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Science Wire | Oct 06, 2015

See Wednesday’s rocket launch from U.S. mid-Atlantic

Time will be 7 and 9 p.m. EDT this evening. People in a wide swath of U.S. mid-Atlantic states can see it, if skies are clear.

Photo by Justin Ng
Tonight | Oct 06, 2015

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

Draconids, in early October, are usually a sleeper, but watch out if the Dragon awakes! Then watch for Orionids before dawn on the mornings around October 22.

Comet Encke, parent of the Taurid meteor shower. Image credit: Messenger
Science Wire | Oct 06, 2015

Watch for South Taurid meteors in October

The long-lasting South Taurid meteor shower (September 10 to November 20) may produce a “swarm” of fireballs this month or early next month. Watch for them.

View larger. | Closeup of a crater in the Acidalia Planitia region on Mars. In the novel and movie The Martian, this region is the landing site of a crewed mission named Ares 3. Image via the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Read more about this image.
Science Wire | Oct 06, 2015

NASA orbiter views real ‘Martian’ sites

Real-life views of places on Mars where a fictional stranded astronaut, Mark Watney – from the Hollywood movie The Martian – undergoes his many trials.

Artist's concept 51 Pegasi b and its star
Blogs | This Date in Science | Oct 06, 2015

This date in science: First planet found orbiting sunlike star

On October 6, 1995, astronomers announced the discovery of the first planet in orbit around a distant sunlike star. This planet is designated as 51 Pegasi b.

View larger. | The foothills of Mount Sharp, the central peak within the Gale Crater on Mars.
Science Wire | Oct 05, 2015

Mars Curiosity rover sends a postcard

If you want to imagine standing on the surface of the Red Planet Mars … look at this.

Unlike science fiction films featuring grotesque aliens and faraway galaxies, Ridley Scott’s The Martian depicts a sci-fi space mission that could soon be science fact.  Image credit: 20th Century Fox
Science Wire | Oct 05, 2015

How close to sending people to Mars?

There’s now a target date of 2030 for a manned mission to Mars. But how close are we, really, to becoming Martians?

April 17, 2015 old moon via Irenilda M Neves
Science Wire | Oct 05, 2015

Longest lunar month of 2015 starts October 13

Longest lunar month of 2015 starts with the October 13 new moon and ends with the November 11 new moon. Learn about the varying lengths of lunar months, here.

Image via NASA
Science Wire | Oct 04, 2015

NASA shortlists 5 possible new missions

NASA has announced five investigations for further study in its latest competition for new, relatively small-scale, robotic missions into our solar system.

Science Wire | Oct 04, 2015

Video lets you imagine Earth breathing

NASA video simulating a massive typhoon spinning toward China, with something extra added. Plus a word about the Gaia hypothesis.

Highest-resolution observation ever of the gravitational lens system SDP.81, and its resulting Einstein ring. Image via ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); B. Saxton NRAO/AUI/NSF
Science Wire | Oct 03, 2015

Einstein ring helps weigh a black hole

Astronomers have “weighed” only the nearest supermassive black holes. Now, with a gravity lens and Einstein ring, they’ve weighed one 12 billion light-years away.

NASA's New Horizons captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Charon just before the spacecraft's closest approach on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the spacecraft’s Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC); the colors are processed to best highlight the variation of surface properties across Charon. Charon’s color palette is not as diverse as Pluto’s; most striking is the reddish north (top) polar region, informally named Mordor Macula. Charon is 754 miles (1,214 kilometers) across; this image resolves details as small as 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers). Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
Science Wire | Oct 02, 2015

Best yet images of Pluto’s moon Charon

Beautiful and fascinating images from the New Horizons spacecraft reveal the large moon’s violent history.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Oct 02, 2015

October 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Bright Venus and Jupiter – and fainter Mars – close together in east before dawn. Mercury joins in mid-month. Saturn is the lone evening planet.

Nike's "Moon Jump."  See video here.
Sep 29, 2015

Five myths about the moon

Moon myths, take that! Five of the most common myths about the moon explained.

launch-9-28-2015-PSLV C30-ISRO-cp
Science Wire | Sep 28, 2015

India launches its first astronomy satellite

India has reached for the stars with a successful launch of its first astronomy satellite. ASTROSAT carries India’s version of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Science Wire | Sep 28, 2015

Mars has flowing water!

Mars is a desert world, but it’s not completely dry. Scientists have found liquid water flowing on Mars.

Moon Sept. 18, 2013 by Amy Simpson-Wynne
Tonight | Sep 28, 2015

Everything you need to know: Super Harvest Moon of 2015

It’s the year’s closest supermoon. It’ll undergo a total eclipse. And, for the Northern Hemisphere, the full moon of September 27-28, 2015 is the Harvest Moon.

Closest and farthest moons
Science Wire | Sep 27, 2015

Intriguing cycle of close and far moons

This is why the moon is so ‘super’ tonight. This post explains lunar perigee and includes dates of all closest and farthest moons for each month of 2015.

Moon eclipse - October 2014 - by John W. Johnson.
Science Wire | Sep 27, 2015

How to watch a total eclipse of the moon

Are you planning on watching the September 27-28 eclipse outside? Here are some tips.

October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse composite by Michele Whitlow.
Science Wire | Sep 27, 2015

How to watch tonight’s eclipse online

On the wrong part of Earth for tonight’s eclipse? Clouded out? Here are links to online viewing.

Eclipses for Beginners
Science Wire | Sep 26, 2015

Why no eclipse every full and new moon?

There are typically 12 full moons and 12 new moons every year, but only four to seven eclipses.