Earth & Space

The Catalina missile a boy scout conspiracy?

An explanation for the spectacular missile contrail that appeared in the Los Angeles sky last night continues to prove elusive. Amidst the speculation, a benign possibility suggests itself: could it be that someone got carried away while trying to earn Scouting's space exploration merit badge?

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The woman in the moon

It's a lunar craterin this case, a rather striking one found in the Bay of Rainbow's in the moon's northern hemisphere. But as the blazon of Chinese characters indicates, there's something different about this image. The probe Chang'e 2named for the Chinese goddess who lives on the moon with her companion, the herbalist Jade Rabbitis scouting sites for a planned Chinese robotic moon landing in 2013. The budget for Chang'e 2 is reportedly a mere $134 million.

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A hyperdrive for Google Earth

Perhaps the most visceral effect Google Earth offers takes place when you open the program and that vision of the Earth from space swings into view. It's tempting to head off into space itselfbut the space imagery Google includes is low-res and very incomplete. Now, two Fermilab scientists have created a layer of rich, detailed images of galaxies and galaxy clusters, using data from the Sloan Sky Survey...

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