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Science Wire | Feb 07, 2016

Mars’ west quadrature on February 7

At west quadrature on February 7, 2016, the red planet appears 90% illuminated as seen through a telescope. Fantastic time to see Mars is just ahead.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Feb 05, 2016

February 2016 guide to the 5 bright planets

You can see all 5 bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – together in the sky before dawn, through mid-February.

Photo Credit:  A. Dupree, R. Gilliland, NASA
Science Wire | Feb 05, 2016

How far is Betelgeuse?

Finding star distances isn’t easy. Here’s how it’s done, and why astronomers recently modified the distance estimate to the famous star Betelgeuse.

Artist's impression. Image credit: UCLAnewsroom
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Violent, head-on crash created moon

On this episode of EarthSky News, an update on the idea that the early Earth collided with a Mars-sized proto-planet to make the moon. That and more. Join us.

Milky Way over Morocco, by Besancon Arnaud.  Visit his website.
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie?

An astrophysicist says our Milky Way may already be dead, but is still going. Why do galaxies stop forming stars, change their shape and fade away?

Clyde W. Tombaugh at his family's farm with his homemade telescope in 1928, two years before his discovery of Pluto.  Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

This date in science: Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto

This is the 110th anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s birth. He was a farm boy who loved astronomy and ultimately discovered Pluto. Planets X and Pluto, here.

View larger. | Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Darn. No caverns on Rosetta’s comet

Low density of comets suggested there might be huge empty caves honeycombed throughout their interiors. Maybe true for some, but not so for Rosetta’s comet.

Artist's concept of an asteroid approaching Earth.
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

How close for asteroid 2013 TX68?

The asteroid will pass closest to Earth on March 5. Will it pass millions of miles away, or as closely as 11,000 miles (17,000 km)?

View larger. | The Pictor A galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center, and material falling onto the black hole is driving an enormous beam, or jet, of particles at nearly the speed of light into intergalactic space. This composite image contains X-ray data obtained by Chandra at various times over 15 years (blue) and radio data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (red). By studying the details of the structure seen in both X-rays and radio waves, scientists seek to gain a deeper understanding of these huge collimated blasts. X-ray (Blue), Radio (Red)Image credit: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hertfordshire/M.Hardcastle et al
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

New image of enormous black hole blast

It shows a giant jet of particles extending 300,000 light-years, blasting from a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy.

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, Expedition 40 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Orlan spacesuit, is pictured in this close-up view during a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) in support of science and maintenance on the International Space Station. During the five-hour, 11-minute spacewalk, Skvortsov and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev (out of frame) deployed a small science satellite, retrieved and installed experiment packages and inspected components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory. Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

Watch cosmonauts’ spacewalk today

NASA TV will broadcast live coverage of a 5.5-hour spacewalk by two Russian cosmonauts aboard ISS beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET (1230 UTC) Wednesday.