Mary Beth Griggs
at 13:17 PM Sep 1 2017

In the hours before dawn on March 11, 1437, the constellation Scorpio rose over the horizon near Seoul, Korea. Astronomers tasked with scanning the sky and noting nightly changes—aurorae, comets, shooting stars and the like—noticed something odd about the group of stars they called the tail of the dragon, one of the lunar mansions of the night sky.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 13:17 PM Sep 1 2017

Long ago, 15 bright radio pulses emerged from a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years away from Earth. Last Saturday, a telescope in a remote area of West Virginia picked up those signals from a distant corner of the universe, and yesterday, a group of astronomers and astrophysicists shared preliminary results on their observations.

Rachel Feltman
at 09:35 AM Aug 25 2017
Space // 

When subjected to the pressures (and temperatures) of other planets, even familiar substances can get pretty alien. Case in point: the diamond rains of the ice giants. Scientists have long thought that massive planets like Neptune and Uranus—which probably-maybe (or maybe-probably) contain relatively tiny rocky cores covered with a mantle of slurried water, ammonia, and methane ices and surrounded by a thick atmosphere — are subject to rain made of literal diamonds. Now researchers have synthesised the process in a lab, showing how such conditions might occur.

Sara Chodosh
at 09:36 AM Aug 22 2017
Space // 

A syzygy feels magical, and not just because it gets you at least 25 points in Scrabble. The whole concept of celestial bodies aligning feels poetic. When it results in a total solar eclipse here on Earth, you can feel for a few moments as though you're part of something much greater and grander than yourself. The transience only makes it more beautiful. Which is why thousands of people will flock to the path of totality on August 21, 2017: to witness a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:36 AM Aug 22 2017
Space // 

Imagine. You are an ancient human and your reliable and faithful sun suddenly and unexpectedly goes dark. This terrifies you. You think, 'What if it never comes back? Oh gods, WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESER...oh, it's back. Phew.' But then, over the years, it keeps happening. You begin to lose trust in the sun's loyalty and start recording when these events happen. Centuries go by and eventually enough of a pattern has built up that early civilizations are able to predict when these crazy events might occur.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:34 PM Aug 18 2017
Space // 

I have a confession to make: I may not go see the total eclipse. And one way or another, I've decided to stop agonizing over that decision. It's really not a big deal.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:34 PM Aug 18 2017

If you can send a spacecraft to the moon and loop around our natural satellite one time, or—even better—gently set a rover down on the lunar surface, there could be money in it for you. $4.75 million, to be precise.

 
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