The Hubble Space Telescope captured this view of Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON), on May 8, 2013 as it streaked between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars at 48,000 mph. This annotated view shows the comet’s scale and direction of motion.
The sungrazing Comet ISON could put on a dazzling display when it slingshots around Earth’s star this November.
If the icy dust ball doesn’t get ripped apart by extreme solar forces, some astronomers have said it could be the “comet of the century,” possibly shining brightly enough to be seen during the daytime.
ISON began its dangerous journey toward the inner solar system about 10,000 years ago, when it left a distant band of icy space rocks in the Oort cloud. But scientists and skywatchers only became aware of ISON last year. Here’s a look at what scientists have learned about the comet since then, and what to expect in the months and days ahead.Full Article
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/ Megan Gannon
This is a true color composite of Saturn and Earth as seen by the Cassini spacecraft on July 19, 2013.
Death By Black Hole
A poem by Neil deGrasse Tyson, My Favorite Universe (Lectures)
In a feet first dive
to this cosmic abyss
You will not survive
because you surely will not miss
The tidal forces of gravity will create quite a calamity when you’re stretched head to toe
Are you sure you wanna go?
Your body’s atoms - you’ll see them - will enter one by one
The singularity will eat ‘em, and of course, you won’t be having fun
Russia has a surface area of roughly 17 million square kilometers, while Pluto has about 16.6 million square kilometers.
Photo credit: NASA
(via: I fucking love science)
another reason why pluto can’t be a planet
A graph showing our best knowledge of star cycles
Backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-119 and Expedition 18 crews concluded 9 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 2:53 p.m. (CDT) on March 25, 2009.
Astronomers now know that the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago. For the first few hundred million years, the entire Universe was too hot any stars to form. But then the Universe cooled down to the point that gravity could start pulling together the raw hydrogen and helium into the first ever stars.
The first generation of stars, which astronomers call Population III stars, would have lived short violent lives. They probably lasted just a million years or so, and then detonated as supernovae. But in their lives, these Population III stars would have created heavier and heavier elements at their cores, and in their violent deaths, they would have created the even more exotic heavier elements, like gold and uranium. It’s possible that the first stars went through a few quick cycles, pulling in material, detonating and seeing the region with heavier elements. Eventually the first long-term stars would have gotten going, stars with the amount of heavier elements we see today.