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Of course, Venus and Jupiter aren’t actually close to one another in the sky. They’re really separated by millions of kilometres. But from our perspective here on Earth, we see the two objects closely lined up. That’s a conjunction.
On March 15th, 2012 at 10:37 UTC, Venus and Jupiter reach 3° distance from one another. That’s approximately 6 times the width of the full Moon.
Read the rest of Venus-Jupiter Conjunction, March 15th, 2012 (228 words)
The next major mission for China will be the first manned docking mission to the Tiangong-1 space station. This station was launched in September 2011, and was successfully docked with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft back in November.
And so the next major step in the Chinese plans is for Shenzhou-9 to perform a manned docking with the station. Three taikonauts will be on board, and that crew might include some women – the first time the Chinese will have sent women to space.
This mission is already progressing nicely. The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and its Long March-2F rocket have been completed. And if everything goes as planned, they’ll launch and perform the manned docking some time between June and August 2012.
The final composition of the Shenzhou-9 crew hasn’t been announced yet, so it might still be a few more years before the Chinese women finally get their chance to fly to space.
Original Source: Xinhua
But why do we see this face of the Moon, and not a different side?
Read the rest of Why Does the “Man in the Moon” Face Earth? (389 words)
We’ve got a deep sea worm that seems to be able to thrive from any of the three main branches of life on Earth – the first known example of a creature that consumes Archaea.
And then there’s the discovery of a fungus capable of consuming large amounts of polyurethane plastic.
Read the rest of Life Will Always Find a Way… To Eat Everything (328 words)
Compared to Earth, Mars is a relatively quiet planet, geologically speaking. Actually, very quiet, as in pretty much dead. While it has volcanoes much larger than any here, they have been inactive for a very long time; the latest studies suggest however that volcanic activity may have continued until only a matter of millions of years ago. That seems like an eternity to our human sense of time, but geologically, it is quite recent.
There is also the massive canyon system Valles Marineris, much larger than the Grand Canyon here on Earth, and evidence for ancient hot springs, glaciers, etc. which also show that Mars was once much more active than it is today.
Now, there is also evidence that marsquakes (as in earthquakes here) continued to shake the planet until only a few million years ago, and may even still happen today.
Read the rest of Does Mars Still Shake, Rattle and Roll? (275 words)
A family in Oslo got a surprise when they visited their allotment garden cabin for the first time this season and found that a 585-gram (20 oz.) meteorite had ripped a hole through the roof. The space rock was discovered “lying five or six metres away,” the cabin’s owner, Rune Thomassen, told the local newspaper VG.
Such an event is rare in Norway; since 1848 the country has noted only 14 meteorite discoveries.
Read the rest of Valuable Space Rock Crashes Into Oslo Cabin (234 words)
British synthpop band Erasure released a video today featuring lead singer Andy Bell in front of the telescopes of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, located high in the mountains of Chile’s Atacama Desert. The new single “Fill Us With Fire” honors ESO’s 50th anniversary this year. Watch the full video below!
Read the rest of Erasure and VLT Team Up for ESO’s 50th Anniversary (209 words)
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