Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the universe, not a star complex was stirring, not even Cygnus X! Merry Christmas from Popular Science. We're taking off a couple days to go spend time with our families. Enjoy these festive space pics in the meantime. Miss you already.
We’ve covered some pretty amazing coronal mass ejections (CMEs) here on PopSci, but we might have to crown this one the best yet. Blasting forth from the solar surface at 900 miles per second on August 31, it was captured in all of its tendril-esque glory by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
If the image doesn’t look real, rest assured that it is. But the SDO clearly doesn’t capture imagery of the sun in the same way the human eye does.
Some 30,000 light-years away near the chaotic, gaseous region near our galactic center, a team of Japanese researchers has found the strange cosmic feature you see above: a helical molecular cloud twisting across some 60 light years.
A new image released by NASA this week shows the Mars Rover Curiosity’s view of the red planet in a sweeping 360 degrees. The rover, which is en route toward a location known as Glenelg since last week, has been prodigiously snapping photos with its navigation camera, and mission handlers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stitched together this panorama that shows both where Curiosity has been and where it is going.
Curiosity, you are such an amazing space mission that we will sacrifice a thousand blog posts, a million gallons of newsprint even, in your honor. But can you do this? NASA’s Cassini probe, not content to be forgotten in its faraway orbit around Saturn and its moons, has beamed back new natural-color images of the ringed planet that are absolutely breathtaking. Released yesterday, they show a very different planet than the one Cassini arrived at eight years ago.
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer may be running out of coolant, but its infrared sensors are still capturing some amazing infrared views of the cosmos. Today in pretty space pics: the Flame nebula, a burning candle lighting up the larger Orion complex close to its well-known belt.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.