Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mars Science Laboratory

The Mars Science Laboratory mission, with its rover called Curiosity, is a Mars rover that was launched on November 26, 2011. It is scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater on August 6, 2012.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interplanetary space

Interplanetary space is the space around the Sun and planets in the Solar System.

Intergalactic space

Intergalactic space is the physical space between galaxies.

Interstellar space

Interstellar space is the physical space within a galaxy that is not occupied by stars or their planetary systems.

Apollo program

The Apollo program were spaceflights that lasted from 1961 to 1972. Some highlights of the program were scientific studies on the Lunar geology, advances in technology, and the first humans landing on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the final mission of the Apollo program.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Moon - facts 8

The Moon is the only celestial body besides Earth that humans have set foot on.

Saturn - facts 7

Saturn has a strange hexagonal shaped cloud pattern near the north pole.

Planets - facts 15

Neptune has the highest winds out of all the planets in the Solar System at over 1,200 mph.

Saturn - facts 6

Winds on Saturn can reach speeds near 1,100 mph.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Blue Marble

The Blue Marble is a famous image taken in 1972 by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft as they were travelling toward the Moon. The color image shows mostly Africa, and part of Asia, blue oceans, and clouds. The Earth is fully illuminated.


Earthrise is a famous image taken in 1968 by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders. The color image shows Earthrise; Earth rising above the moon.

Apollo 8

Apollo 8 was a spaceflight launched on December 21, 1968. It was the first human space flight to reach the Moon, orbit it, and return to Earth.

Earth - facts 13

The radius of the Earth is approximately 3,959 miles.

Radius, diameter, and circumference

To do approximate calculations on planets, stars, and moons:

Diameter = 2 x the radius
Radius = half the diameter
Circumference = 3.14 x the diameter

If the diameter is 100,000 miles: the radius is 50,000 miles and the circumference is 314,000 miles.

If you only know the circumference, you divide it by 3.14 to get the diameter. So 314,000 miles divided by 3.14 is 100,000 miles.

Solar radius

Solar radius is used to show the size of stars. One solar radius is the radius of the Sun; approximately 432,200 miles.

Sun - facts 14

The radius of the Sun is approximately 432,200 miles.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Butterfly Nebula

The Butterfly Nebula is an image of a planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. It was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. The image looks like a giant butterfly. The gasses in the nebula are moving at more than 600,000 miles an hour. The "butterfly" is approximately two light years across.

Universe terms - trivia 3

1) Approximately how many miles is one AU?

a) 9 million miles
b) 930 million miles
c) 93 million miles

Check comments for the answer.

Universe terms - trivia 2

1) What is velocity?

a) how fast an object is moving in a given direction
b) how fast an object is moving
c) an object with no movement

Check comments for the answer.


A nova is a nuclear explosion in a white dwarf star.


A magnetar is a neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field.

The Hand

PSR B1509-58 "The Hand" is an image taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. It is a pulsar that resembles a human hand reaching out into space. It is approximately 17,000 light years away in the constellation of Circinus.

Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is a space telescope that was launched on July 23, 1999.

Mystic Mountain

Mystic Mountain is an image of a dust and gas pillar in the Carina Nebula. It was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2010. The pillar is seen extending upward and measures three light years in height. This is approximately 18 trillion miles.

Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant in the constellation of Taurus. The image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Horsehead Nebula

The Horsehead Nebula is an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is a dark nebula located in the Orion constellation. The picture is famous for looking like a horse's head when viewed from Earth.


A nebula is a vast interstellar cloud of dust and gas.

Pillars of Creation

Pillars of Creation is an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 of dark tall plumes of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula. The tallest pillar is several light years in height; over 20 trillion miles. They are almost 7,000 light years from Earth.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small region of space, composited from data accumulated over a period from September 24, 2003 to January 16, 2004. Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, it is looking back approximately 13 billion years in time. Near 10,000 galaxies are shown in the picture.

Wow! signal

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected on August 15, 1977. It lasted for 72 seconds but it has never been detected again. The signal came from the Sagittarius constellation. It is not known if the signal was of intelligent extraterrestrial origin.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990. It has taken some amazing photos of the Universe.

Voyager Golden Records

The Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records that are aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. The records contain selected sounds and images of life and culture on Earth. Some of their contents are greetings in many different languages and many different genres of music.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot is a famous image that was taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from almost 4 billion miles away. Earth is seen as a tiny blue dot against the vastness of space.

Voyager program

The Voyager program is a space mission that launched two unmanned space probes in 1977; Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Apollo 11 landing site

The Apollo 11 landed on the Moon at the Sea of Tranquility.

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon. Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20th, 1969.

First man on Moon

The first man to set foot on the Moon was Neil Armstrong. It happened on July 21st, 1969.