Skipping Rocks Across the Solar System

Zing!   Asteroid 2012 BX34 has just skipped by Earth, coming within 30,000 miles.   That’s only 0.17 Lunar Orbit distance.   Pretty close shave.    Meanwhile, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to play with the NASA three dimensional orbit viewer, which animates our solar system by a selection of speeds and centers.   Check out the […]

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Year of the Dragon, off to a fire-breathing start!

Our sun blasted out an amazing breath of dragon’s fire yesterday, the largest solar Coronal Mass Ejection event in seven years!   Arriving this morning, the blast of cosmic rays ruffled our hair at the staff meeting, and no doubt set a few embedded devices on the fritz, but fortunately not much else went wrong. […]

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What’s in the Air Over Saturn?

Interesting images captured by Cassini show us the sky over Saturn’s north pole, spanned by a hexagon of clouds in fixed rotation with the gas giant.  The scientists at NASA aren’t quite sure what is causing this phenomenon, unknown on any other planet in our solar system.   Still, doesn’t it make you wonder what […]

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Fires of Fomalhaut

Yes, Virginia, we have visuals of extra-solar planets!   Of course, this is nothing new to astronomers…  Since Gallileo first spotted the moons of Jupiter we knew they were out there, spinning in their orbits several light years across the black pond.  But all the same, there is a moment to savor when the dust […]

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Journey to the moon… is also possible!

As Americans shudder beneath the shadow of their inter-galactic debts, the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched their lunar orbiter, the Chandrayaan-1.    The two-year mission of the Chandrayaan orbiter will capture high-resolution imagery of the lunar surface on multiple bandwidths, enabling the compilation of a super-accurate 3D-model of the moon.   Way to go […]

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Shenzhou 7 Blasts Off

Successful launch of the Shenzhou 7 mission…    Taikonauts walk the walk…   and float back down to mother Earth at Siziwang Qi, Inner Mongolia.

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Taikonauts prepare for liftoff!

The countdown has begun for tonight’s scheduled liftoff of the Shenzhou 7 mission, which includes the first EVA space-walk by Chinese Taikonauts.  The intrepid crew will be wearing Chinese made “Feitian” spacesuits, appropriately named for the flying genii figures that are one of the most pervasive art motifs in China since their introduction from Central […]

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