A black hole is an object containing so much mass concentrated in a relatively small space that light can not escape. Challenging the Unified Model of Black Holes in Galaxies This infographic explains a popular theory of active supermassive black holes, referred to as the unified model — and how new data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is at conflict with the model. Astronomers say the model could still be correct but needs adjusting to account … Read More
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) got a boost in July 2015, when investor Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking (left) announced a new $100 million SETI initiative called Breakthrough Listen. The first serious, scientific attempt to listen for alien radio signals was Project Ozma in 1960, conducted by astronomer Frank Drake. Since the invention of radio in 1900, researchers have occasionally detected unexplained signals that have led them to wonder about the possibility of life on other planets. In … Read More
NASA’s New Horizons probe has visited a place never before visited by a robotic probe from Earth: Pluto. In July 2015, the spacecraft completed a nearly-decade-long journey to fly by Pluto, and reveal humanity’s first close-up look at the distant dwarf planet. New Horizons performed the first-ever flyby of the faraway dwarf planet, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of its frigid surface. The close encounter is giving researchers their first up-close looks at Pluto, which has remained mysterious since … Read More
The Space Race of the 1950s saw the Soviet Union and United States competing to send the first artificial satellite into orbit. By 1957 the first stage of the race had been won, with the Soviet Union launching Sputnik. Made possible by advances in technology, Sputnik was only the beginning and since then the number of satellites in orbit has rocketed, with over 6,000 being launched in the years that have followed.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the most complex international scientific and engineering project in history and the largest structure humans have ever put into space. This high-flying satellite is a laboratory for new technologies and an observation platform for astronomical, environmental and geological research. As a permanently occupied outpost in outer space, it serves as a stepping-stone for further space exploration. The station flies at an average altitude of 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth. It circles the globe … Read More