Asteroid 2017 GM Misses Earth By 9,942 Miles / Comet Lovejoy Still Cookin’

I hope you had pleasant dreams overnight. In one of mine, I couldn’t get my shoe tied right. Glad I woke up from that one. While many of us slept, a tiny near-Earth asteroid named 2017 GM passed exceptionally close to Earth, just 9,942 (15,000 km) miles overhead at 5:31 a.m. CDT (10:31 UT). That…
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Trump’s NASA Budget: What It Cuts, What It Keeps

When it comes to space exploration, the White House budget ax does not bite as deeply as it might for other programs. The Trump administration requested $19.1 billion for NASA, a 0.8% decrease — about $200 million — from 2017. NASA’s cuts may look rosy at first glance, but that doesn’t mean a few key…
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Life’s Building Blocks Found On Dwarf Planet Ceres

Organic molecules — those made primarily of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms — are essential for life as we know it.  Carbon is the coolest, most special atom of all. Not only can it link in multiple ways to other atoms, but it happily links with itself to form incredibly complex molecules, the kind that…
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Asteroid Sample Mission Sends First Jupiter Pix, Searches For Earth Trojans

En route to the asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space probe captured this image of Jupiter and three of its moons. It make look plain vanilla, but consider that the spacecraft was 76 million miles (122 million km) from Earth and 418 million miles (673 million km) from Jupiter on Feb. 12, when the photo was…
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Asteroid Vesta At Its Best — Here’s How To See It

Lately, I’ve talked about how to find planets, but there are lots of other planet-like bodies in the night sky — the asteroids. As of March 2016, we know of 1.3 million of them, 750,000 of which have calculated orbits. The name asteroid comes from “aster,” Latin for star, and it perfectly describes their star-like…
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