Scientists Attempt To Contact Frozen Philae Comet Lander

Remember Philae? The little lander has been sitting in a hole between cliffs on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but as George Harrison sang – Here Comes the Sun. Philae (FEE-lay) bounced off the comet’s surface twice while attempting to touch down. On the first bounce, it rebounded at a speed of 15 inches per second, sending it sailing over half…
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Auroras May Return Tonight, Saturday

Thanks to a change-up in the solar wind called a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) followed by more gusty winds from a hole in the Sun’s corona, we have a shot at seeing auroras both tonight and Saturday night. CIRs are compression regions between a slow-flowing solar wind and a fast one. Material can pile up in a CIR,…
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G2 Cloud Survives Terror Of Milky Way’s Black Hole

In the center of the Milky Way galaxy resides a supermassive black hole 4 million times more massive than the Sun. More than enough gravitational might to shred and devour so wispy a thing as a gas cloud orbiting nearby. Yet somehow the cloud survived. Astronomers have been carefully tracking the motion of the dusty gas cloud…
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How To Find Hydra, The Largest Constellation In The Sky

Hydra the Water Snake is not only the largest of the 88 constellations, it’s also the longest and one of the most ancient. This slender winding pattern of stars is named after the nine-headed serpent Hercules fought as part of his twelve labors. For every head he severed from the serpent, two more grew in its…
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Wanted: Names For Pluto’s Cracks, Cliffs And Craters

Here’s your chance to suggest and vote on names for all the newly-discovered craters, cliffs, cracks and gosh-knows-what-else New Horizon’s camera will see when the spacecraft flies past the dwarf planet on July 14. In partnership with the NASA mission and the SETI Institute, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is endorsing a campaign that will allow the public…
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