Fifty-five years ago today, astronaut…

Fifty-five years ago today, astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history, when he got into Soviet Vostok 1 spaceship capsule and launched into space. Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Reports praised Gagarin for his perfect flight, but in fact he didn’t pilot the Vostok capsule. Psychologists working with the Soviet Space Program were worried that exposure to weightlessness would impact the pilot’s decision-making faculties. And so, the pilot was effectively locked out of controlling his capsule.

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There exists a dwarf planet, Haumea, past the orbit…

There exists a dwarf planet, Haumea, past the orbit of Neptune that is the fastest spinning planet or dwarf planet in the Solar System by far. How fast? Well Haumea is a third the mass of Pluto, but rotates once every 3.5 hours. This is so fast it puts a lot of stress on the dwarf planet and makes it look like an ellipsoid– as in, normally it would be fairly spherical like a tennis ball, but is spinning so fast that Haumea is twice as long as it is wide (so like a lentil).

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