Tag: Space and Astronomy

A Black Hole Threw a Star Out of the Milky Way Galaxy

There are fastballs, and then there are cosmic fastballs. Now it seems that the strongest arm in our galaxy might belong to a supermassive black hole that lives smack in the middle of the Milky Way. Astronomers recently discovered a star whizzing out of the center of our galaxy at the seriously blinding speed of […]

Read More

How to Peer Through a Wormhole

Want to get away? Far away? There is a way. Maybe. In science fiction, wormholes — tunnels through space and time — have long been the preferred means of travel across the universe. In the movie “Interstellar,” directed by Christopher Nolan in collaboration with Kip Thorne, the physicist and Nobel laureate at the California Institute […]

Read More

NASA Renames Object After Uproar Over Old Name’s Nazi Connotations

What does a small, icy world roughly four billion miles from Earth have to do with the Nazis? That’s the question NASA was wrestling with before it announced on Tuesday that a space object formerly known by the nickname Ultima Thule would now officially be named Arrokoth, a Native American word meaning “sky.” The previous […]

Read More

If I Touched the Moon, What Would It Feel Like?

Twelve people have walked on the moon since humans landed there 50 years ago, but no one has ever directly touched its surface. Those astronauts wore spacesuits outside the lander. No one ever took off a glove or a boot while standing on the moon. “Once we got inside and took off our suits and […]

Read More

SpaceX to Launch 60 More Starlink Satellites

Early on Monday morning, SpaceX is scheduled to launch 60 satellites into space at once — the second installment of Starlink, its planned constellation of tens of thousands of orbiting transmitters to beam internet service across the globe. The launch, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., is set for 9:56 a.m. Eastern and will be streamed live […]

Read More

Who Has Sovereignty Over the Sky?

On the Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, rises nearly 14,000 feet above sea level. There are currently 13 telescopes on its slopes, on land managed by the University of Hawaii. Mauna Kea is ideal for astronomy: It is dry, has little turbulent air and a large fraction of clear viewing nights. […]

Read More

How Einstein Became the First Science Superstar

Early in 1919, two teams of British astronomers embarked on a journey to the far reaches of the planet to observe a solar eclipse. Nearly eight months later, on Nov. 6, 1919, the teams presented their findings before a packed audience of scientists in London. Their announcement changed forever how humans view the universe. The […]

Read More

They Didn’t Find Life in a Hopeless Place

People can live on every continent, but our planet really belongs to the microbes. Some even thrive in particularly pernicious environments, from deep-sea vents cooking at 251 degrees Fahrenheit to highly radioactive mine shafts. These extremophiles can also be found in highly salty or highly acidic environments. But to date, microbes haven’t been unequivocally found […]

Read More

Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Touches Down After Test of Safety System

Boeing successfully tested a safety system of its commercial spacecraft on Monday morning, bringing the American aerospace industry one step closer to launching astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time since 2011. The company ran an uncrewed test on the launch abort system of the CST-100 Starliner, a 16.5-foot spacecraft that can […]

Read More

Jeff Bezos Announces Blue Origin’s Team Approach to NASA Moon Lander

WASHINGTON — The race is on to build the next spacecraft that will land American astronauts on the moon. On Tuesday, three major aerospace companies led by Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, announced they would collaborate on one design that they will submit to NASA. “I’m […]

Read More

NASA Astronauts Conduct the First All-Female Spacewalk

NASA reached a milestone on Friday morning when two Americans ventured out of the International Space Station to replace a power controller: The astronauts, Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, had undertaken the first all-female spacewalk. Such a walk was supposed to take place in March, but it was postponed because NASA did not have two […]

Read More

Get Ready for NASA’s First All-Female Spacewalk

It happened by accident, really. After a rocket launch aborted mid-flight, grounding two astronauts who were supposed to go to the International Space Station, NASA had to shift its schedule. Without thinking much of it, the agency announced that Christina Koch and Anne McClain — two women — would do the spacewalk instead, and just […]

Read More

Virgin Galactic Unveils Jumpsuit for Space Tourists

YONKERS, N.Y. — Once there was the era of space-age fashion. Now the age of fashion for space has arrived. On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic, the company started by Richard Branson to take people to the edge of space aboard a rocket-powered plane, is unveiling sleek, high-tech garments that passengers will wear during their trips. They […]

Read More

NASA’s New Spacesuits Unveiled, for Trips to the Moon and Beyond

WASHINGTON — At NASA headquarters on Tuesday, officials introduced two prototype spacesuits to be used during upcoming moon missions. The new spacesuits will offer improvements over existing models for the men and women expected to wear them, including greater comfort and movement. And as NASA races to meet the Trump administration’s 2024 target for returning […]

Read More

NASA and SpaceX Are Feuding. Will They Make Up?

A visit by the NASA administrator to a rocket factory is usually a predictable show-and-tell of the latest gadgets destined for outer space. But there may be some tension below the surface on Thursday when the current administrator, Jim Bridenstine, stops by the headquarters of SpaceX, the private rocket company of the billionaire Elon Musk, […]

Read More

First All-Female Spacewalk Is Back On, NASA Says

The first spacewalk to be conducted entirely by women is scheduled for Oct. 21, NASA announced, nearly seven months after an all-female spacewalk was canceled because two properly fitted spacesuits were not readily available. Christina Koch and Anne McClain, the two astronauts who were scheduled to conduct the spacewalk in March, both needed a medium-size […]

Read More

Natalie Portman Shoots for the Stars and Loses Her Mind

As a kid with a precocious mind for science — she made it to the Intel competition semifinals in high school, after all — Natalie Portman dreamed of becoming an astronaut. But acting eventually grounded her among less celestial stars. So the role of Lucy Cola, whose encounter with the vastness of the universe during […]

Read More