The rings of Saturn have intrigued people for many years. Scientists find out more about rings and ring systems constantly. With the new discoveries we have new images. A very interesting photo of Prometheus, one of Saturn’s smaller moons, shows some great light effects. Prometheus also causes some very cool effects in the F ring through a gravitational tug-of-war.
Full Moon and Perigee Moon converge for a Supermoon
Track down two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta
Planetary pairings of Saturn and Mars, Jupiter and Venus
The Perseid meteor shower peaks
The Equinox restores balance to days and nights
Mars meets its rival, Antares
An early Harvest Moon occurs in September
Look out for Noctilucent Clouds
Atlantis makes another perfect and spectacularly gorgeous landing on Kennedy Space Center’s Runway 33, coming in by the Gulf of Mexico, and over the Yucatan Peninsula, at Mach 6 speed on a clear Floridian morning. It’s an exciting moment indeed as human eyes discern the first point of a silvery white, fuzzy light in the sky slowly becoming more defined as the Shuttle landing (at over 330mph). Read the rest of this post …
Just after the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower, an explosion that turned night to day occurred on 18 November 2009. An asteroid that was not associated with the Leonids was seen and felt just after midnight MST. Witnesses in four states saw the incoming object and felt the ground shake from a 0.5 to 1.0 megaton explosion just above the ground surface.
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Guess what is 100,000 km high, travels 250 km/s, and packs a 2400 megaton punch? Answer: A fast-mode magnetohydrodynamical wave (MHD wave, for short). It’s basically a tsunami of hot solar plasma rippling from a central point outward. The ripple affects the outer layers of solar material and can be seen as prominences and other features.
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On Thursday, 26 Nov 2009, those who celebrate Thanksgiving will be treated to a double helping of a special treat after dinner. Two ISS/Shuttle sightings are predicted for that night. Shuttle Atlantis and ISS are separated, but are still very close together as they pass across the sky. To find out if the double pass goes over your area, go to the Human Space Flight sight and look up your location.
Yes, we did go to the Moon! Paul Downing designed this webpage of Lunar Landing sites taken by the high resolution camera aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Marked sites are highlighted areas where the moon-walking astronauts abandoned equipment. Thank you Paul for this interesting and important information.
Zoo in the Sky: a Book of Animal Constellations (left) is aimed at teaching children about the constellations. We were quite impressed by its colourful, yet accurate, representations of the sky. Read: the full review of Zoo in the Sky. Pluto Confidential (right) focuses on Pluto’s status as a planet while also charting past astronomical disputes. Written by two astronomers with opposing viewpoints, it provides a balanced account of the arguments. Read: the full review of Pluto Confidential.
The goal of ARES I-X is to test a rocket design which will enable a manned vehicle to launch in a range of weather and wind conditions. More than 700 sensors will be relaying useful data, including sound waves generated by the motor as well as behavior of the stack in wind speed and direction. Read the rest of this post …