Pine Island: An Iceberg as Large as New York City

Scientists are closely monitoring a giant iceberg in the making, as a crack in Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier widens.

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A Black Hole Engine to Power a Starship

Two scientists have laid out the basic technical specifications of a black hole powered starship. The concept embodies a surprisingly hopeful vision of the future promoted by Stephen Hawking. How feasible is it technically? How far could it take humanity one day in the distant future?

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Tribute to John Glenn

July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016. Aviator, engineer, astronaut, US Senator. The first American to orbit Earth. The oldest person to fly in space.

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Neptune Through the Eyes of Kepler

In late 2014 and early 2015, NASA’s Kepler telescope observed the eighth planet in our solar system, Neptune. Kepler detected Neptune’s daily rotation, the movement of clouds, and even minute changes in the sun’s brightness, paving the way for future studies of weather and climate beyond our solar system.

Video from NASA.

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Mars’ Atmospheric Erosion

Scientists have long suspected the solar wind of stripping the Martian upper atmosphere into space, turning Mars from a blue world to a red one. Now, NASA’s MAVEN orbiter is observing this process in action, providing significant data on solar wind erosion at Mars.

Video from NASA

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The End of Cassini’s Odyssey

The Cassini spacecraft, having flown through the Saturn system for almost twenty years, is nearing the end of its mission. On September 15th, Cassini will enter Saturn’s atmosphere, relaying data from eight of its twelve instruments until the spacecraft breaks up. This revolutionary project is now considered one of the greatest space missions of all time, on a parr with Voyager and Apollo. It has amassed one of the greatest photographic collections on record, with stunning details of moons, rings, and the giant planet itself. Just as scientists say goodbye to this historic experiment, they are getting ready for a deluge of revealing new data. In this video, they also take the time to reflect on Cassini’s many accomplishments and what it has meant to science and humanity itself.

Video from NASA

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Voyager: Silent Ambassador 40 Years Later

NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft in the late summer of 1977, These remote ambassadors still beam messages back to Earth 40 years later. After delivering unprecedented views of the outer planets, they are now sending back data from beyond the solar system. How many millennia, how many millions of years will their journey last?

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“I Will Rescue You” — Scenes from Hurricane Harvey

After dumping tens of trillions of gallons of water on Texas, Hurricane Harvey swamped millions out of their homes. No one was spared: Black, White, Asian, Latino, Rich, Poor, and scraping by. The men and women of the Armed Services led battalions of volunteers who set to work with only one thought in mind: I Will Rescue You. The expressions on faces tell stories ranging from quiet heroism, to despair and profound relief.

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Cassini at Titan: A World Unveiled

As the Cassini-Huygens mission winds down to its Grand Finale, we recognize it as one of the greatest voyages of discovery in the history of science. We have learned and discovered more things about a previously unknown dynamic system–a system that’s a billion miles from us: the Saturn system–than we ever could have imagined.

One of the pinnacles of that has been the discoveries on Titan. Titan has turned out to be a very complex world. It has geology. It has methane rain. It has lakes and seas. It has dunes of organic molecules. And it has a lot more secrets that it’s still hiding from us. I think that really what makes people so excited about Titan is this combination of familiarity and alienness.

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Space is exciting