Saturday May 23rd 2015
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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

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The European Space Agency’s Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year. Since its arrival at Venus in 2006, Venus Express had been on an elliptical 24-hour orbit, traveling 66,000 km above the south [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. “This temporary increase in methane—sharply up and then back down—tells us there must be some relatively localized source,” said Sushil Atreya of the University [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A team of scientists, led by Dr. Sebastian Hoenig from the University of Southampton, has measured the distance to the NGC 4151 (“Eye of Sauron”) galaxy with unprecedented accuracy, using the W. M. Keck Observatory Interferometer in Hawaii. The team employed a new technique they developed, which allows them to measure distances to galaxies tens of millions of light-years away with 90 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA’s best view of Jupiter’s ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. This is the first time that NASA is publishing a version of the scene produced using modern image processing techniques. The image features many long, curving and linear fractures in the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

With the Philae lander’s mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun. Last week, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft delivered its Philae lander to the surface of the comet for a dramatic touchdown. The lander’s planned mission ended after about 64 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

On Nov. 12, ESA’s Rosetta mission made history by soft-landing its Philae probe on a comet, the first time such an extraordinary feat has been achieved. After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (8:03 a.m. PST). “Our ambitious Rosetta mission has secured [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The site where Rosetta’s Philae lander is scheduled to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko November 12 now has a name: Agilkia. The landing site, previously known as “Site J,” is named for Agilkia Island on the Nile River in the south of Egypt. A complex of Ancient Egyptian buildings, including the famous Temple of Isis, was moved to Agilkia from the island of Philae when the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Using an array of 6 telescopes at Mount Wilson Observatory  astronomers have observed the expanding thermonuclear fireball from a “nova” that erupted last year in the constellation Delphinus. The observations produced the first images of a nova during the early fireball stage and revealed how the structure of the ejected material evolves as the gas expands and cools. The results of these [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The longest-lived robot ever sent to Mars came through its latest challenge in good health, reporting home on schedule after sheltering behind Mars from possible comet dust. NASA’s Mars Odyssey was out of communications with Earth, as planned, while conducting observations of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on Sunday, Oct. 19, as the comet flew near Mars. The comet sped within about 88,000 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

A partial eclipse of the sun will be visible across most of North America on Thursday, October 23, as the Moon partially obscures the Sun between 2:10 and 4:40 p.m. PDT. At eclipse maximum (3:29 p.m.) the Sun will be approximately half covered, as the Moon passes in front of it. Viewers should exercise extreme caution to avoid eye damage. NEVER look directly at the Sun except through [...]

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