Stories about planets

It’s been 50 years to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and it’s still a futuristic masterpiece

It is not an easy film to watch. But Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that you must watch. It was released 50 years ago and is considered a landmark film. But how do you watch it? There is little dialogue in the film and some of the best lines are spoken by HAL, that ominous and mysterious computer that takes over controls of the spaceship. I first watched this movie in the mid-80s in Karachi. Video shops and Videocassette recorders (VCR) were in vogue and 26-inch TVs were considered ‘large’. I had heard of A Space Odyssey as a great science fiction ...

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Can Earth’s bigger, older cousin sustain life as we know it?

The light from the star Kepler 452 dimmed just a fraction. Then, 385 days later, it happened again. Astronomers now know that a planet – only a little bigger than the Earth – is causing the dimming, as it blocks some of the light heading our way. It is orbiting a sun-like star and is the closest analogue to Earth discovered yet. This way of detecting planets is called ‘Transit Method’ and has turned out to be one of the most successful ways of identifying other worlds. So far, astronomers have detected 5,583 planetary candidates around stars other than our Sun, with 1,879 already ...

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We are making history today with our closest approach to Pluto

If you are out and about this afternoon or either sitting at home reading this article, at 4:49pm (PST), look up at the sky (please don’t look straight towards the sun) and wait to be blown away by our advancement in technology. At this precise moment, a machine built by humans will be making its closest approach to Pluto – at the frontiers of our Solar System. This spacecraft, called ‘New Horizons’ has been traveling at the incredible speed of 50,000 kilometres per hour. In case you’re still not impressed, check your speedometer when you are driving on a highway and ...

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