How the United States Looked to the Civilized World in 1803

In 1803, the United States was still struggling to be taken seriously as a nation. Still, it seemed promising enough that the great civilization known as the Ottoman Empire began to take notice of it. This gorgeous map is one of the earliest and most detailed that Ottoman geographers produced of the region. » 10/29/14 1:30pm Wednesday 1:30pm

How soon before we can start mapping the surfaces of distant planets?

To date, astronomers have catalogued over 860 exoplanets. If that wasn't remarkable enough, scientists have also been able to determine the atmospheric composition of many of these planets by analyzing their spectral shifts. But even more incredible would be the ability to actually chart landmasses and oceanic… » 1/31/13 11:20am 1/31/13 11:20am