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Huge Planet Haul – 715 New Worlds Discovered

NASA February 26, 2014 NASA’s Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known ... Read More »

Large Explosion Seen on the Moon

Coconut Science Lab February 24, 2014 A large impact was observed on the moon at 8:07pm GMT, on September 11, 2013, from a small asteroid (boulder) impact. The object was traveling at approximately 37,900 mph (61,000 kph) at time of impact, and its weight was estimated at 880 lbs (400 kilograms). The energy of the impact was estimated to be ... Read More »

Like Spiders, Pulsars Eat Their Mates

NASA February 20, 2014 Black widow spiders and their Australian cousins, known as redbacks, are notorious for their tainted love, expressed as an unsettling tendency to kill and devour their male partners. Astronomers have noted similar behavior among two rare breeds of binary system that contain rapidly spinning neutron stars, also known as pulsars. “The essential features of black widow ... Read More »

New View of the Brilliant Messier 7 in Scorpius

ESO February 19, 2014 A new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the bright star cluster Messier 7. Easily spotted with the naked eye close to the tail of the constellation of Scorpius, it is one of the most prominent open clusters of stars in the sky — making it an important astronomical research target. Messier 7, ... Read More »

New Map Released of Jupiter’s Moon, Ganymede

NASA February 13, 2014 More than 400 years after its discovery by astronomer Galileo Galilei, the largest moon in the solar system – Jupiter’s moon Ganymede – has finally claimed a spot on the map. A group of scientists led by Geoffrey Collins of Wheaton College has produced the first global geologic map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s seventh moon. The map ... Read More »

Curiosity Rover Crosses a Big Martian Sand Dune

February 11, 2014 The Curiosity Rover used its navigation camera to capture these images (see animation) of a traverse made on February 06, 2014, when the rover crossed a sand dune at the entrance to “Dingo Gap,” inside Gale Crater. On February 09, the rover traversed another 135 feet, making it all the way through the gap. image credits: NASA ... Read More »

New Signs of Fresh Water Flows on Mars

NASA JPL February 10, 2014 NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars have returned clues for understanding seasonal features that are the strongest indication of possible liquid water that may exist today on the Red Planet. The features are dark, finger-like markings that advance down some Martian slopes when temperatures rise. The new clues include corresponding seasonal changes in iron minerals on the ... Read More »

Earth and Moon – Seen From Mars at Night

NASA JPL February 06, 2014 The rover’s view of its original home planet even includes our moon, just below Earth. The images, taken about 80 minutes after sunset during the rover’s 529th Martian day (Jan. 31, 2014) are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17936 for a broad scene of the evening sky, and at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17935 for a zoomed-in view of Earth and the ... Read More »

Dramatic New Impact Crater Spotted on Mars

NASA JPL February 05, 2014 Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today. The image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a crater about ... Read More »

Latest Kepler Discovery: A Planet That Wobbles

NASA JPL February 05, 2014 Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child’s top. ... Read More »

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