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“Invisible Shield” Discovered over Earth

  Scientists have discovered an “invisible shield” roughly 7,200 miles (11,500 kilometers) above Earth that blocks so-called “killer electrons” – highly charged electrons that can fry satellites, degrade space systems during intense solar storms, and pose serious health risks to astronauts. Researchers say that an “extremely sharp” boundary at the inner edge of the outer [...]

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Historic Landing Timeline: Crosshairs on a Comet

  The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is set to deploy its Philae lander for a first-time touchdown on a comet. On November 11-12, Philae is set to separate from Rosetta at 09:03 GMT (10:03 CET) and touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at about 16:02 GMT (17:02 CET). A timeline of the most crucial activities [...]

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Drop Zone! Crosshairs on a Comet

Europe’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is nearing a nail-biting moment – when the Philae lander is to be unleashed for a touchdown on the celestial wanderer. The primary landing site is landing site “J” – a spot that has relatively flat terrain and good solar illumination. There is a detailed timetable for the descent [...]

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Book Review: Why Mars – NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration

Why Mars – NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration by W. Henry Lambright; Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland; $49.95 (hardcover); 2014. Wondering when humans will set boot on Mars? Author W. Henry Lambright has written an absorbing and detailed look at the long trail of robotic Mars exploration program from its origins to [...]

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Name ExoWorlds Contest: Details Released

For the first time in history the public will be able to vote for the official name of stars and planets. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is inviting all public organizations with an interest in astronomy to register on the IAU Directory for World Astronomy website for the NameExoWorlds contest. Those participating can in early [...]

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