April 17th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Capturing Discovery's final flight

Astronauts and CNN iReporters alike describe space shuttle Discovery's last flight as "bittersweet."

When Discovery touched down at Dulles International Airport near Washington on Tuesday, it marked the end of the shuttle program - and the end of an era.

To commemorate the shuttle's final flight, CNN teamed up with NASA and the Smithsonian to collect images from people who spotted the shuttle on its journey, atop a specially modified 747, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be transferred into the Smithsonian's collection at a public ceremony on April 19 at the museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Check out the most stunning images of Discovery's journey in the gallery above, and visit our Open Story to see more submissions on a map and submit your own.

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Filed under: iReport • On Earth
April 17th, 2012
01:50 PM ET

Sun spits out giant fireball

It looked like some incredibly large entity was doing cannonballs on the sun yesterday.

NASA called it a prominence. We call it totally cool. The eruption happened alongside a “medium-sized” solar flare, peaking at 1:45 p.m. ET, NASA says. The image was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Was it directed at the Earth? Click on the video to find out.

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Filed under: In Space • the Sun
Bad time travel in pop culture
April 17th, 2012
01:48 PM ET

Bad time travel in pop culture

Let's be upfront about it: Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch aren't scientists.

But the friends definitely have a love of the science of time travel, which they poured into their new book, "So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel."

Hornshaw and Hurwitch have seen way too many bad time travel movies and they have the same questions as other sci-fi fanboys and fangirls: "It’s hard to walk out of a time travel movie and not go, 'How do these things sync up?'" Hornshaw told CNN Geek Out.

FULL STORY from Geek Out

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Filed under: Voices
April 17th, 2012
01:10 PM ET

Space Shuttle Discovery arrives in Washington

Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Dulles International Airport outside Washington Tuesday after a series of nostalgic fly-bys on the back of a NASA Boeing 747, bringing whoops of pride and tears to the eyes of space fans and astronauts alike.

The 747's flight crew popped a hatch atop the aircraft and waved an American flag as it taxied off the runway.

The flight - the last time Discovery would be aloft - took it from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to the Washington area, where it will spend retirement as a museum piece at an annex to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, near Dulles.

The shuttle will be removed from the specially modified 747 and star as the guest of honor at a four-day celebration punctuated by a ceremony Thursday formally welcoming Discovery to the Smithsonian collection.

Space Shuttle Enterprise, which has been on display at the museum since 1985, will be moved to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York.

"It's a very emotional experience, and I'm sorry this nation is out of the space exploration business for a while," Discovery veteran astronaut Joseph Allen said. FULL POST

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Filed under: On Earth


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