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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 by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Phoenix Mars Lander Does Not Phone Home NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has ended operations after repeated attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful. A new image transmitted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), looking down on Phoenix from orbital height, shows signs of severe ice damage to the lander’s solar panels. “The Phoenix spacecraft succeeded in its [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Arc to Arcturus OF THE 2,000 OR SO STARS that are visible to the unaided eye (or would be, in a dark sky far from city lights), only a relative few are known by name. The brightest ones have names given to them many centuries ago, mostly by Greek, Babylonian, Roman, or Arab starwatchers—names full of history and lore, like Arcturus (Greek for “bear-guard”), Betelgeuse (Babylonian for [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Setting Sail for the Stars - The spring winds gusting across the Southland today almost had me grumbling about wind chill and such—but instead, the wind-pressure at my back suddenly brought a flood of pleasant recollections of my sail-skating days as a college student. The University of Wisconsin at Madison, where I was attending the fall-winter term, is built on the shore of beautiful [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

NASA’s New Eye on the Sun Delivers Stunning First Images NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is returning early images that confirm an unprecedented new capability for scientists to better understand our Sun’s dynamic processes. These solar activities affect everything on Earth. Some of the images from the spacecraft show never-before-seen detail of material [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Long-Lost Soviet Reflector Found on Moon A team of physicists led by a professor at UC San Diego has pinpointed the location of a long-lost light reflector left on the lunar surface by the Soviet Union nearly 40 years ago that many scientists had unsuccessfully searched for and never expected would be found. The French-built laser reflector was sent aboard the unmanned Luna 17 mission, [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

‘This Planet Tastes Funny,’ According to Spitzer Telescope NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered something odd about a distant planet—it lacks methane, an ingredient common to many of the planets in our solar system. “It’s a big puzzle,” said Kevin Stevenson, a planetary sciences graduate student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, lead author of a study [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Sun Fire, Moon Ice, Westchester Stars An international team of solar and space scientists have built the most complete picture yet of the full impact of large solar eruptions called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) as these huge bodies of solar material travel from the Sun to the Earth. Dr. Mario Bisi of Aberystwyth University (in Wales) presented the study’s results at the British Royal [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Triton’s Summer Sky of Methane and Carbon Monoxide According to the first-ever infrared analysis of the atmosphere of Neptune’s moon Triton, summer is in full swing in its southern hemisphere. Using the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, a European observing team discovered carbon monoxide and made the first ground-based detection of methane in [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Venus and Mercury Pair Up in Twilight For the next week, the two closest planets to the Sun will shine together low in the twilight after sundown. Anyone can see them; they’ll form an eye-catching pair. You’ll just need a clear sky and an open view toward the west, about 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. “Mercury is pretty hard to spot most of the time, so a lot of people have never [...]

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Phobos Flyby Images Released Images from the recent close flyby of Mars’ moon Phobos, which took place on March 7, were released March 15. The images show the rocky, irregular-shaped moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 meters (about 5 yards) per pixel. They also show the proposed landing sites for Russia’s forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission. Images from the flyby are [...]

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