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Space

Closest and farthest moons
Blogs | Jul 03, 2015

Moon at perigee, nearest to Earth, on July 5, 2015

The intriguing cycle of closest and farthest moons. Includes dates for 2015’s 13 perigees (closest points) and 13 apogees (farthest points).

Photo credit: Mike O'Neal
Science Wire | Jul 03, 2015

What makes Venus the brightest planet?

Venus has been spectacular near Jupiter in the evening sky! Plus, now it’s headed for greatest brilliancy around July 10, 2015!

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Science Wire | Jul 02, 2015

Stars’ spiral arms cradle baby planets

A new theoretical model focuses on the spiral arms now known to exist around some young stars. The spiral arms may enable rocky planets like Earth to form.

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Science Wire | Jul 01, 2015

Countdown to Pluto!

New Horizons gets ‘all clear’ for Pluto flyby, only 2 weeks away! Newest images of Pluto and Charon. Plus … methane detected on Pluto.

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Science Wire | Jul 01, 2015

Are those sinkholes on Rosetta’s comet?

Sinkholes on Earth happen when a subsurface cavern collapses. On the comet, the caverns may be created by ices turning to gas, as the comet nears the sun.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Jul 01, 2015

July 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Venus and Jupiter! Wow! And there’s so much more to come …

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Science Wire | Jun 30, 2015

Black hole wakes up after 27 years

On June 15, a monster black hole started showing signs of extraordinary activity that hasn’t happened since 1989. Astronomers around the world are watching.

Image via Wikipedia. Sizes of planets are to scale but not the distances. Click here for relative distances.
Science Wire | Jun 30, 2015

When will all five visible planets appear simultaneously?

All five visible planets will appear together in the morning sky early next year – from about January 20 to February 20, 2016. That hasn’t happened since 2005.

Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab.
Science Wire | Jun 29, 2015

Rosetta team struggles with Philae link

Since the Philae comet lander renewed contact on June 13, the Rosetta mission team has struggled to establish a stable link.

Artist's concept the Trace Gas and Data Relay Orbiter, one component of the 2016 ExoMars mission.  Image via ESA
Science Wire | Jun 29, 2015

Next Mars mission is ESA’s ExoMars

ESA’s ExoMars consists of two separate missions to investigate Mars. The first, set to launch in January 2016, consists of an orbiter and lander.

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Science Wire | Jun 29, 2015

Get ready for New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly through the Pluto system on July 14. It’s only 2 weeks away!

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Science Wire | Jun 28, 2015

SpaceX rocket explodes after launch

It was unmanned, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station still have 4 months of supplies. But it’s the third failed cargo mission to ISS in 8 months.

Is our universe ringing like a crystal glass? Image via Wikihow
Science Wire | Jun 26, 2015

Is our universe ringing like a crystal glass?

Two physicists say the universe’s expansion has sped up, then slowed down, 7 times since time began. They describe this oscillation as the universe “ringing.”

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Science Wire | Jun 26, 2015

Titan’s strange lakes may be sinkholes

What forms the depressions holding liquid hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan? It might be a process similar to that creating caves and sinkholes on Earth.

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Science Wire | Jun 25, 2015

Exoplanet has a comet-like tail Gliese 436b

A Neptune-sized exoplanet is being trailed by an immense cloud of hydrogen. This discovery might also suggest a method for detecting extrasolar oceans.

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Science Wire | Jun 25, 2015

How close to finding alien life?

The search for life beyond Earth has heated up. Here are some of the ways that scientists have been thinking and talking about it.

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Science Wire | Jun 25, 2015

Methane in Mars meteorites = life?

Biological processes can produce methane. Its presence in Martian meteorites might mean Mars was or is habitable for microbial life. Or it might not.

Moon shot with blue filter via our friend Jv Noriega
Science Wire | Jun 24, 2015

When is the next Blue Moon?

The moon will be full on July 2, to stage the first of two July 2015 full moons. The second of two full moons in a calendar month is often called a Blue Moon.

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Science Wire | Jun 23, 2015

First color movies of Pluto and Charon

It’s not Disney quality, but these distant worlds are real and 3 billion miles (5 billion km) away.

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Science Wire | Jun 22, 2015

Geomagnetic storm on its way, June 22 and 23

It’s due to arrive sometime today (June 22, 2015). NOAA forecasters estimate a 90% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the CME arrives. Aurora alert!

Image credit:  JD Hancock
Science Wire | Jun 22, 2015

Intelligent life in the universe?

Scientific arguments suggest that alien civilizations should be common in our galaxy. If so, where is everybody? That question is known as the Fermi paradox.