A recent deep space discovery is calling into question scientific assumptions that have been taken for granted for generations. The scale of one Large Quasar Group (LQG) is massive — in fact, scientists estimate its size at approximately four billion light years across. But even more significantly, it also appears to be unique, and thus fundamentally challenges the assumption that the universe is homogeneous, lacking any significant variation in observable phenomena wherever one may happen to look.
For all of the scientific and popular interest in past or present life on Mars, what can awaken the greatest public reaction is the possibility of future, human life on Mars. With both the old and new media spotlight turned once more toward Mars, Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who created the space transport company SpaceX, has given hints regarding his plans for a future human settlement on Mars.
The power of the free market is finally being brought to bear on the Final Frontier. The new "space race" among private corporations has every intention of succeeding where government has failed: to establish a permanent and diverse human presence in space.
The solar flares erupting from a giant sunspot group during the first week of July were certainly on a much larger scale than America's fireworks displays celebrating the Fourth of July. The solar fireworks hurled charged particles through millions of miles of space, with one blast so intense that it temporarily disrupted radio communications in Europe. Though the charged particles from the sunspot group, labeled by NASA AR1515, did not head directly toward Earth, the solar fireworks were nevertheless sufficient to have an effect. The velocity of the particles was 700 miles per second, and the temperature on the surface of the sun where the activity was generated is estimated to be a mind-numbing 100 million degrees Celsius.