There are many things in life whose constancy we can rely on -- friends, family, death, taxes -- but our home planet isn't one of them. Things are 'a' changin'. Slooowly. How would you feel about longer days, shorter springs, and a new north star?
Jupiter's early migration through the inner solar system caused gravitational mayhem, but it ultimately settled to allow Earth to form in a relatively quiet neighborhood.
Earth is in what's called the habitable zone. It's far enough from the sun that it doesn't get fried, and close enough that it gets the best of its warmth. We like to think we're special for this, but it turns out we might be pretty run of the mill.
The first day of Spring began with some dazzle in Europe and the Arctic with a solar eclipse.
This week, the moon will completely cover the disk of the sun, creating a solar eclipse that only a small part of the world can see.
If our planet had no gravity, what would happen? Would we all just float away like so many spacesuited George Clooneys? Join us in a little thought experiment, as we ponder a world that doesn't pull us down.
It's not a spare moon of ours, exactly, but Earth does have a sort of gravitational buddy out there, in the mellifluously named 3753 Cruithne. It orbits the sun, just like us, and is locked with Earth in what scientists call orbital resonance.
NASA flight engineer Terry Virts paid respects to Leonard Nimoy from the International Space Station.
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