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 →

When Dogs and Cats are Too Boring

  Are dogs and cats too ordinary for you? Does it seem like EVERYONE has a guinea pig? If you are looking for a pet that reflects your distinctiveness, you might consider the following pets from history: Tycho Brahe, the celebrated 16th century astronomer, had a pet moose who was allowed free access to his residence.... Continue Reading →

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