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Tonight, keep an eye out for a “gem” of a meteor shower!
Many experienced skywatchers would say the best annual meteor display is the Geminids of December. With the Moon at a new phase, there will be no moonlight to interfere so observing conditions will be ideal.
More details after the link: http://bit.ly/SUaWvb
We’ll be watching.
Look, the death star!
NASA telescopes captured this snapshot of the Helix Nebula, a dying star that’s 650 light years away. The star’s dusty layers are unraveling into space as the hot core pumps out intense ultraviolet radiation.
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner is set to take the leap of a lifetime today. He’s attempting the highest, fastest free fall in history from 23 miles up, and he could be the first skydiver ever to break the sound barrier.
The 43-year-old former military parachutist from Austria is jumping from a balloon-hoisted capsule 23 miles near Roswell, New Mexico, at 8 a.m. EDT. He’s attempting to break the record set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from an open gondola at an altitude of 19.5 miles. Kittinger’s speed of 614 mph was just shy of breaking the sound barrier at that height.
Baumgartner, who has been preparing for the jump for five years, has made two practice dives around the Roswell area, from 15 miles high in March and 18 miles in July. He needs to reach a speed of 690 mph to break the sound barrier.
UPDATE: The jump has been rescheduled for tomorrow due to high winds.
Wow! These incredible stitched-together images are the closest view yet of energy surging from a black hole.
LOL: The Curiosity rover is totally into selfies.
The two-year, $2.6 billion mission to learn everything we can about Earth’s neighbor is into its second month and, lately, Curiosity appears most curious about how it looks in self-portraits.
Even space explorers need wheels! We collected a few of the coolest vehicles NASA has created for tooling around in space.
This is why our solar system kicks ass.
The sun spewed a spectacular flare on Friday afternoon, seen here in a dramatic shot from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The 500,000-mile-long filament of solar material erupted into space, traveling at more than 900 miles per second, and interacted with our planet’s magnetic field, causing this aurora to appear on Monday night.
There’s a little noise reduction, color balance and sharpening, but this is all Mars, baby. Now that the MARDI descent imager has sent home its full collection of 1600 by 1200 images, NASA could piece together a video of the landing. Missing frames were interpolated using thumbnail data.
High-resolution Mars will be the coolest thing you’ll see today.