The Ends Of The World: Solar Flares

It’s unlikely that solar flares will ever kill us. That may be an odd way to begin an “Ends of the World” post, but it’s true: so long as the Earth’s magnetosphere remains stable, we’re fine. Then again, that’s the catch, isn’t it?

Astronauts Return Home From Mars Simulation

The first humans to travel to Mars returned Friday after an 18-month voyage. Of course, it was all just pretend. For 520 days, astronauts in Moscow took part in an experiment to study how a mission to the red planet would affect human physiology and mental well-being. They spent the “trip” completely isolated from the …

Our Sun, The “Benevolent Monster”

In five days, what has been called a “benevolent monster” will turn to face Earth. A region of the sun containing “dozens of sunspots, including one that is the size of 17 Earths,” will, like the Death Star taking aim at the Rebel Alliance’s base at Yavin IV, slowly point toward our planet within the …

Asteroid 2005 YU55, Coming Toward An Earth Near You

Asteroid 2005 YU55 will make an extraordinarily close flyby of Earth on November 8, 2011, passing right inside our moon’s orbit at a distance of only about 200,000 miles. The asteroid, which is roughly 1,300 feet wide (not much in comparison to the doom-maker 433 Eros, which is 8 miles, or 42,240 feet, wide), won’t impact …

The Return of Houdini

Harry Houdini made a promise. If it were possible, he’d told his wife — if it could be done — he would find a way back. The magician who had spent his life breaking out of chains and water tanks, who had focused much of his later career on debunking psychics and mediums, would attempt …

The “Hat Man”

Have you seen the “Hat Man?” Given the widespread nature of this phenomenon, it’s not unlikely that you have. Perhaps belonging to the often mystifying “Shadow People,” the so-called Hat Man is a phantom who appears for just an instant, a tall shade wearing old-fashioned clothing and a top hat. Many say they feel no …