Explanation: How did the Eta Carinae star system create this unusual expanding nebula? No one knows for sure. About 170 years ago, the southern star system Eta Carinae (Eta Car) mysteriously became the second brightest star system in the night sky.
Explanation: Higher than the highest mountain lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons striking atoms and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.
Explanation: Why do some places on Earth have higher gravity than others? Sometimes the reason is unknown. To help better understand the Earth's surface, sensitive measurements by the orbiting satellites GRACE and CHAMP were used to create a map of Earth's gravitational field.
Explanation: Today humanity will make its first attempt to land a probe on the nucleus of a comet. As the day progresses, the Philae (fee-LAY) lander will separate from the Rosetta spacecraft and head down to the surface of Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko.
Explanation: What connects the Sun to the Moon? Many answers have been given throughout history, but in the case of today's featured image, it appears to be the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Explanation: Have you ever seen an entire rainbow? From the ground, typically, only the top portion of a rainbow is visible because directions toward the ground have fewer raindrops. From the air, though, the entire 360 degree circle of a rainbow is more commonly visible.
We live enmeshed in networks. The internet, a society, a body, an ant colony, a tumour: they are all networks of interactions, among people, ants or cells – aggregates of nodes or locations linked by some relation. The power of networks is in their local connections.
Explanation: As the Moon rose and the Sun set on October 8, a lunar eclipse was in progress seen from Chongqing, China. Trailing through this composite time exposure, the rising Moon began as a dark reddened disk in total eclipse near the eastern horizon.
Astronomy Picture of the Day 2016 April 29 , Explanation: If you could only see gamma-rays, photons with up to a billion or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would be brighter than the Sun! That startling notion underlies this novel image of the Moon, based
Explanation: The first to orbit Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft came to rest on this region of Mercury's surface yesterday. Constructed from MESSENGER image and laser altimeter data, the scene looks north over the northeastern rim of the broad, lava filled Shakespeare basin.
This essay, by former congressional candidate Paul Perry, is in response to The Intercept’s recent reporting on the role of fundraising in the 2018 election cycle. The first door I knocked on as a congressional candidate was a gut check.
Explanation: Thunderstorms almost spoiled this view of the spectacular 2011 June 15 total lunar eclipse. Instead, storm clouds parted for 10 minutes during the total eclipse phase and lightning bolts contributed to the dramatic sky.
Explanation: Gravitational radiation has been directly detected. The first-ever detection was made by both facilities of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Washington and Louisiana simultaneously last September.
Explanation: It has been one of the better skies of this long night. In parts of Antarctica, not only is it winter, but the Sun can spend weeks below the horizon. At China's Zhongshan Station, people sometimes venture out into the cold to photograph a spectacular night sky.
WASHINGTON — Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, Gov.
Explanation: The scene might have been considered serene if it weren't for the tornado. During 2004 in Kansas, storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light -- the light of a rainbow. Featured here, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud.
Explanation: Comet McNaught was perhaps the most photogenic comet of modern times -- from Earth. After making quite a show in the northern hemisphere in early January of 2007, the comet moved south and developed a long and unusual dust tail that dazzled southern hemisphere observers.
Explanation: Why would Mars appear to move backwards? Most of the time, the apparent motion of Mars in Earth's sky is in one direction, slow but steady in front of the far distant stars. About every two years, however, the Earth passes Mars as they orbit around the Sun.
Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.
Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank.
On June 3, 1980, at about two-thirty in the morning, computers at the National Military Command Center, beneath the Pentagon, at the headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), deep within Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, and at Site R, the Pentagon’s alternate command post center
The emails currently roiling the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released b
America has always been aspirational to me. Even when I chafed at its hypocrisies, it somehow always seemed sure, a nation that knew what it was doing, refreshingly free of that anything-can-happen existential uncertainty so familiar to developing nations. But no longer.
For a planet that has absolutely no chance of harboring life, Jupiter gets a lot of love from Earth. Five NASA spacecraft have flown by or orbited it before and another orbiter, Juno, is set to arrive soon—on July 4, in fact.
This new flagship federal .gov website is "open by design, open by default." That's a huge win for the American people. As the first website to be demonstrated by a sitting President of the United States, Healthcare.gov already occupies an unusual place in history.
After a drumbeat of transit disasters this year, it became impossible to ignore the failures of the New York City subway system. A rush-hour Q train careened off the rails in southern Brooklyn. A track fire on the A line in Upper Manhattan sent nine riders to the hospital.
WASHINGTON — Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.
To see additional images from NASA Ames, click the icon on the image at the top of this page. NASA Ames is filled with the exotic technologies of a future that didn’t quite come to pass. Ancient computers still operate equipment in the machine shop.
The sleek, speedy cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction according to a new study into declining numbers. The report estimates that there are just 7,100 of the world's fastest mammals now left in the wild.
For 80 years, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic structures appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. This hypothetical “dark matter” seems to outweigh all visible matter by a startling ratio of five to one, suggesting that we barely know our own universe.
Explanation: What's happening to the rings of Saturn? Nothing much, just a little moon making waves. The moon is 8-kilometer Daphnis and it is making waves in the Keeler Gap of Saturn's rings using just its gravity -- as it bobs up and down, in and out.
This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been republished under Creative Commons. Numbers do not exist in all cultures. There are numberless hunter-gatherers embedded deep in Amazonia, living along branches of the world’s largest river tree.
We're all on the cusp of something big. For the first time in history, a spacecraft will be able to see the possible cliffs and crags of Pluto up close, revealing a new world to humans who have been waiting patiently for more than nine years back on Earth.
If you’d been born 1,500 years ago in southern Europe, you’d have been convinced that the Roman empire would last forever. It had, after all, been around for 1,000 years. And yet, following a period of economic and military decline, it fell apart. By 476 CE it was gone.