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Blogs | Mar 05, 2015

March 20 eclipse and the Saros

There are currently 40 different Saros series in progress, each with its own assigned number. The total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 belongs to Saros 120.

This image was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Science Wire | Mar 05, 2015

Dawn spacecraft arrives at Ceres on Friday

Dawn will be the first mission to successfully visit a dwarf planet when it enters orbit around Ceres on Friday, March 6.

Science Wire | Mar 05, 2015

Dusty galaxy in the early universe

The discovery suggests that, early in the history of the universe, galaxies contained elements such as carbon and oxygen, raw materials for making planets.

Mar 04, 2015

Northern spring is fireball season

The rate of fireballs – or bright meteors – goes up by as much as 30% for several weeks around every March equinox. Why? No one is entirely sure.

Photo credit: Oliver Floyd
FAQs | Mar 03, 2015

How often does a solar eclipse happen on the March equinox?

There’s a total solar eclipse coming up at this month’s equinox. When is the next one after this, and how often do we get an equinox-eclipse?

A representation of a 9-nanometer azotosome, about the size of a virus, with a piece of the membrane cut away to show the hollow interior. Image credit: James Stevenson
Science Wire | Mar 03, 2015

Methane-based lifeforms on Saturn’s moon?

Scientists offer a template for life that could thrive in the harsh, cold world of Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. It’s not life as we know it.

Science Wire | Mar 03, 2015

Rosetta spacecraft glimpses its own shadow

It’s a spacecraft shadow on a comet! Rosetta caught its own shadow encircled in a wreath of light, on the icy surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Closest and farthest moons
Blogs | Mar 03, 2015

Moon at apogee on March 5

In March 2015, the moon swings out to apogee – farthest point from Earth in its orbit – on March 5, and then reaches perigee – its nearest point – on March 19. We list the dates for this year’s 13 apogees and 13 perigees.

Spacewalk trilogy complete! NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore (seen in this photo) ended their International Space Station spacewalk at 12:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 1, 2015. Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Mar 02, 2015

Missed the spacewalks? Here’s video, photos

On Sunday, NASA astronauts completed their third spacewalk in eight days. Cool video and gorgeous pics from the trio of spacewalks.

View full size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU
Science Wire | Mar 02, 2015

See Earth in Mars’ night sky

A human observer with normal vision, standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright evening or morning “stars.”

What better tribute?  Terry Virts in the International Space Station gives the vulcan salute.
Science Wire | Mar 02, 2015

Touching NASA tributes to Leonard Nimoy’s passing

Nimoy’s character Mr. Spock on Star Trek inspired generations of astronauts, space scientists and engineers, as well as space fans around the globe.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Feb 28, 2015

March 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Three of the five visible planets are in good view in March 2015. Venus and Jupiter shine first thing at nightfall. Saturn adorns the late night and predawn sky.

Artist's impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole in the distant and early universe.  Image via Zhaoyu Li/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Misti Mountain Observatory.
Science Wire | Feb 27, 2015

Monster black hole at cosmic dawn

A black hole 12 billion times more massive than our sun – at the heart of the brightest quasar in the early universe – as the dark ages of the universe were just ending.

Science Wire | Feb 27, 2015

Another breathtaking view of Comet Lovejoy

The comet was 51 million miles from Earth at the time – a short distance for the Dark Energy Camera, which is sensitive to light 8 billion light-years away.

Our local star.  Image via NASA
FAQs | Feb 27, 2015

Are a star’s brightness and luminosity the same thing?

A star’s luminosity is its true brightness. Nearly every star you see with the unaided eye is more luminous than our sun.

Comet C 2015 D1
Science Wire | Feb 25, 2015

Watch unusual comet sail past sun

Then stay tuned. This comet – named C/2015 D1 (SOHO) – might become visible in your evening sky. Maybe.

Spirit Lake, Idaho. Photo credit: Donny Mott
Science Wire | Feb 24, 2015

Chinese rocket breaks up in northern lights

Lucky observers in western North America saw bright lights streaking in the sky Monday night – the disintegration of a Chinese rocket body. Photo and videos here!

Science Wire | Feb 24, 2015

Does dark matter cause mass extinctions?

As we journey around the galaxy, our solar system might regularly interact with dark matter, which might dislodge Oort cloud comets and boost heat in Earth’s core.

This Date in Science | Feb 23, 2015

This date in science: Closest supernova since 1604

Awesome images of Supernova 1987A, a colossal stellar explosion. Plus insights gained from study in the years since then.

Artist's depiction of Scholz's star, a low-mass red dwarf star and brown dwarf companion (foreground) during its flyby of our solar system. The sun (left, background) would have appeared as a brilliant star.  Image via Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester.
Science Wire | Feb 21, 2015

Roaming star system a near miss!

Scholz’s star passed only 0.8 light-years from our sun, only 70,000 years ago. It came closer than any other known star, sweeping through the Oort comet cloud.

John Glenn and Friendship 7
Blogs | This Date in Science | Feb 20, 2015

This date in science: John Glenn first American to orbit Earth

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He made three turns around the planet before returning safely.