Dan Vergano

Cosmic Dust Clouds Gravitational Wave Finding

Headline-grabbing observations of primordial gravity waves now face cloudy prospects, suggests a newly released satellite map of cosmic dust. In March, the South Pole-based BICEP2 physics team reported seeing the surprisingly strong signature of gravitational waves in maps of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Filling the sky, the CMB is thought to be residual heat…

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1833 Meteor Storm Started Citizen Science

  The science of shooting stars owes much to a storied episode of crowdsourcing, a new historical report shows, kicked off by a stunning 1833 meteor shower. Astronomers have increasingly turned to “citizen science” in the Internet era, setting up everyday folks to look for everything from alien worlds to the Milky Way’s galactic gas bubbles. But in a new Endeavour journal report,…

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101 Geysers Spotted Erupting From Saturn Moon

  Erupting from fractures, 101 geysers dot the surface of Saturn’s frozen moon, Enceladus, report NASA scientists. First spotted as plumes in 2005, the total number of geysers has been revealed by a long series of overflights by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The geysers are “not a near-surface phenomenon but have much deeper roots,”  says Cassini imaging…

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Space Station Astronaut Photographs, Tweets Gaza Conflict

Even in space, astronauts can’t escape troubles on Earth. International Space Station crew member Alexander Gerst tweeted an image of  “explosions and rockets” flying over Gaza and Israel on Wednesday night, which was retweeted and liked tens of thousands of times. The European Space Agency astronaut is aboard the orbiting lab, which travels some 261 miles (420 kilometers)…

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Name That Planet! Alien Worlds Looking for Winning Names

Name that planet! Even astronomers have grown weary of planet discoveries with names that only a robot could remember, and on Wednesday they unveiled a new worldwide alien planet naming contest. Announced by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the NameExoWorlds contest offers the public the chance to vote on more memorable names for some 305 planets…

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NASA Launches Carbon Observatory

  A carbon-dioxide-monitoring satellite successfully reached orbit on Wednesday morning, NASA officials announced, replacing one lost after a failed launch five years ago. The $475 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission will map carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, watching the Earth “breathe” in the words of NASA mission manager Betsy Edwards. A greenhouse gas,…

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Hubble Telescope to Start Hunt for Icy World Beyond Pluto

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope will begin searching for an icy world beyond Pluto that could use some exploring, the space agency announced Monday. The  goal: finding a place for the fast-moving New Horizons spacecraft to explore after it visits Pluto next year. (Related: “Global Selfie to Be Beamed to Outer Space.”) Hubble will begin scouring the…

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NASA Unveils Selfie of Earth Created With Tens of Thousands of Individual Pictures

Say “cheese!” NASA has unveiled a global selfie, a stunning mosaic of the planet Earth seen from outer space that was stitched together from tens of thousands of self-portraits taken by people from around the world. The Earth images were created with more than 36,000 selfies that were submitted to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory  this…

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Watch Stunning First Simulation of Universe’s 13-Billion-Year Evolution

Everyone loves cartoons, even cosmologists. They just call them simulations. Now, one of the great triumphs of modern cosmology—our understanding of how the universe evolved its kaleidoscope of stars, worlds, and galaxies—has been visualized in its first realistic simulation: “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales…

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About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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