2017 Will Be a Busy Year for Florida’s Space Coast

Florida’s Space Coast is anticipating 32 rocket launches in 2017, according to the USAF’s 45th Space Wing which manages Patrick AFB and the launch region around Cape Canaveral. This is nine more than the amount that launched from the Cape in 2016 (two of which I was lucky enough to be present for) but still…

X-Ray Observatory Finds Galactic Black Holes Hidden “Like Monsters Under The Bed”

Many if not all galaxies—including our Milky Way—harbor enormous, supermassive black holes at their centers, surrounded by disks of superheated gas and orbiting stars caught in a deadly gravitational grip. When these black holes swallow large amounts of gas or even whole stars, they can fire out huge flares of material and radiation that’s can be seen far across the…

JWST Isn’t the Next Hubble, It’s the First James Webb

For more than 25 years the Hubble Space Telescope has been giving us unprecedented and breathtaking views of our Universe, looking deep into distant galaxies and revealing the structures and secrets of our own Milky Way. Hubble literally allowed us to rewrite the book(s) on what we know about the Universe, and to this day it’s still going strong. But…

Did NASA Purposely Cut Space Station Footage of a UFO?

Various news outlets today have run with a story about a supposed UFO spotted on live video streamed from the International Space Station, in which a bright object is visible “descending” into Earth’s atmosphere. The video* was shared on YouTube by a self-proclaimed UFO hunter—which basically means someone who stares at ISS feeds on their…

NASA Sets Sail to Study Ocean and Climate

NASA has launched on another mission of exploration, except this time it wasn’t on a rocket ship from Cape Canaveral but rather on a research ship from Cape Cod. NASA’s North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study—aka NAAMES—is a five-year-long investigation to resolve key processes controlling ocean system function, their influences on atmospheric aerosols and clouds…

Hear the Call of Cthulhu with New Pics of Pluto

If you’ve been waiting and dreaming for more high-resolution images of Pluto, the stars are now right: there’s a new mosaic from New Horizons out that snakes across the dwarf planet’s rugged (and notably non-Euclidean) surface, displaying many types of fascinating terrain: craters, pits, jumbled ice mounds, and the edges of a large dark region dubbed “Cthulhu” after…

Stop Everything and Look at This Color Pic from Pluto

Yes, stop. Whatever you’re doing (unless it’s open-heart surgery in which case what are you doing online you quack) stop it right now and just look at this. It’s a new version of the high-resolution images of Pluto acquired by New Horizons on July 14, 2015, except here color data was added to create an enhanced-color…

Long-Lost Impact Site Found From Apollo 16 Rocket Stage

In April of 1972 the penultimate Apollo mission sent NASA astronauts John Young and Charles Duke to the surface of the Moon, with Ken Mattingly piloting the command module Casper in lunar orbit. After launch on April 16, the Apollo 16 craft and crew completed two orbits of Earth before burning the J-2 engine of the Saturn…

Why Do People Say the Moon is Made of Green Cheese?

So this isn’t about a scientific discovery by any means, but I did do a little bit of online research to discern the origin of the old expression that the Moon is “made of green cheese.” We’ve all heard it, and though I’m pretty sure that nobody has ever actually taken it as a fact (although when it…