“Out-of-this-World” –NASA Ion-Powered Spacecraft Could Streak Through Milky Way At More Than 200,000 MPH



“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible,” said sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. A one-way trip to Mars using conventional chemical rockets could take up to nine months. It’s a long time for a human crew to spend in a spaceship exposed to radiation and other hazards. That’s one reason why NASA and other space agencies, as well as universities and private industry, are pursuing different types of rocket technologies beyond the SpaceX Falcon Heavy a 230-foot-tall engineering marvel, with its ability to ferry loads of up to 141,000 pounds into low-earth orbit.


“Beyond Exoplanets” –K2 Mission Unveils Exploding Stars of the Cosmos



Astronomer Ed Shaya was in his office looking at data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope in 2012 when he noticed something unusual: The light from a galaxy had quickly brightened by 10 percent. The sudden bump in light got Shaya instantly excited, but also nervous. The effect could be explained by the massive explosion of a star — a supernova! — or, more troubling, a computer error.


Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –Amazing Photos of the “March for Our Lives” from Around the World




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In Berlin, Germany, demonstrators protest at the “March for our Lives” yesterday. The protest in Berlin was intended to show solidarity with demonstrations across the U.S. demanding stricter and more sensible gun control legislation. (Adam Berry/Getty)


Alien Worlds of TRAPPIST-1 –“We’re Seeing for the 1st Time Earth-Sized Planets With Lots of Water or Ice”



“What we are seeing for the first time are Earth-sized planets that have a lot of water or ice on them,” says Arizona State University astrophysicist, Steven Desch.


Stephen Hawking’s Great Question –“Why Isn’t the Milky Way Crawling With Mechanical or Biological Life?”



“If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct, Stephen Hawking observed, “there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?”