Everyone eagerly anticipated Halley’s comet showing up in April 1910. It came as quite a surprise, then, when another brighter comet appeared just four months before: the Daylight Comet.
After the Big Bang the universe was dark for hundreds of million years, until the formation of the earliest stars and galaxies. And one of those galaxies was GN-z11, the oldest we have ever observed.
When something hit Vesta, an enormous hunk of rock in the asteroid belt, it created one of the largest impact craters known, the highest mountain in the Solar System, and many of Earth’s meteorites.
In 1974 the Arecibo message was broadcast into space. In 2001 hoaxers made a reply “from aliens” in a field next to another observatory.
According to Jewish law, Shabbat begins at sundown. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But what do you do if the sun does not set?
People who see our planet from outer space experience profound awe, humility, and a recognition of the fragility of life. They return to Earth changed.
One nurse, Dee O’Hara, took vitals and monitored astronauts on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions.
In 1946 a modified V-2 rocket took the first picture of our planet from outer space.
How do you test Moon landers, or lunar excavation and construction processes? Get some fake moon dust, of course.
One of the earliest amusement park dark rides was a trip from Coney Island to the Moon and back.
Sputnik 1 orbited the Earth for three months; Sputnik 2 for nearly six months. Explorer 1 stayed in orbit for twelve years, but the fourth artificial satellite, Vanguard 1, is still flying today.
In 1962 the United States detonated a nuclear bomb in outer space over Hawai’i. It caused an artificial aurora in the sky over Honolulu – and another one over Samoa, more than four thousand kilometres away.
April 26, 1920, two astronomers publicly debated the structure of the cosmos. Is the Milky Way everything there is, or is it just one of many “island” universes?
The saros is a measurement of time equal to 6585 days (plus one third of a day). It is the time between identical eclipses.
The body of famed astronomer Tycho Brahe was dug up twice (in 1901 and 2010) to find out what killed him. The conclusion: he died of excessive politeness.
The second mission to land on the Moon had garbage collection duty: they picked up the remains of a probe that had crashed there two years earlier.