space

space science hubble
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The Hubble website managed to explain what's happening in this picture while relating it all to Star Wars. 

In the center of the image, partially obscured by a dark, Jedi-like cloak of dust, a newborn star shoots twin jets out into space as a sort of birth announcement to the universe. Gas from a surrounding disk rains down onto the dust-obscured protostar and engorges it. The material is superheated and shoots outward from the star in opposite directions along an uncluttered escape route — the star's rotation axis.

Much more energetic than a science fiction lightsaber, these narrow energetic beams are blasting across space at over 100,000 miles per hour. This celestial lightsaber does not lie in a galaxy far, far away but rather inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way.



Apparently this process is all part of forming a new star. The Hubble website also includes a concept art that shows a clearer example of the beams of energy shooting out from the pancake of clouds and dust. 

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is like everyone's second dad who happens to know a lot about science.

But he's still just as embarrassing.

In a video from National Geographic, the scientist explains what it would take to have sex in space. And things get super S&M real fast.

"If you want to sort of get together [and] stay together, you need something to, like, keep you together during all the normal body movements that would characterize having sex in space," Tyson says.

"So yeah, just bring a lot of leather belts to keep things strapped down and you'll be just fine."

Neil gets even more awkward at the end of the video.

Just stop, Science Dad. Just stop.

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Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!

Bill Nye appeared on Whose Line is is Anyway and showed that this Science Guy has some serious comedy chops.

With fan favorites, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, the trio played a game where Stiles' hands were provided by Mochrie. And they were all in space because duh—science.

Things got hilarious very quickly, with Bill Nye having to taste some of the "space food."

Ryan ended the skit on this final gross note.

pluto flyby space planet - 8536709888
Via The Verge
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It took nine years and 3 billion miles, but at 7:49 a.m. EST the New Horizons spacecraft passed what was once the furthest planet in our solar system.

Traveling at a speed of 30,800 miles per hour, New Horizons zoomed by Pluto a scant 7,800 miles away. This is the closest we have ever got to Pluto and it will send back some of the best images of the maligned dwarf planet we have ever seen. Maybe this will convince those scientists to let it back into the club and give us the nine planets that we deserve.

But we've learned a lot so far. For instance, now we know how big the dang thing is.

This morning, NASA announced that Pluto is 2,370km (about 1,473 miles) in diameter, give or take 20m. That makes it ever so slightly bigger than Eris, a much darker and denser object that lives farther out in the Kuiper Belt. (Eris measures 2,336km in diameter.) Measurements of Pluto's size before today were estimates at best, their accuracy skewed by the dwarf planet's hazy atmosphere.



We've also learned that Pluto has a pretty big ice cap, filled with lots of nitrogen and frozen methane. (I could've told you the place was cold nine years ago.)

Since this mission happened billions of miles away and it takes four hours for the radio waves New Horizon sends us to be uploaded, we shouldn't expect to see any pictures filled with happy, waving aliens until tonight.

Also, by the way, the download speed on that information is 1 Kb/s. Dialup hell.



Here's a video explaining the delicacy and scale of this Pluto flyby:



As we got closer to the dwarf planet, however, all anyone could see was the image of Mickey Mouse's dog, carefully hidden within the terrain.

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If you have dreams of someday traveling into space, this video might make you drool with anticipation.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst put together this amazing timelapse using 12,500 images taken during his six-month Blue Dot mission aboard the International Space Station.

During his time up there, he had a number of major accomplishments. According to the ESA, these included "installing ESA's furnace that can suspend and cool molten metal in mid-air, a spacewalk to maintain and improve the Space Station, and the docking of Europe's last Automated Transfer Vehicle – the largest spacecraft to supply the research centre."

Gerst would often set up cameras to take photos while he conducted his work, and you can check out his full feed of images on his Flickr page.

Via AP
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NASA successfully launched its unmanned Orion spacecraft on Friday, the first step in a new era of deep space exploration which could one day lead to humans on Mars.

This 4.5-hour long test marks the furthest a ship built for humans has gone since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 - 15 times as far as the International Space Station into deep space.

It will make two orbits around the earth before soaring back down to Earth to test its heat shields and parachutes.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. has dubbed this "Day One of the Mars era," which will be followed by an attempt to capture an asteroid in the 2020s, and the ultimate goal of eventually reaching Mars in the 2030s.

Where this little guy will be waiting for us…

3D printer science space - 8386793984
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We aren't quite at Star Trek replicator levels of awesomeness yet, but we're getting there.

This week astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) printed the first 3D object in space.

A private company called Made In Space designed and built the printer for NASA through their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The printed piece is actually a part for the printer itself - a faceplate for the extruder.

So is the significance of all this?

"This 'First Print' serves to demonstrate the potential of the technology to produce replacement parts on demand if a critical component fails in space," said Jason Dunn, Chief Technical Officer for Made In Space, the company that designed the technology.

And maybe to make a fork and knife to eat all that meat the British keep sending up there.

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We can land a spacecraft on a comet, but a man's shirt has become the big news story here on Earth.

Physicist Matt Taylor was criticized this week for wearing a shirt with semi-naked women and guns on it during a livestreamed post-landing interview about the Rosetta Mission, deemed sexist and innaporpriate by many people, particularly women in science. And critics on Twitter voiced their complaints with #ShirtStorm and #ShirtGate.

But in a Google Hangout Friday with updates on the mission, a teary-eyed Taylor in a very neutral blue hoodie, apologized for the shirt.

"I made a big mistake, and I offended many people," he said. "And I'm very sorry about this."

Meanwhile on said comet, the Philae lander sent back its first image from the comet Thursday, and it has begun drilling in order to reposition itself into the sunlight. But this maneuver could also make Philae do a cartwheel and possibly put an abrupt end to the mission.

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This GoPro camera has boldly gone where no GoPro camera has gone before.

Well, they have been nearly everywhere at this point, but this one is definitely hard to beat.

Over the summer, astronauts from NASA and the European Space Agency inserted a sealed GoPro camera into a water bubble to investigate water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station.

They also shot the video with a 3D camera, so if you have red-blue stereoscopic 3D vision glasses, you can watch that version here.

solar flare science Sundog space win - 8371279872
Via NASA
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OMG. Is it the end of the world? Is everyone we love and care about soon to be incinerated by a massive radioactive blast from the sun? Will my iPhone still work?

This image, take by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, is actually a mid-level M-class flare, and one of several that have occurred in the same spot over the past few days. They are harmless and can't pass through the atmosphere, according to NASA, but stronger flares have been known to affect GPS and communications on Earth.

There was a streak of more intense X-class flares during the last week of October, which the Space Weather Prediction Center is calling "one for the history books."

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The people of Japan were surprised Monday night by a giant fireball shooting through the sky.

Was it Godzilla warning of his arrival or an alien pod soaring down to Earth to initiate an invasion?

Not quite, but it was still cool to watch. Experts say it was probably a bolide or "fireball" meteor, a piece of an asteroid that ignites upon entering Earth's atmosphere.

But that's what the aliens would want us to think, right?