Related topics: nasa · satellite · earth · solar system · spacecraft

Curiosity tastes first sample in 'clay-bearing unit'

Scientists working with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have been excited to explore a region called "the clay-bearing unit" since before the spacecraft launched. Now, the rover has finally tasted its first sample from this part ...

NASA demos CubeSat laser communications capability

Two NASA CubeSats teamed up on an impromptu optical, or laser, communications pointing experiment. The laser beam is seen as a brief flash of light close to the center of the focal plane, to the left of Earth's horizon.

New model accurately predicts harmful space weather

A new, first-of-its-kind space weather model reliably predicts space storms of high-energy particles that are harmful to many satellites and spacecraft orbiting in the Earth's outer radiation belt. A paper recently published ...

Curiosity captured two solar eclipses on Mars

When NASA's Curiosity Mars rover landed in 2012, it brought along eclipse glasses. The solar filters on its Mast Camera (Mastcam) allow it to stare directly at the Sun. Over the past few weeks, Curiosity has been putting ...

A microlaser emitting helical light

Researchers recently demonstrated the realization of an integrated microlaser based on a novel design that emits light in chiral modes, thus producing corkscrews of light. An object is said to be chiral if it can be distinguished ...

Spin flipper upends protons

Protons spin. It's an intrinsic property that can affect experiments at accelerators that use beams of protons. Yet flipping proton spins could offer insights into nuclear physics experiments that study the first moments ...

China to launch asteroid probe, calls for partners

China plans to launch an ambitious asteroid exploration mission and has invited collaborators to put their experiments on the probes, space agency officials said Thursday.

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In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of one object around a point or another body, for example the gravitational orbit of a planet around a star.

Historically, the apparent motion of the planets were first understood in terms of epicycles, which are the sums of numerous circular motions. This predicted the path of the planets quite well, until Johannes Kepler was able to show that the motion of the planets were in fact elliptical motions.[citation needed] Isaac Newton was able to prove that this was equivalent to an inverse square, instantaneously propagating force he called gravitation.[citation needed] Albert Einstein later was able to show that gravity is due to curvature of space-time, and that orbits lie upon geodesics. This is the current understanding.

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