The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t
The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t

Why put a gigantic telescope in space? It’s a common misconception that Hubble was placed in orbit to be closer to the stars. Really, the difference in distance between our planet’s surface and low Earth orbit is negligible compared to how far away Hubble’s research targets are. The great advantage of a space telescope is

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Make Your Own Cloud Chamber
Make Your Own Cloud Chamber

Clouds usually form when water molecules clump together on small particles of dust in the air. These particles are called condensation nuclei. In clean air, they’re hard to come by, so clouds don’t form easily. If conditions are very humid, the air can become supersaturated, or rich with water molecules that would form a cloud

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Da Vinci’s Parachute
Da Vinci’s Parachute

Leonardo da Vinci was a mind ahead of his time. He didn’t live to see the realization of most of his thousands of pages of inventor’s notes and sketches, but his vision was practical and insightful. Modern experimenters have used updated materials and technology to bring many of his designs to life. His innovations in

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DIY: The Invincible Bag
DIY: The Invincible Bag

What do DNA, RNA, styrofoam, and Ziploc bags have in common? They’re all made of polymers! Polymers are macromolecules, or long chains of repeated small parts. They’re stretchy, tough, and omnipresent– polymers even encode your body! Individual molecules are too small to be directly observed by humans, but we can see some of the properties

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DIY: Make a Magnetic Slime Monster!
DIY: Make a Magnetic Slime Monster!

Did you know that our planet is a giant magnet? It’s true! Without Earth’s magnetic field, compass navigation would be impossible. The field also shields us from cosmic radiation, directing most solar wind far around our planet. In space, large objects are generally too distant from each other to be noticeably pulled or pushed by

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