On the morning of September 1, 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington pointed his telescope at the sun. He immediately noticed some unusual activity. A cluster of massive dark spots marred the sun’s […]
The Song Played for the Loneliest Birthday on the Planet
Birthdays and parties go together. It is a time of celebration for the one who is having a birthday, as well as his or her friends and family. At some point during […]
NASA Measures Space Sickness With the Garn Scale
One of the biggest honors a person can receive is to become the namesake of a unit of measurement. Daniel Fahrenheit, Andres Celsius, and Charles Richter are just a few individuals whose […]
Big Bird Narrowly Avoided Dying in Space
For over 50 years, Sesame Street’s Big Bird has been one of the most iconic and beloved children’s characters. The 8-foot 2-inch (249 cm) bright yellow bird has been teaching children how […]
Some Slick Stories Surrounding the Slinky
They say some people are like Slinky’s — they’re not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. If […]
Did a Manhole Cover Become the First Manmade Object in Space?
The eyes of the world were turned spaceward in October 1957 because the Soviet Union had just launched Sputnik, the first manmade object sent into space. Or was it? Just a few […]
The Most Expensive Hyphen In History
It has been called the most expensive hyphen in history. That is a bit of a misstatement. It was actually the most expensive overbar in history, but since most of us have […]
NASA Knows it Needs an Official Nose
When you contemplate all the skills involved in sending someone into space, you think about math, physics, rocketry, and orbital dynamics. Odds are that you didn’t spend a lot of time thinking […]
One Small Step for Man — One Tiny Adjustment to the Budget
The budget for mankind’s first manned mission to the moon was about $25.4 billion. Buried within the countless lines of expense details is the cost for one of the most memorable aspects […]
How Long is the Perfect “Power Nap”?
There is no denying the mental health aspect of a good nap. On those days when the mind is sluggish and the body can’t seem to shift out of first gear, a […]
The Wedding Ring That Was Lost — And Found — in Outer Space
Many human-made objects have been placed in space, including this comprehensive list of items that remain on the moon. None of these items retain quite the drama or personal impact as the […]
Golf Balls, a Feather, and Bags of Poop: What Have We Left on the Moon?
If you imagine the moon as a barren landscape, completely untouched by man, you would be mistaken. Perhaps you realize that it does have a couple of manmade items, such as an […]
One Giant Leak for Mankind
Neil Armstrong may have been the first man to go to the moon, but it was Buzz Aldrin who has the honor of being the first man to go on the moon. Yes, history […]
How Did a 10-Year-Old Boy Help Save Apollo 11?
Neil Armstrong. Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins. The names of the Apollo 11 astronauts who were the first to journey to the moon are rightfully remembered and honored. How many remember Greg Force, […]
Who Wins in the Competition Between Pluto and Russia?
NASA’s New Horizons zoomed past Pluto in July 2015. It not only captured some stunning pictures of the planet, (Yes, we at Commonplace still hold to the notion that it is, indeed, […]