Space

How to spot Mars at its brightest in the sky this weekend

How to spot Mars at its brightest in the sky this weekend

The planet Mars is about to be the closest it's been to the Earth in over a decade this weekend, and you'll be able to step outside and spot our red neighbor with the naked eye. Sunday, specifically, marks the "Mars opposition," which is when the sun and Mars are on the opposite sides of Earth, but you can peer into the sky just after sunset on both Saturday and Sunday and find what looks like a bright red star.

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Sky Canvas man-made meteor shower rains glowing pellets from space

Sky Canvas man-made meteor shower rains glowing pellets from space

Everyone loves fireworks, it's beautiful to see explosions of light and sound in the air for a festive occasion. A company called Star-ALE wants to take fireworks to the next level. Rather than shooting fireworks into the sky from ground based launching systems, the company wants to rain a light display into the sky from space in an idea called Sky Canvas.

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New Hubble image of Mars shows details 20-30 miles across

New Hubble image of Mars shows details 20-30 miles across

The Hubble space telescope may be aged, but it still takes some of the most spectacular images of our solar system that you will ever see. NASA has shown off a new image of Mars taken by Hubble and it is high resolution showing off detail on the surface of Mars as small as 20-30 miles across. It never ceases to amaze that the Hubble Space Telescope can snap pictures that detailed of a planet that is 50 million miles from Earth.

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The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The International Space Station is home to all manner of experiments, being used to test everything from how plants grow in space to how whiskey is affected. The ISS is also home to to various Earth microbes that are being exposed to a microgravity environment, presenting researchers with a chance to study how such an environment affects them. The space agency is performing a three-part study on these microbes, and it might get its final batch in a shipment from space today.

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Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

A 15-year-old Canadian teenager has seemingly discovered a long-lost Mayan city after noticing previously-undiscovered correlations between maps of star constellations and the locations of the largest (known) Mayan cities. At some point William Gadoury realized that the two matched up — something, apparently, no one had ever noticed before. After using his discovery to match 117 Mayan cities with 22 star constellations, he discovered that one was missing…and, soon after, satellites revealed that he had probably pinpointed it correctly on a map.

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NASA: Kepler has discovered (at least) 1,284 new planets

NASA: Kepler has discovered (at least) 1,284 new planets

NASA has unleashed some big news today: out of thousands of potential new planets spotted by the Kepler space telescope, 1,284 of them have been verified as new planets, and that could just be the start of things. It all started with Kepler’s July 2015 catalog of potential planets — there were 4,302 of them in total. Following an analysis, NASA determined that 1,284 of them are probably planets (greater than 99-percent odds), and that another 1,327 potential planets may be added to the ‘verified planets’ list after additional analyses are wrapped up.

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SpaceX shows suprise rocket landing from 3 different views

SpaceX shows suprise rocket landing from 3 different views

The rivalry between Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin has just taken on a new angle and in a new arena. The two are now competing for YouTube views as much as successful rocket landings. On the heels of Blue Origin releasing a "ride-along" video of its landing last April from the vantage point of an onboard camera, SpaceX is now showing off its own, equally tense, landing from last week. And it has not one but three clips to show off. Sadly, none of them from onboard the rocket itself.

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Blue Origin’s rocket landing seen again from a camera

Blue Origin’s rocket landing seen again from a camera

There is a saying about how third time's a charm and for Blue Origin, backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, that definitely has a ring of truth to it. Early last month, the space travel company celebrated the third landing of its New Shepard sub-orbital rocket. Along with its third safe landing on terra firma, it was also the rocket's third flight as well, a major step forward in the quest for reusable commercial flight rockets. While Blue Origin doesn't have a new launching and landing yet, the company is filling in the gap by releasing a video of the rocket's April landing, this time from the vantage point of a camera on the rocket itself.

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Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

This morning the planet Mercury passed between our planet and our Sun, allowing us to see its silhouette with clarity. This is one of about 13 times the planet passes between ours and the sun per century - the last time this happened, you probably didn't have a smartphone - back in 2006. The image you see above comes from NASA and was captured by Bill Ingalls. NASA has also provided a time-lapse video showing the passing of the planet across the face of our sun.

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NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA has released a bunch of patents for its technologies so that anyone can use them. A total of 56 “formerly-patented” technologies developed by the government are now available in the public domain, meaning they can be used for commercial purposes in an unrestricted manner. To make it easier to find these technologies and others like them, NASA has also created a new searchable database that links the public to thousands of the agency’s now-expired patents.

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SpaceX didn’t fail at landing a rocket at sea after all

SpaceX didn’t fail at landing a rocket at sea after all

Some recommend your expectations low so that you will be pleasantly surprised when you succeed but won't take it too hard when you fail. That might not be the reasoning behind SpaceX's less than enthusiastic outlook as it launched another Falcon 9 to put the JCSAT-14 commercial communications satellite into orbit. It already set a low probability for making a safe sea landing this time around because of the specifics of this mission. Well, guess what? SpaceX nailed it yet again. So yes, it successfully landed another rocket at sea.

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GoPro on rocket captures stunning videos in near-space

GoPro on rocket captures stunning videos in near-space

UP Aerospace Inc launched a 20ft. SL-10 rocket into space last November, and it did so with a GoPro action camera strapped to the side. That video was recently showcased by GoPro, showing stunning views of “near-space” as it reached an altitude of about 396,000 feet. In it, we see incredible views of Earth, space, and the rocket itself as its blasts free of its first stage.

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