Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
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U.K. Royal Mint honors Stephen Hawking on new 50p coin

The coin depicts a black hole and one of the late physicist's most important formulas.

  • Stephen Hawking, cosmologist, theoretical physicist and popular science educator, died on March 14, 2018.
  • The Royal Mint is celebrating his work and life with a collector's coin that's selling for 10 pounds.
  • Hawking's younger son said he imagined his dad reacting to the news with "one of his huge, wide smiles."
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Is time real or is it an illusion?

Light exists outside of time.

  • Time can change depending on how fast you're moving through space. Also, time can "flow" at different rates for different observers.
  • Light doesn't experience time — it exists outside of time.
  • We perceive space and time differently, but they may be woven together. For instance, they both balance each other out: If you are still, time goes by at a natural rate. However, if you move through space very fast, time begins to slow down.

The moon is inside Earth's atmosphere, European researchers say

Scientists examined data from 20 years ago to reach a startling new conclusion.

Earth appears over the Lunar horizon. Photo taken during the Apollo 11 mission. 1969. Credit: NASA
  • Observations made by the SOHO spacecraft over 20 years ago lead to a new discovery.
  • The Earth has hydrogen envelope as part of its outer atmosphere called the geocorona.
  • The geocorona stretches well past the moon, reveals a study.
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