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Universe Today — Space and astronomy news

Universe Today — Space and astronomy news
The Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule stand ready for launch prior to the detection of a helium leak in one of the engines forcing a scrub of the launch attempt on April 14. 2014 – now reset to April 18, 2014. Credit: NASA and SpaceX are marching forward towards a Friday, April 18 liftoff attempt for the Falcon 9 rocket sending a commercial Dragon cargo craft on the company’s third resupply mission to the International Space Station following the scrubbed launch attempt on Monday, April 14 – forced by the discovery of a Helium gas leak inside the rocket during the latter stages of the countdown. An on time blastoff of the upgraded Falcon 9 sets the stage for an Easter Sunday rendezvous and berthing of the Dragon resupply spacecraft at the massive orbiting outpost packed with almost 5000 pounds of science experiments and supplies for the six person crew. However the weather prognosis is rather [click to continue…] The newly-confirmed extrasolar planet has been dubbed Kepler-186f. Related:  Space

Beyond 2012: Why the World Didn't End Beyond 2012: Why the World Didn't End If you're reading this story, it means the world didn't end on Dec. 21, 2012. Despite reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, a mysterious planet on a collision course with Earth, or a reverse in Earth's rotation, we're still here. The Mayan connection "was a misconception from the very beginning," says Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. "The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date." › Read More About the Mayans Video: Why The World Didn't End Yesterday For years leading up to the supposed apocalypse, NASA scientists worked to dispel the myths and answer questions on a host of 2012 topics: Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012? Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012? A: Absolutely not.

Macrocosme, L'Univers en images Michio Kaku: What Put the Bang in the Big Bang? smOnline | The online manifestation of MetroCosm What does it take to wipe out more than 90 per cent of all the life on Earth... and how long would it take to do it? It seems all you need are greenhouse gas-belching volcanoes and about 60,000 years THROUGHOUT ITS 3.8bILLION-YEAR HISTORY, life on Earth has faced more than its fair share of challenges, set backs and catastrophes. That’s not to say that life laughs in the face of adversity – it has been pushed to brink of annihilation several times in its long history (most famously by the asteroid that ended the reign of the dinosaurs), but perhaps the closest life ever came to total obliteration was 251million years ago. At the end of the Permian period, the Earth was visited by an environmental catastrophe so extreme that the land was left with just 30 per cent of its inhabitants still standing (or crawling, or growing roots) and the oceans were stripped of 96 per cent of its marine life.

50 Years of Incredible Space Images From the European Southern Observatory | Wired Science This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s leading astronomical institutions, the European Southern Observatory. In honor of ESO’s birthday, we take a look at some of its most stunning shots of the night sky, amazing objects in space, and the organization's beautiful telescope facilities. ESO started when astronomers from five European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden – came together on Oct. 5, 1962 to build a telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Having a large telescope south of the equator gave these member states access to unprecedented clear skies and celestial objects that simply can’t be seen from the Northern Hemisphere, such as the Magellanic Clouds. Over the decades, many more countries have joined, including Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Finland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Austria, and, in 2010, Brazil, which became the first non-European state to join. Above: Image: ESO/J.

Skypix, l'actualité du ciel Everything is a Remix, Part 3: The Elements of Creativity by Maria Popova What Gutenberg has to do with Thomas Edison and the secret sauce of Apple. Kirby Ferguson’s excellent Everything is a Remix project is, as I’ve previously written, one of the most important efforts to illuminate the mechanisms, paradoxes and central principles of creative culture in modern history — an ambitious four-part documentary on the history and cultural significance of sampling and collaborative creation, reflecting my own deep held belief that creativity is combinatorial. Enjoy — this is a cultural treasure: The most dramatic results can happen when ideas are combined. From derivative work in art to incremental innovation in technology, Kirby tells the lesser-known stories of history’s greatest innovators to illustrate the point that creativity builds on what came before rather than crystallizing from thin air under the touch of a mythical muse. What started it all was the graphical interface merged with the idea of the computer as household appliance.

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