We’re About to Visit Pluto For The First Time. Here’s an Incredible Video to Celebrate

Right now, a great milestone in human exploration is taking place. NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever created, is speeding towards Pluto for a rendezvous on July 14, 2015. The visit will beam back images of the dwarf planet for the first time in over half a century of space exploration.

This Jaw-Dropping Video Will Make the Earth Seem VERY Small

If you ever watched Cosmos as a kid (or just on Youtube) you know Carl Sagan loved to drop his catch phrase ‘billions and billions’. But Sagan didn’t just talk about how big everything was in the universe, some numbers are just too large to comprehend. This video explains the universe a lot like Sagan would, by showing it to us in a way we can’t possibly forget.

Here’s Every Meteorite Fall on Earth in a Single Interactive Visualization

Ever wonder how many meteors have hit Earth? The Meteoritical Society is doing its best to keep track. And Javier de la Torre, co-founder of CartoDB, is helping us see the pure volume of hits (into the tens of thousands). His interactive visualization shows a heatmap of hits all over the world, letting you explore where and when meteorites fell, as well as their size and classification. (Pro tip: See if any have landed near your hometown.)

SpaceX’s Travel Posters Will Make You Want to Visit Mars

It may be a while until you can catch a quick flight to the red planet, but SpaceX is hopeful that option may be in our future. The commercial spacecraft company, whose spacecraft will be used to support the majority of U.S. scientific missions, is determined to enable people to live on other planets someday. (Yes, that is the company’s official mission.) To keep that dream alive and offer us some entertaining inspiration, SpaceX released three throwback travel posters last week. Who’s up for an intergalactic road trip?

The Hubble Telescope Is 25—and Other Out of This World Art

It’s been 25 years since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit, drastically changing the way we see the universe. This week marks a worldwide celebration of the Hubble’s work and legacy.

So, what is the Hubble?

Named after Edwin Hubble, who came up with the theory of the “expanding universe,” it’s the world’s most powerful telescope, orbiting 343 miles above Earth’s surface and collecting 120 gigabytes of data each week.

The telescope uses mirrors to capture and reflect light into 6 on-board science instruments, including cameras and spectrographs, which break light into colors for analysis. Because the telescope orbits above our atmosphere, it can take clearer pictures. (On Earth, light wavelengths are obstructed by the air pockets in our atmosphere, giving us less clear pictures.) Here, you can see the same picture taken from the ground and from the Hubble.

An Astronaut’s Daughter Sends A Heartfelt Message to Space Using Huge Tire Tracks

Being an astronaut’s daughter isn’t easy, especially when your dad lives on the International Space Station. First there’s years of intense training and time away from home, then the real distance happens – you don’t get a more remote job than working in space. 13-year-old Stephanie from Houston is in that situation, and wanted to send her dad a message he’d really remember. With the help of Hyundai and a team of stunt drivers she sent a message her dad could read from space.

What Would it Look Like if the Sun was Replaced by Other Stars?

There’s nothing quite like a good sunset. We flock to that colorful scene any day the weather is good. But what if it looked a bit less familiar? Graphic designer Martin Vargic wondered what it would look like if our closest star, the Sun, was replaced with other stars in the galaxy (say the tiny red dwarf Barnard’s Star, or the giant Aldebaran). Vargic set to work, creating a series of Photoshopped images which replaced our familiar Sun with others from around the galaxy.

NASA Filmed the Sun For 5 Years And Squeezed It Down Into This 3 Minute Time-lapse

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) yesterday,NASA released this comprehensive time-lapse of our amazing sun. Although it spans 5 years of footage, with one frame captured every 8 hours, they condensed the spinning star dance into 3 minutes. According to NASA, “The different colors represent the various wavelengths (sometimes blended, sometimes alone) in which SDO observes the sun.” And the best part about this video is that you can stare at the sun, at a range you could never see it in real life, without even damaging your vision!

PSU Patents Invention That Allows Astronauts To Enjoy Coffee In Space

There is more to drinking coffee than just the caffeine rush in your bloodstream. The fragrant aroma combined with the hot liquid dancing across your taste buds is just as addictive as the caffeine. But until now, astronauts were deprived of that luxury. Freeze dried coffee is simply not the same and drinking from a bag removes the coffee drinking rituals that we have become so familiar with here on Earth.

If The Moon and Mars Had Oceans, What Would They Look Like?

Humans have long dreamt of living on other planets, but last time we checked they weren’t too keen on setting up permanent residence on the red dusty plains of Mars or even on a Moon mountain. The climate on those two celestial bodies isn’t exactly inviting – but there are plenty of people who dream of changing that. Terraforming is the theoretical process of modifying a planet to make it more Earth-like, and these two fascinating maps from data scientist Seth Kadish show what it could look like on Mars and the Moon.