More Eyes on the Skies

The future, it is often said, belongs to those who plan for it. And astronomers have been busy working the proverbial smoke-filled rooms or whatever passes for them today where the destiny of big science is often shaped and crisscrossing one another in airports on fund-raising trips. Now they are about to have something to show for it.

More Eyes on the Skies – NYTimes.com.

 

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Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space

Though he probably didn’t intend anything so jarring, Nicolaus Copernicus, in a 16th-century treatise, gave rise to the idea that human beings do not occupy a special place in the heavens. Nearly 500 years after replacing the Earth with the sun as the center of the cosmic swirl, we’ve come to see ourselves as just another species on a planet orbiting a star in the boondocks of a galaxy in the universe we call home. And this may be just one of many universes — what cosmologists, some more skeptically than others, have named the multiverse.

Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space – NYTimes.com.

 

NASA approves rocket for deep-space travel

NASA gave the go-ahead to start full production on the most powerful rocket ever.

The rocket, known as Space Launch System, is set to blast beyond low-Earth orbit this decade to explore the deep reaches of space, including near-Earth asteroids, the moon and, ultimately, Mars.

NASA approves rocket for deep-space travel – LA Times.

 

We’re ‘very close’ to finding another Earth

A team of astronomers announced April 17, 2014, that they have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the so-called “habitable zone” — the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface. That doesn’t mean this planet has life on it, says Thomas Barclay, a scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames and a co-author of a paper on the planet, called Kepler-186f. He says the planet can be thought of as an “Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth.” The planet was discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. It’s located about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The picture above is an artist’s concept of what it might look like.

Scientists: We’re ‘very close’ to finding another Earth – CNN.com.