Dawn Sees Dusk — NASA Asteroid Explorer Goes Dark

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft missed its schedule communication session with NASA’s Deep Space Network on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 this past week.  After eliminating other causes, mission manages concluded that the spacecraft finally ran out of the fuel hydrazine, which it uses to point its antenna toward Earth for communications and turn its solar panels to the…
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Arcturus And Morning Moon Wake-up Call

The sun rises remarkably late in the days leading up to “falling back,” when we drop Daylight Saving Time (DST). In Chicago and Denver it comes up about 7:30 a.m and just before 8 o’clock in Duluth and Seattle. That makes it really easy to rise an hour before sunrise in the semi-dark twilight and…
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Astronomers Confirm Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

As we wait for the Event Horizon Telescope team to assemble the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers are pushing ever closer to the object’s fringes. A team of scientists with the European Southern Observatory has recently observed flares of infrared light coming from the spinning…
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Mysteries Of Space On Halloween Night

I don’t believe in spirits, but I love the costumes, scary music and all that haunted stuff. I think it’s because Halloween was the ultimate kid holiday — one day a year when you could be wicked and get free candy. We all love a little mystery. It makes us wonder, sends chills up our…
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The Night Is Aglow With Natural Light, Too

What an incredible number of stars. The photo was taken with a Nikon D5 digital SLR and 24 mm lens and shows the Earth at night from orbit, the Milky Way and even the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years away. Don’t overlook that delicate, orange rind of light surrounding the planet. That’s airglow, a form…
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