Saturday June 24th 2017
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Special Features - T. S. Owen

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Get Smart - Jamie Wallace

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

How time and our spacecraft fly—especially when you’re making history at 32,000 miles per hour! Continuing on its path through the outer regions of the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has now traveled half the distance from Pluto—its storied first target—to 2014 MU69, the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) it will fly past on Jan. 1, 2019. The spacecraft reached that milestone on [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story. On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale. “No spacecraft has ever gone through the unique region that we’ll attempt to boldly [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Global Astronomy Month 2017 (GAM2017) fills the entire month of April again with exciting programs for astronomy enthusiasts worldwide. Whether it’s stargazing, sharing with the public, or experiencing the cosmos in art and poetry, there is something for everyone in GAM 2017. Global Astronomy Month (GAM), organized each April by Astronomers Without Borders, is the world’s largest annual [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Images returned from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission indicate that during its most recent trip through the inner solar system, the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place—full of growing fractures, collapsing cliffs and massive rolling boulders. Moving material buried some features on the comet’s surface while exhuming others. “As comets approach [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An enormous young planet approximately 300 light-years from Earth has given astrophysicists a rare glimpse into planetary evolution. The planet, known as HD 106906b, was discovered in 2014 by a team of scientists from the U.S., the Netherlands and Italy. It is 11 times the mass of Jupiter and is extremely young by celestial standards—not more than 13 million years old, compared with our own [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

This summer, an ice chest-sized box will fly to the International Space Station, where it will create the coldest spot in the universe. Inside that box, lasers, a vacuum chamber and an electromagnetic “knife” will be used to cancel out the energy of gas particles, slowing them until they’re almost motionless. This suite of instruments is called the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL), and was [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet’s landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today. Studies using both a NASA orbiter and a rover reveal its effects on scales grand to tiny on the strangely structured landscapes within Gale Crater. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover (http://www.nasa.gov/curiosity), on the lower slope of Mount Sharp—a layered mountain [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Arizona State University astronomer Adam Schneider and his colleagues are hunting for an elusive object lost in space between our Sun and the nearest stars. They are asking for your help in the search, using a new citizen-science website. Astronomers have found evidence for a ninth planet in our solar system. The evidence comes from studying the orbits of objects in the solar system’s Kuiper [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Mars scientists are wrestling with a problem. Ample evidence says ancient Mars was sometimes wet, with water flowing and pooling on the planet’s surface. Yet the ancient Sun was about one-third less warm, and climate modelers struggle to produce scenarios that get the surface of Mars warm enough for keeping water unfrozen. A leading theory is to have a thicker carbon-dioxide atmosphere [...]

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