Star-crossed: How to see Venus cross the sun
Watching the transit without special glasses will permanently damage your eyes, say experts. Regular sunglasses aren't safe.
June 5th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

Star-crossed: How to see Venus cross the sun

Whatever you do, for God's sake, don't look at it with your naked eyes!

Today, the planet Venus is crossing between the Earth and the sun - and millions of people will be craning their necks and squinting to see it.

Just don't hurt yourself.

Taking a gander at the "Venus Transit" without protection will put you at risk for permanent eyesight damage, say experts.

It's going to be hard to see - even with the right eyewear. (Safety tips below.) But you might really want to take a look at it, knowing this: it's Mother Nature's last-chance offer.

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Filed under: Eclipse • In Space • News • the Sun
Coronal Hole on the Sun
June 5th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

Coronal Hole on the Sun

"This image of a coronal hole on the sun bears a remarkable resemblance to the 'Sesame Street' character Big Bird. Coronal holes are regions where the sun's corona is dark. These features were discovered when X-ray telescopes were first flown above the Earth's atmosphere to reveal the structure of the corona across the solar disc. Coronal holes are associated with 'open' magnetic field lines and are often found at the sun’s poles. The high-speed solar wind is known to originate in coronal holes. The solar wind escaping from this hole will reach Earth around June 5-7, 2012."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen
Chuck Yeager pulls no punches on space travel
Chuck Yeager broke the 768-mph sound barrier in 1947 while piloting this experimental Bell X-1 rocket plane.
June 5th, 2012
10:32 AM ET

Chuck Yeager pulls no punches on space travel

Editor's note: It's been nearly 65 years since Chuck Yeager became the first human to fly faster than sound. Now 89, the legendary test pilot portrayed in the 1983 movie of Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff" remains active with a charitable foundation and public appearances. He spoke with CNN last week about the future of space travel and his days as a test pilot at California's Edwards Air Force Base. The following is an edited transcript:

CNN: Are you still excited about what's going on in aircraft design and the ability to push the envelope?

Chuck Yeager: There's a limit to what they can do. The main thing is you have new airplanes coming, but it's still the same old weapons systems that destroy the enemy. That's the way you look at it. And there's not an awful lot of new stuff that's mind-boggling.

(Commercial spacecraft designer) Burt Rutan that to me is a bunch of crap trying to shoot guys up into damned space. What they're going to do is they're going to wipe out half a dozen (people) one of these days, and that will be the end of it.

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Filed under: On Earth • Voices

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