Go buy a helmet
because Astronomers calculate there is a tiny chance that Mars or Venus could collide with Earth. [more inside]
At forty miles (64.4 km) from Pluto to Sun, the Maine Solar System Model
is the largest complete three-dimensional scale model of the solar system in the world. What, you didn't know there was more than one
? And yes, Pluto is staying put
NASA thinks we can find another Earth
in another nearby star. When we do, how can we possibly travel light-years to get there? It might not be as hard as you'd think . . .
Reflections on a Mote of Dust
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam."
Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"
Hey, Baby -- did you feel that?
The sun, someday, will envelope the Earth and all life as we know it will die. Can we prevent this? Some wacky scientists think that the best thing to do would be to up and move the whole damn planet.
If you want to try playing with little planets or images of them, try visiting these websites...
Webearth -- builds a LIVE vrml model of the Earth as it is right now. It draws from current composite satellite photos. Or you can play with a VRML Moon, Venus, Mars or Jupiter, if you'd prefer. (Note: this site does require a VRML 2.0 compatible plug-in, like Parallel Graphics Cortona VRML Viewer.)
Here's an oldie, but a goodie... Same concept, just not live. Earth and Moon Viewer uses various static composite satellite images from many different points of view, and it lets you zoom in and out ... (to a certain extent).
Webwide World lets you zoom in on an earth-like planet... not quite the same thrill, but the images the site produces are beautifully gem-like. And the planet it produces is huge. You'll be able explore islands off the coasts of islands off the coasts of islands.
And for more satellite image zooming pleasure, you can't beat Microsoft's Terra Server.
We are not alone....
a new planet outside of our solar system was found today. It's only a matter of time before the little green men come down to greet us.