Meet the real women behind Hidden Figures.

In the early days of the Space Race, Dorothy Vaughan headed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA) West Area Computing unit. It was an important but segregated unit of mostly female mathematicians doing aerospace calculations by hand. When NACA became NASA in 1958, the Analysis and Computation Division desegregated and Vaughan became a sought-after expert on FORTRAN  – a programming language used on IBM mainframes.

Vaughan is one of the women whose work inspired the film Hidden Figures — a true story of three African American mathematicians who helped NASA launch the first Americans into space.

Feeling inspired? See how coding might figure into your life. Uncover more about Dorothy Vaughan →


The Milky Way Reflected Onto The Largest Salt Flat In The World

In a bid to find a perfectly dark sky, Russian photographer Daniel Kordan made a trip to the Altiplano region located in the west central South America.

Hailing 12,300 feet above the sea level, Kordan was able to utilize the Uyuni salt flat using the special astrophotography camera he had. This type of camera unlocks the colors found in the sky, opening up the barriers between earth and space and casting the Milky Way onto the reflective flats.


A full moon, lunar eclipse and comet may all be visible on Friday

  • A full moon, lunar eclipse and a comet may all be visible to much of the world Friday night if the skies are clear.
  • Early in the night, the snow moon will pass into the Earth’s penumbra, shading part of it.
  • A few hours later, the bright green comet 45P will shoot past the Earth.
  • Though penumbral eclipses are typically not as noticeable as total lunar eclipses, the moon is expected to pass so deeply into the Earth’s shadow that it will appear far darker than usual.
  • The green comet, which visits our neck of the solar system every five years, will whiz within 7.7 million miles of Earth at a speedy clip of about 14.2 miles per second.
  • Most of the world — except for Australia, New Zealand, parts of East Asia and Hawaii — will be able to see the eclipse. Read more (2/9/17 3:30 PM)

follow @the-future-now