How Does NASA Change a Spacecraft’s Orbit? Easy as Pi.

It’s “Pi Day” (March 14… 3.14… get it?) and, based on how we write the date in the U.S. anyway, all those of a sufficiently geeky nature take a moment to honor the universal usefulness of pi, the glorious Greek letter used to represent the mathematical ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The…

Voyager’s Long-Distance Valentine

This is from a post I originally published in 2010. I’ll keep trotting it out until it’s not cool anymore. (Which I don’t think will ever happen.) On February 14, 1990, after nearly 13 years of traveling the solar system, the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed the orbit of Pluto and turned its camera around to…

Interview With the Meteorite Man

Have you ever seen a meteor streak across the night sky? How about a very bright fireball (aka bolide), one that seemed to disintegrate in front of your eyes or leave a trail of vapor that hung in the air for a few moments? These “shooting stars” are actually tiny bits of rock and dust…

Book Review: The Universe in the Rearview Mirror

Physics is hard. I’m sorry, let me elaborate: physics is really hard. The sharpest minds of our entire species have been hammering away at the fundamental rules of our Universe for the past several hundred years, and while they’ve discovered an incredible lot about the tiniest bits of things that make up… well, everything… it’s…

The Coolest Calendar You’ll See All Year

Do you need a new calendar? Of course you do, the year’s almost over. (And if you’d forgotten, well.. you’re welcome.) Of course if you’re reading this post you’re most likely a fan of space exploration, and so you’ll need a calendar that’s going to entertain your fascination about space for a whole year. This…

Watch Tonight’s Eclipse Live!

If you can’t see the annular eclipse occurring tonight from where you are, you can watch it LIVE here on LITD! The feed above (providing it’s not over capacity) will be aired from Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico, beginning at 9 pm Eastern time — right in prime U.S. viewing location! You won’t need…

NASA: In Pursuit of Light

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Here’s a new video from the folks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD that will make you fall in love with the Universe…for the first time, or all over again. It’s a good reminder that, even though the shuttles are retired, NASA still has its…

“Wonders” App Takes You on a 3D Tour of the Universe

Can’t see the video below? Click here. If you’re a fan of space, you may have seen the BBC/Science Channel series “Wonders of the Universe”, hosted by the award-winning physicist Brian Cox. Professor Cox’s natural enthusiasm for astronomy is nothing short of infectious, and his explanations of far-out concepts help bring the amazing mysteries of…

Twitter Hearts Space Tweeps

Twitter released the video above today to promote the latest version of its mobile browsing app. I’m not sure why they made a new version, whether it’s to compete with other social media platforms or just offer up a change of scenery, but one thing I know for certain: the video recognizes its community of…

From the LITD Archives – VLT: A Space Opera

Can’t see the movie below? Watch on YouTube here. Here’s an enchanting video by the European Southern Observatory highlighting the discoveries of their Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, high in the mountains of the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama is the driest place on Earth, far from the light pollution of major cities, and thus…