Ships Passing In The Moonlight

The waxing moon’s been getting high and bright these nights. Direct moonlight is bright enough once your eyes are dark-adapted, but when the ground’s covered in five inches of fresh snow, the reflected light from the powder exponentially heightens the moon’s radiance. Last night, I stepped out for a short walk and noticed what looked…
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NASA Mars Blitz Underway — InSight Lander To Touch Down On Nov. 26

Jezero Crater, which once held a lake with the same volume of water as Lake Winnipeg, has been chosen as the landing site of the upcoming Mars 2020 mission. More than 60 candidate locations were scrutinized and debated before Jezero was selected. Mars 2020 launches in July 2020. When it lands on Mars in February 2021,…
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“Diamond In The Sky” Art Satellite To Launch Monday

Artist Trevor Paglen wanted to give people a reason to look up. Working with the Nevada Museum of Art, he created the Orbital Reflector, a 98-foot-long (30-meter) sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar. Don’t expect it to turn up in a museum anytime soon — to see it you’ll have to literally…
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How To Watch This Weekend’s Leonid Meteor Shower

The annual Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend on the mornings of Nov. 17 and 18. Once about every 33 years, the shower’s “parent comet” 55P/Temple-Tuttle swings close to the sun and releases loads of fresh dust along its orbit. Earth crosses this dusty trail and we get a Leonid meteor storm with thousands of…
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Massive Crater Discovered Under Greenland Ice

There are 190 confirmed impact structures on the Earth. Er, make that 191. An international team of researchers, including a NASA glaciologist, has discovered a new crater hiding beneath more than a half-mile of ice in northwest Greenland. The crater — the first of any size found under the Greenland ice sheet — is one…
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