You May Need to Adjust Your Clock … By 300 Years

Were you one of those history students who had difficulty grasping the details of the Middle Ages? Perhaps that's because the Middle Ages didn't actually take place. In 1986 Heribert Illig published Das erfundene Mittelalter (The Invented Middle Ages). He posits that a nearly-300 year period of time, AD 614–911, did not really take place... Continue Reading →

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The Diet of the Stars

It's always a matter of interest when a big star finds a diet that works. If losing weight is your goal, you might want to find out the secret of the biggest star in the whole solar system: the sun. Due to the miracle of physics, our sun loses 4 million tons every single second.... Continue Reading →

Forget the Chicken and the Egg — What About the Universe and the Stars?

One problem with working out the age of the universe is trying to find out which came first -- the stars or the universe that contains them. In 2013 researchers associated with the Planck space observatory measured the age of the universe at 13.82 billion years. That same year researchers grappled with the age of the Methuselah... Continue Reading →

Houston, We Have a Turd

Fans of television's The Big Bang Theory are familiar with the memorable episode where Howard's space toilet, the Wolowitz Space Disposal System, went horribly wrong and threatened to turn into a waste distribution system. As it turns out, such a scenario was more closely grounded in fact, rather than comedic fiction.  In May 1969 Apollo... Continue Reading →

Was Tycho a Psycho? Weird Facts About One of History’s Greatest Astronomers

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was one of the greatest astronomers to ever live. He was also probably at least a little bit off his gourd, if history is to judge. The Danish astronomer who brought a new level of exactitude to astronomical observations and applied that specificity to the theories and observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy,... Continue Reading →

Stretching a Teaspoonful

  A teaspoon of water may not seem like much, but if you take the 167,300,000,000,000,000,000,000 water molecules and lay them out in single file, you will have a very skinny line of water that stretches to 31,368,750,000 miles (50 billion km). For comparison's sake, that's ten times the width of the solar system. For those who... Continue Reading →

Major Metric Malfunction Means Missed Mars Mission and Millions of Moolah

Hopes were high when the Mars Climate Orbiter launched from Cape Canaveral on December 11, 1998. The robotic space probe was designed to study the climate, atmosphere, and surface changes of Mars and to act as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander. For the next ten months, all went according to plan as... Continue Reading →

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