Space

Pillars of Creation will (probably) disappear in 3 million years

Pillars of Creation will (probably) disappear in 3 million years

Back in 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope captured the iconic image of what we call the Pillars of Creation with all of its beautiful dust clouds and other trappings of space. According to the European Southern Observatory, those dusty billows, due to “intense radiation” and the stellar winds, will likely evaporate (or erode) completely in about three million years — a long time in human years, but not so much when it comes to the universe.

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NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

After ten years in space, NASA's Messenger probe purposefully crashed on Mercury. The probe spent four years in a strictly elliptical orbit, using boosts of power from its engine every couple of months, before it finally ran out of fuel. After orbiting Mercury 4,104 times, NASA decided to purposefully crash the probe into the planet's surface using a string of precisely modeled manuevers. When Messenger finally crashed, it hit Mercury at 8,750 mph (14,000 kph) which is about 12 times the speed of sound on earth.

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Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Jess Bezos, founder of Amazon, has a couple of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. His latest rocket, the New Shepard, just pulled off a full hat trick with its first successful test flight, reaching an apogee of 58 miles high (307,000 ft) with a peak speed of three times the sound barrier. This especially good news for Bezos in light of Elon Musk's Falcon-9 rocket's blundered landing attempt for SpaceX.

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Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

We're approaching Pluto as we speak. NASA's New Horizons probe is headed towards the most controversial of our planetary siblings, and this week they've shown some of the closest images we've ever bore witness to in the history of humanity. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, "[these images] are just a little bit better than anything that's ever been obtained in history." Details are inbound. Details like a possible polar ice cap at one or both ends of this perpetually cold planetary body.

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NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

Pluto may have a polar cap, NASA has said, something that is based on data from the space agency’s New Horizons spacecraft. NASA released a bunch of information graphs yesterday, as well as images and animations taken by the spacecraft of Plus and its moon Charon. The images were snapped 13 times over the course of nearly seven days, having taken place from April 12 to April 18 from a distance of approximately 69 million miles. Shown in some of the images is a bright spot that may indicate a polar cap.

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AstroGro: a modular 3D-printable garden pod for astronauts

AstroGro: a modular 3D-printable garden pod for astronauts

Humans need to eat every single day, and that requirement puts an extra burden on space missions. Fresh food in space will be a necessity at some point, and dreamers have long developed ideas for how this could be achieved. One team in particular took those day dreams a step further and created a functional pod able to actually grow food, and though it can be used on our own crowded planet, it is made specifically for growing fresh food in space. Among many other things, it is scalable so that it can work in different environments, and it is modular.

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Blood Falls give hope for life on Mars

Blood Falls give hope for life on Mars

In Antarctica, Blood Falls spew forth unto the white landscape, gushing dark red liquid into the purity of the snow and ice. This unsettling image is giving scientists hope that one day they might find a mass equally strange on the Red Planet. Blood Falls belch deep water from far beneath the surface of the Antarctic dry valley, showing how areas of low resistivity can be found in areas where otherwise dry permafrost or otherwise high resistivity in glacier ice are dominant. In this brine that bursts from the ice, life can be found.

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Our Universe might just be a hologram

Our Universe might just be a hologram

What's that, you say - our universe is a figment of our imagination? Not so much. When you hear the world "hologram", you might immediately assume that we're talking about something akin to Princess Leia being projected by R2-D2 in Star Wars. She's there, but only sort of. In a study produced by Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) this week, mathematical researchers suggest that there's a possibility that our universe is, indeed, a hologram. We might just be living in a 2D space, rather than 3.

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NASA and UrtheCast partner to bring livestreaming from ISS

NASA and UrtheCast partner to bring livestreaming from ISS

UrtheCast, a Vancouver company, announced a new partnership with NASA on Thursday that will soon bring livestreaming video footage from the International Space Station, giving the public a birds-eye view of the planet so they can see what the astronauts see. The video footage will be fed to UrtheCast's own Web platform starting this summer from NASA's high-definition earth-viewing system, more commonly referred to as NASA's HDEV.

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NASA honors Hubble’s 25th birthday with glorious star cluster photo

NASA honors Hubble’s 25th birthday with glorious star cluster photo

It’s the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th birthday, and NASA has selected an official image to commemorate the day -- it is of the Westerlund 2, a stellar cluster with in excess of 3,000 stars, a bright gas cloud called Gum 29, and a distance from Earth of about 20,000 light-years. The image is spectacular to behold, and is joined by a video in which users can take a 3D journey into the massive star cluster, seeing it somewhat in the way they would if they were flying through it themselves.

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