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Volunteers Wanted! Sunspot Research

Yes, the Sun has its spots! And now you can take part in research that can help with some of solar physics’ unanswered questions, such as: Are sunspots born complex or do they evolve to become complex? Do sunspot groups that are more complex produce more eruptions? There’s a new Zooniverse project now online called [...]

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Comet ISON Sprouts “Coma Wings”

Scientists are reporting that Comet ISON appears to have lost individual fragments in the past days. Images taken of the speedy object show two wing-shaped features in the comet’s atmosphere. The researchers’ analyses show two striking features within the comet’s atmosphere that protrude from the nucleus in a wing-like fashion. While these so-called coma wings [...]

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Sun Watching, Solar Sailing Spacecraft Prepped for 2015 Launch

Set for an early 2015 liftoff is the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a satellite designed to monitor and warn of harmful solar activity that could impact Earth. DSCOVR is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Last month, NOAA announced that DSCOVR cleared a major [...]

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Book Review: Red Rover – Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity

Red Rover – Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity by Roger Wiens; Basic Books; New York, New York; $25.99; 2013. This is a great read, and adds to the ambience and high-saluting given to NASA’s Curiosity rover that landed a year ago this month on the red [...]

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NASA Prepares Recovery Plan for Kepler Planet Hunter

Launched in March 2009, NASA’s Kepler space telescope soon became the most prolific alien planet hunter ever. The search has so far produced just under 3,300 candidate planets, among them representatives of the mission’s ultimate goal — Earth-like planets circling within the “habitable zones” of their host stars. Habitable zone means a realm temperate enough [...]

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