The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Together, these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. Continue reading for more.
At 02:39 UTC on Monday July 21, 1969, Armstrong opened the hatch, and at 02:51 UTC began his descent to the lunar surface. After describing the surface dust as "very fine-grained" and "almost like a powder," Armstrong stepped off Eagle's footpad and uttered his famous line, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" six and a half hours after landing. Aldrin joined him, describing the view as "Magnificent desolation." Continue reading for more.
What you're looking at above is a 773g Chinga meteorite that's been cut and polished on two sides. The top portion retains its natural light brown crust to create a dramatic contrast. This particular specimen is an iron meteorite and its total chemical composition is: 82.8% iron, 16.6% nickel, and the rest mostly cobalt and phosphorus. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a bank that's restoring faith to humanity.
The Drake equation is basically a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. In November 2013, astronomers reported, based on Kepler space mission data, that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of sun-like stars and red dwarf stars within the Milky Way Galaxy. 11 billion of these estimated planets may be orbiting sun-like stars. Since there are about 100 billion stars in the galaxy, this implies fp*ne is roughly 0.4. The nearest planet in the habitable zone may be as little as 12 light-years away, according to the scientists. Continue reading for more.
Astronomers discovered the largest and oldest mass of water ever detected in the universe in the form of a massive, 12-billion-year-old cloud containing 140 trillion times more water than all of Earth's oceans combined. In other words, it surrounds a supermassive black hole called a quasar located 12 billion light-years from Earth. This shows that water has been prevalent in the universe for nearly its entire existence, researchers said. Continue reading for more.
The amazing image is of the Pavlof volcano erupting in the Aleutian arc and was captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The ISS provides a platform to conduct scientific research. While small unmanned spacecraft can provide platforms for zero gravity and exposure to space, space stations offer a long term environment where studies can be performed potentially for decades, combined with ready access by human researchers over periods that exceed the capabilities of manned spacecraft. Continue reading for more amazing photographs captured from the ISS.
On a clear, dark night, our eyes can see thousands of stars in the sky in places without light pollution. They always seem to twinkle, or change their brightness, all the time, but in reality it's the movement of air (sometimes called turbulence) in the atmosphere of Earth causes the starlight to get slightly bent as it travels from the distant star through the atmosphere down to us on the ground, producing a twinkling effect. You'll notice that stars closer to the horizon will appear to twinkle more than other stars. This is because there is a lot more atmosphere between you and a star near the horizon than between you and a star higher in the sky. Continue reading for more.
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. Click here to view the first image in this week's WINS gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a Star Trek fan's $500,000 memorabilia collection.
Japan-based artist Azuma Makoto launched his work into space to show that beauty can exist anywhere. Makoto partnered with JP Aerospace to make project "Exobiotanica" a reality. The first item he sent was a bouquet of colorful flowers sourced from around the world, and the other, a 50-year-old bonsai pine tree specially shipped from his private collection in Japan. They were launched at Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada, where the Burning Man Festival is held annually. Continue reading for more.
We know Mars as a terrestrial planet consisting of minerals containing silicon and oxygen, metals, and other elements that typically make up rock. The surface of Mars is primarily composed of tholeiitic basalt, although parts are more silica-rich than typical basalt and may be similar to andesitic rocks on Earth or silica glass. NASA has just released a video showing what a young Mars could have looked like billions of years ago with flowing water on its surface. Continue reading to watch.