astronomy Photo of the Day (APotD): 9/20/14 — Ruby Red Gems Shine


M83 Color Composite  (Credit: European Southern Observatory/Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin via: Skyfactory) This galaxy isn’t one that needs introduction, but if you aren’t familiar with it, let me refresh your memory.

Modified Dark Matter


Dark matter is an aspect of the universe we still don’t fully understand. We have lots of evidence pointing to its existence (as I outlined in a series of posts a while back), and the best evidence we have points toward a specific type of matter known as cold dark matter (CDM).

Is Earth In Danger from Asteroids Flying By Without Warning?


Image Credit: NASA Recently, we’ve heard a number of news stories that sound something like this: “Astronomers just found a a large life-killing asteroid that will skim past the Earth tomorrow.


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