News Stories

News Stories relating to "space"

Search for Purple Planets

Before the evolution of photosynthesis, which produces chlorophyll, the first life on earth might have been purple, rather than the green that dominates today. The world is so very green because chlorophyll in plants absorbs red and blue wavelengths and reflects green ones. Before this, red and blue, which combine to form purple, may have...

read more

Mysterious Hexagon in Space

A mysterious hexagon-shaped image can be seen in space, floating above the storms that swirl around the north pole on Saturn. Astronomers want to know what it is.

In New Scientist, Maggie Mckee reports that astronomers have long known about the "hurricane-like vortex" that "swirls on Saturn's south pole." Mckee reports that, "A deep,...

read more

Elevator in Space

We've talked about space elevators, or cable cars, in the past. But they may only be able to be used by robots, because of the radiation surrounding the earth.

Kelly Young writes in New Scientist that space elevators could be a cheap way to get cargo and possibly people into space one day. This could be especially important if we...

read more

Space Affects Earth Weather

NASA says that the weather here on Earth has a surprising connection to space weather in the ionosphere, which is the electrically-charged upper atmosphere. As if emissions from greenhouse gases here on earth weren?t bad enough, satellites have discovered that Researchers discovered that tides of air generated by thunderstorm activity over...

read more

Dark Matter is Everywhere

But what is it? - Astronomers tell us that the mysterious substance called dark matter is the main substance in the universe?but we just can?t find it. It's the same sort of thing that quantum physicists say about parallel universes or "brane worlds" (worlds that contain a different number of dimensions from ours). Astronomers...

read more

Spaceship Slime Mold

One of the strangest plants on the planet Earth is called "slime mold," a single-celled plant which normally lives on the moist forest floor that when under stress, builds a kind of "space ship" which it then launches away from the danger. We human beings may eventually have to do the same thing.

Usually the cells of Dictyostelium...

read more

Are We Alone in the Universe?

Now that we know that astronauts have seen UFOs, how is SETI, the organization that is SUPPOSED to be trying to contact alien life, doing?

There's actually good news: the steady discovery of giant planets orbiting stars other than our sun has heightened speculation that there could be Earth-type worlds in nearby planetary systems capable...

read more

More Space Tourism

Taking a vacation in space is an idea that just won't go away. Jeff Bezos, the founder of, has branched out into selling a great many things other than books. Now he has plans to develop commercial spacecraft that will launch into orbit from a spaceport in the little town of Van Horn in West Texas.

Andrew Buncombe writes in...

read more

Space Tourists

It's vacation time for most of us, but a select few will be taking their vacations in SPACE. These trips will begin as early as 2 years from now. reports that designer Philippe Starck and actors Victoria Principal and Bryan Singer have booked their flights aboard the new Virgin Airlines Virgin Galactic craft. They will join 200...

read more

Fuzzy Bubbles

Astronomers have discovered that we live in a kind of seltzer water. All around the earth, bubbles of superhot gas constantly grow larger and then pop. These are particles flowing from the sun that get caught up in the earth's magnetic field.

The bubbles were first discovered in data collected by four spacecraft sent out by the European...

read more

What are Cosmic Rays?

Cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles in the universe, are being sent to earth from someplace beyond our galaxy and no one can figure out where they're coming from.

Ronald Kotulak reports in the Chicago Tribune that an international group of astronomers, including scientists from Fermilab and the University of Chicago, are trying to...

read more

Newly Launched Shuttle Will Take Along?Flies

But they won't sneak inside for the ride, they will taken along on purpose. These are fruit flies, which are valued for medical experiments because they reproduce so quickly. Scientists want to see how they are affected by space travel, because they're worried that long periods in space may depress astronauts' immune systems. For long visits to...

read more

Searching for Other Worlds

The famous wheelchair-bound quantum physicist Stephen Hawking says the survival of the human race depends on our ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe, because of the increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the earth. Just in time, researchers have found a new way to find habitable planets that are close enough to get to (in...

read more

Golf in Space

A spacewalk may take place today (June 1st) on the ISS (International Space Station) but if it does, Russian space station commander Pavel Vinogradov will NOT hit a golf ball into space, as he had planned to do.

In, Tariq Malik quotes ISS spokesperson Kylie Clem as saying, "We've been told that it's pushed to the next [Russian...

read more

Another Earth?

Astronomers have discovered what they call an "Earth-likeplanet" orbiting a distant star. They feel they are finallygetting close to a possible discovery of alien life. Theyare searching for another relatively small, rocky planetwhere temperatures are neither too hot or too cold for lifeto exist.

Most of the planets we discover are huge...

read more

The Importance of Stardust

On this weekend's Dreamland William Henry asks NASA scientist Donald Brownlee the question we all want an answer to: is there life somewhere else in the universe? One way to get evidence about this is Project Stardust, which took off from the Earth seven years ago and returned on January 15th, bringing cosmic dust from the universe back with...

read more

Mysterious Dark Matter

We recently wrote a news story about scientific puzzles that can't seem to get solved but just won't go away. One of these mysteries is dark matter, which can't exist?but does. Astronomers think that dark matter is the "glue" that holds the universe together, except they can't find any of it. But that doesn't mean they're not trying. They're...

read more

Black Hole Mystery

A super-massive black hole has been discovered at the center of our galaxy. Black holes absorb everything that comes near them, even light. They are the most massive objects in the universe, and the most destructive.

Steve Connor writes in the Indpendent that black holes are the strangest things in the universe. How can there be a hole...

read more

Moon Orbiting Tenth Planet

We only recently discovered that there is a tenth planet in our solar system. Now it has been discovered that there is a moon orbiting this planet. Both planet and moon are far away from the sun and other planets, which is why there has long been controversy about whether this is actually a planet or merely an asteroid that got caught in our...

read more

Mysterious Force in Space

After 30 years in space, America's oldest spacecraft,Pioneer 10 and 11, are being held back from visiting distantstars by a mysterious force.

Robin McKie writes in The Observer that some scientiststhink this may be the first real evidence of the "darkmatter" that some scientist theorize permeates the universe. A simpler explanation could...

read more

Space Poop

A vital but unasked question is: what happens to human waste in space? Right now, astronauts bring it back home with them, but on longer space voyages, other solutions will be needed.

This will become more important in the future, when long space voyages are planned. Karen Miller writes that on a two-year trip to Mars, a crew of six...

read more

Life on Other Planets Will Be Detected Soon

Astronomers say that half the planetary systems in our galaxy could contain Earth-like worlds that can sustain life. In 15 years, we'll have space telescopes that will be able to observe these planets and detect any life that may be on them. But will we be able to contact them?

read more

ISS Losing Cabin Pressure

The International Space Station, with its two-man crew (one American, one Russian) is losing cabin pressure, meaning it may have sprung a leak after recently being hit by a piece of space junk. So far, there are no plans to abandon the ISS, since NASA says the leak is small and is "having no impact on station operations and the crew is in no...

read more

Buried in Space

There are plenty of people who dislike the traditional idea of being buried in a graveyard. They usually opt for cremation, and ask that their ashes be scattered in a particular place. Now they can be sent into space. And you can now send final emails to your friends after you're dead.

In 1997, Celestis launched Timothy Leary's ashes...

read more

Life is Everywhere in Space

Astronomers now think that life spread throughout the Milky Way via microbes hitching a ride on asteroids and comets, and that it didn't originate on Earth. It will eventually leak out into other galaxies?if it hasn't already. This means that life is probably widespread, although the planet(s) where life originated may now be barren or may...

read more

Space Privateers

Physicist Freeman Dyson says that our "scheme of Mars missions is excellent, but it has one fatal flaw: the fact that you are expecting NASA to do it." NASA has become timid, after the recent shuttle disaster, but private companies are willing take over the task.

Sir Martin Rees, the British Royal Astronomer, thinks rich CEOs like Amazon...

read more

Mystery of the Space Lights Solved

We recently reported that astronauts on board the International Space Station said they saw strange lights in space. NASA has discovered these were incredibly high auroras, produced by the recent solar storms, although they still don't know how this was possible.

Auroras are usually only seen from Earth, close to the poles. They are...

read more

Astronaut Sees Mysterious Lights in Space

U.S. Astronaut Ed Lu, who spent 6 months on the International Space Station, still doesn't know what caused the mysterious flashes of light he saw while studying the Earth's aurora from space.

He spent 100 hours watching the northern and southern lights while on the ISS, so he's familiar with the way they look from space. But on July 11...

read more

Can We Catch Diseases from Space?

With so many probes heading for Mars and other planets, the question of whether they could bring back new diseases has become important. SARS, Mad Cow Disease and HIV are only three of the diseases that have crossed the species barrier, so infectious pathogens from Martian rock samples probably could too.

Leslie Mullen writes in...

read more

Married in Space

A Russian cosmonaut and an American woman are planning a long distance marriage on August 10th, because they can't find time to get married on the ground. Yekaterina Dmitriev, who lives in Richmond, Texas, plans to marry Russian Air Force Colonel Yuri Malenchenko next month when he's in the International Space Station. "This shows you that long...

read more
Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now