Big Bang Was Actually a Phase Change: New Theory

How did the universe begin? The Big Bang is traditionally envisioned as the moment when an infinitely dense bundle of energy suddenly burst outward, expanding in three spatial directions and gradually cooling down as it did so. Now, a team of physicists says the Big Bang should be modeled as a phase change: the moment…

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Search for Life Shapes Future Mars Missions

As NASA’s Curiosity rover prepares to get its wheels in motion on Mars, the space agency is set to issue a new look at where exploration of the Red Planet could go in the years and decades to come – based on the theme “Seeking the Signs of Life.” The report, stemming from a Concepts…

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NASA – Hubble’s Close Encounter with the Tarantula

Turning its eye to the Tarantula Nebula, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken this close-up of the outskirts of the main cloud of the Nebula. The bright wispy structures are the signature of an environment rich in ionized hydrogen gas, called H II by astronomers. In reality these appear red, but the choice of…

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THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER IS UNDERWAY

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Worldwide observers are now reporting more than 30 Perseids per hour, a number that could triple during the weekend when Earth reaches the heart of the debris zone. Forecasters recommend looking during the dark hours before dawn, especially…

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Mars Science Laboratory: NASA’s Curiosity Rover Caught in the Act Landing

An image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance orbiter captured the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descended towards its landing site at Gale Crater. “If HiRISE took the image one second before or one second after, we probably would be…

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Alien Solar System Looks a Lot Like Our Own

Astronomers have discovered an alien solar system whose planets are arranged much like those in our own solar system, a find that suggests most planetary systems start out looking the same, scientists say. Researchers studying the star system Kepler-30, which is 10,000 light-years from Earth, found that its three known worlds all orbit in the…

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Geomagnetic Storms & Incoming CMEs

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 29-30 in response to a high-speed solar wind stream buffeting Earth’s magnetic field. Even stronger storming could occur on July 31st when a CME associated with yesterday’s M6-flare arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras for the next…

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Mustafa’s Space Drive: An Egyptian Student’s Quantum Physics Invention

Remember the name, because you might see it again: Aisha Mustafa, a 19-year-old Egyptian physics student, patented a new type of propulsion system for spacecraft that uses cutting edge quantum physics instead of thrusters. First, a little background: One of the strange quantum facts at work in Mustafa’s engine idea is that there’s no such thing as…

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