One Cool Thing: Fireflies in Space

Image: Danielle Brigida/Flickr

When a second-grade class wondered what would happen if a firefly went to space (would it still be able to light up in zero gravity?) their teacher, Maggie Samudio, helped them get the answer by helping her students send an experiment to space.

As the New York Times reported, Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, was planning to offer the ability for schools to fly small experiments on its New Shepard suborbital spacecraft for as little as $8,000. So for the price of school football uniforms, any school district that affords football can now send things into space.

While no fireflies were harmed in the experiment, the answer is yes, fireflies can indeed glow in space!

Up Next

One Pretty Thing: The Northern Lights Visible In the Lower 48

One Pretty Thing: The Northern Lights Visible In the Lower 48

This week presents a rare astronomical event: the northern lights will be visible to a large swathe of the United States. According to the latest forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center, the Aurora Borealis can be spotted from the Pacific Northwest to New England and as far south as northern Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading 336 words
NASA Partners with Europeans to Launch Ocean Observing Satellite

NASA Partners with Europeans to Launch Ocean Observing Satellite

NASA launched a new ocean observation satellite on the back of a SpaceX rocket last week. Now that it’s in space, the Sentinel-6 named the “Michael Freilich” will perform continuous monitoring of ocean levels and currents for the next 30 years. The “unprecedented accuracy” of its data will benefit ocean travel, weather forecasts, hurricane predictions, and climate science.  

Why This Matters: The Sentinel-6 will help scientists monitor the climate crisis as it unfolds in our world’s oceans and coasts (home to 40% of humanity).

Continue Reading 510 words

One Cool Thing: Baby Yoda In Space

Baby Yoda is the Crew-1 astronauts' zero gravity indicator pic.twitter.com/XEshbkl1VT — Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) November 16, 2020 The most famous member of the Space Shuttle crew is an alien TV star!  The new astronaut crew aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft safely docked with the International Space Station late Monday.  Way cool, but all anyone could […]

Continue Reading 71 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.