Satspotting Adventures: Why Are Different Orbits Needed for Satellites?

Congratulations: perhaps you’re a new space-faring nation, looking to place a shiny new payload around the planet Earth. You’ve assembled the technical know-how, and seek to break the surly bonds and join an exclusive club that thus far, only contains 14 nations capable of indigenous spaceflight. Now for the big… » 4/04/15 11:15am 4/04/15 11:15am

The Poynting-Robertson Effect forces things to fall into the sun

The sun's light feels pretty good, doesn't it? Fool! That warming light is the sun's method of destroying you. Using its light, it is slowly forcing you to fall inwards, where you will burn. Burn! This trap is the result of the Poynting-Robertson Effect, which causes all the objects in the solar system, especially the… » 1/17/13 7:40am 1/17/13 7:40am

View the stars from orbit in this hypnotic time-lapse video

The best place to watch the stars isn't on Earth, but just outside, where the atmosphere doesn't get in the way of the view. Photographer Alex Rivest spliced together images taken from the International Space Station, enhancing the natural brilliance of the lights and giving us a peek at how astronauts see the stars. » 3/18/12 1:30pm 3/18/12 1:30pm

The Future Of Short Fiction Publishing: Pay Per Story?

The iPad and other devices may have revolutionized the short story publishing market, judging from a new announcement by Orbit Books. The genre publisher, whose authors include Iain M. Banks and Gail Carriger, is going to start publishing its authors's short fiction electronically — but Orbit's not going the Tor… » 4/15/10 5:00pm 4/15/10 5:00pm