This website shows you the size of the solar system to scale. You find the planets by scrolling to the right. A lot. The site does a great job of demonstrating the scale of the solar system and the distances involved. I highly recommend listening to George Hrab's International Year of Astronomy anthem FAR! while you scroll.
The first large black holes in the universe likely grew deep inside gigantic, starlike cocoons that smothered their powerful x-ray radiation and prevented surrounding gases from being blown away, says a new study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
EMBARGOED until: 24 November 2009 00:01 GMT


A new website will give everyone the chance to contribute to science by playing a ‘cosmic slot machine’ and compare images of colliding galaxies with millions of simulated images of galactic pile-ups.

These collisions, which astronomers call ‘galactic mergers’, could be the key to finding out why the Universe contains the mix of galaxies it does -- some with trailing spiral arms, others more like compact ‘balls’ of stars.
I'm a reasonable man, but there's a laxness in cyberspace I just can't abide with. And I'm talking to you, I'll say it straight, you may know science but you ain't giving your readers any links to the real stuff. You just echo-chamber yourself-- all your dang blag links link back to you! If you ain't gonna share your references, you ain't doing science, just flappin' yer gums. Buck up and cite like a man, ya here?

Let's look at us down home at ScientificBlogging. We got us an article on NASA's report of 'water on the Moon'. It's a purty piece, maybe a bit talky, but it's got itself some solid references. Let's list 'em:

RuBisCo Stars, Frank Drake and the "Riddle of Life"

December 4, 2009.

Our satellite hits the road-- even before it gets built!  I will be presenting a short talk on "Project Calliope: Science and Social Media" at the winter AAS meeting in Washington DC on January 7, 2010.  The session is 'Innovations in Teaching and Learning'.
The word on the street is that Jesus is pretty t'd off at NASA.1 What mortal sin2 did the space agency allegedly commit? The non-biological reproduction of an RNA component in a laboratory, of course.

NASA scientists reproduced uracil in a lab under conditions found in space, according to Astrobiology. Uracil is one of the components of the genetic code that makes up ribonucleic acid (RNA); RNA is mainly known for its role in protein synthesis. In other words, NASA was able to create a building block of life in the lab.
While today we're pretty darned certain there is no intelligent life on Mars, in the early 20th century, it was still an open question. 

So-- about four decades before the publically known Project Ozma search-- the Navy stepped up to find out. 

Well before SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Project Ozma, Area 51, or even the 1938 radio hoax 'War of the Worlds', the Navy was looking for Martians.
Today is the 75th anniversary of Carl Sagan's existence. Unfortunately, Carl Sagan is no longer alive to celebrate with us. Carl is the paradigmatic advocate for science. Those trying to popularize science after Carl are all trying to be Carl. Sagan not only made science interesting, he never compromised on the facts. He trusted his audience to be intelligent and interested.
1571 was also interesting. Galileo Galilei was then seven years old. Johannes Kepler was born on December 27. There were two solar eclipses, a total on January 25 and an annular on July 21-22. Four, one partial and three penumbral, lunar eclipses occurred on August 5 and February 10, July 7, and December 31, respectively.