Author Archives: Eric Betz

Blue Moon: Will Jeff Bezos’ Lunar Lander Return Astronauts to the Moon?

Blue Origin’s spacecraft could ferry nearly 10,000 pounds of cargo and crew to the Moon’s surface — if NASA gives it the green light. Continue reading

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Four Crazy Stars Astronomers Think Might Really Exist

From stars made of dark matter to stars literally living inside their partners, these stellar systems are theoretically possible. Continue reading

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NASA Keeps Hiding ‘Easter Eggs’ On Mars-bound Spacecraft

Engineers hid the phrase “Dare Mighty Things” on the parachute of NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover. It isn’t the first time they’ve snuck a fun surprise or a sentimental object onto a spacecraft, either. Continue reading

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Apophis: Doomsday Asteroid, or Just a Passing Space Rock?

The asteroid Apophis is about to make its close flyby of Earth. And astronomers want to get a good look at it while they can. Continue reading

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The Skycrane: How NASA’s Perseverance Rover Will Land on the Red Planet

The “Skycrane” maneuver that will soon place Perseverance on Mars’ surface was once considered a crazy idea — even within NASA. Continue reading

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Jezero Crater: A Closer Look at the Perseverance Rover’s Landing Site

Jezero Crater once could have been a prime location for martian microbial mats. And Perseverance aims to find out if any Martian fossils were left behind. Continue reading

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Life in the Clouds of Venus? Maybe Not.

Astronomers thought they detected phosphine — a gas often created by microbes — in Venus’ clouds. A new study suggests that analysis was incorrect. Continue reading

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A Magnetar’s Flare Just Helped Unlock the Secrets of These Strange Stars

Magnetars are the most magnetic objects in the universe, and they should be relatively common. Yet, astronomers have had a hard time studying them. Continue reading

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How One Million Volunteers Could One Day Revolutionize Medicine

A bold NIH program promises groundbreaking insights into some of the nation’s deadliest diseases. Researchers want hundreds of thousands of volunteers to get involved. Continue reading

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Arecibo is Dead. Should We Build Its Replacement on the Moon?

NASA may finally be serious about the idea of building a large radio telescope in a lunar crater. Continue reading

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Is Caral, Peru the Oldest City in the Americas?

These pyramids in Peru are older than the ones in Egypt, and predate the Incan Empire by roughly 4,000 years. Continue reading

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Astronomers Are Concerned That a Swath of New Satellites Will Litter the Night Sky

Clutter in the sky? It’s more likely than you’d think. Continue reading

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The Star of Bethlehem: Can Science Explain What it Really Was?

For centuries, scholars have suggested the Star of Bethlehem may have actually been a “great conjunction” of bright planets. Continue reading

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Is the Multiverse Theory Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Parallel universes could exist, whether cosmologists can prove it or not. Continue reading

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Betelgeuse: The Supernova That Wasn’t

One of the brightest stars in our sky darkened, and soon there was talk of a supernova. Continue reading

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Earth Isn’t the Only Ocean World in the Solar System

Watery worlds like Ceres — a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt — hint that our solar system is wetter than we thought. And where there’s water, there might be life. Continue reading

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‘New Era’ Begins with Crewed Launch of SpaceX and NASA Crew-1 Mission

NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission successfully launched to the International Space Station on Sunday, carrying four astronauts on the first “operational mission” using a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Continue reading

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‘New Era’ Begins with Crewed Launch of SpaceX and NASA Crew-1 Mission

NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission successfully launched to the International Space Station on Sunday, carrying four astronauts on the first “operational mission” using a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Continue reading

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Where Is the Edge of the Universe?

We may never know. Continue reading

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Magnetars: City-Sized Magnets Born from Dying Stars

Magnetars are the highly magnetic corpses of massive stars. Recent observations show magnetars cause the mysterious Fast Radio Burst signals that astronomers have detected for more than a decade. Continue reading

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Olympus Mons: Mars’ Mega Volcano

Olympus Mons is the solar system’s largest volcano. Astronomers say it holds clues to unraveling Mars’ history. Continue reading

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Olympus Mons: Mars’ Mega Volcano

Olympus Mons is the solar system’s largest volcano. Astronomers say it holds clues to unraveling Mars’ history. Continue reading

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Astronomers Have Finally Found the Cause of Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts

FRBs puzzled astronomers since they were discovered in 2007. Now, researchers have caught one coming from a dead star in our galaxy. Continue reading

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11 Female Astronauts Who Pioneered Spaceflight

With a variety of backgrounds and talents, these women have helped push the boundaries of spaceflight. Continue reading

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Earth’s Biggest Telescopes Reopen After Months of COVID Closures

Observational astronomy, largely shutdown since March, is getting back to work thanks to slowly declining COVID-19 cases in Chile and new workplace practices. Continue reading

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Cocktail Chemistry: 10 Science-Backed Tips for the Perfect Drink

Are your homemade cocktails never as good as the real thing? Fear not, science has you covered! Continue reading

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Why Astronomy is Considered the Oldest Science

Initially a cosmic curiosity, the night sky was eventually decoded by ancient peoples, making astronomy one of (if not the) oldest science. Continue reading

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Reports of Rising UFO Sightings are Greatly Exaggerated

The pandemic has not sparked a shocking rise in UFO sightings, experts say. But the public is growing increasingly confused by ordinary objects they see in the sky. Continue reading

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5 NASA Spacecraft That Are Leaving Our Solar System for Good

Most of these interstellar spacecraft carry messages intended to introduce ourselves to any aliens that find them along the way. Continue reading

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The Big Freeze: How the Universe Will Die

The cosmos will come to a close through a cold and lonely death called the Big Freeze. Continue reading

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