Wednesday July 30th 2014
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago—a newborn in planet lifetimes. It was identified from its faint and unique heat signature by the Pan-STARRS 1 [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

On Oct. 9, NASA’s Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft made a quick pass by Earth to get a gravity boost and slingshot the probe towards its destination. The time of closest approach was 12:21 p.m. PDT, when Juno passed about 350 miles over South Africa. As the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter grabbed most of the mass leftover after the Sun formed. Dr. Scott Bolton of Southwest Research [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

During the nearly 14 months that it has spent on the red planet, Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, has scooped soil, drilled rocks, and analyzed samples by exposing them to laser beams, X-rays, and alpha particles using the most sophisticated suite of scientific instruments ever deployed on another planet. One result of this effort was evidence that ancient Mars could have [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

After almost 9 years in space that included an unprecedented July 4th impact and subsequent flyby of a comet, an additional comet flyby, and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, NASA’s Deep Impact mission has ended. The project team at JPL has reluctantly pronounced the mission at an end after being unable to communicate with the spacecraft for over a month. The [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched their first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 2:00 p.m. on September 14 from the Uchinoura Space Center. An hour and 49 minutes after launch, deployment of its solar array paddles was confirmed, and the satellite is currently in good [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Things are not always what they seem—especially in space. For 30 years, a large near-Earth object called “Don Quixote” was believed to be an asteroid. Now, an international team of astronomers and planetary scientists has discovered it is actually a comet. Called 3552 Don Quixote, the body is the third-largest near-Earth object (an asteroid or similar body orbiting the Sun in the [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in the Atacama desert of northern Chile has just opened a new window to the Universe, in the 500 GHz frequency band. Astronomers have successfully imaged the distribution of atomic carbon around the planetary nebula NGC 6302 in test observations with the ALMA Band 8 receiver, developed by the National Astronomical [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

The 34,000-acre Chaco Culture National Historical Park is home to many ancient wonders including the remains of a civilization that thrived over 1,000 years ago. The park, which has been protecting its archaeological riches since it was established in 1907, is now protecting its views of the starry skies too. It has just been named as the International Dark-Sky Association’s newest Dark Sky [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Emerging into a region where no spacecraft has gone before, NASA’s Voyager 1 appears to have left our solar system and entered interstellar space, says a University of Maryland (UMD)-led team of researchers. Carrying Earthly greetings on a gold plated phonograph record and still-operational scientific instruments, Voyager 1 has traveled farther from Earth than any other human-made object. [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Most of what scientists know of Jupiter’s moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1990s. Even in these fleeting, paparazzi-like encounters, scientists have seen a fractured, ice-covered world with tantalizing signs of a liquid water ocean under its surface. Such an environment [...]

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