Latest Astronomy on Mars Stories

2009-09-17 08:26:39

NASA is alerting Earth-bound sky watchers to a rare event -- the ability to observe the asteroid Juno with only binoculars. It can usually be seen by a good amateur telescope, but the guy on the street doesn't usually get a chance to observe it, said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This is going to be as bright as it gets until 2018. Juno is about 145 miles in diameter, or about one-fifteenth the diameter of the moon. It is the...

2008-11-11 07:25:00

It started out as a normal day. NASA astronomer and meteor expert Bill Cooke woke up, dressed, and went to his office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Colleagues greeted him as usual, there was no hum of excitement. And then he checked his email. "That's how I found out"”I'd slept through a meteor outburst!" During the dark hours before dawn on Sept. 9, 2008, a surprising flurry of meteors had showered the skies above Huntsville, Alabama. More than two dozen of them were fireballs...

2008-08-08 19:00:00

Mark your calendar: The 2008 Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12th and it should be a good show. "The time to look is during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday, August 12th," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "There should be plenty of meteors--perhaps one or two every minute." The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is far away, currently located beyond the orbit of Uranus, a trail of debris from the...

2008-05-22 07:20:00

Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under "L" "¦ for lunatic. Not anymore. Over the past two and a half years, NASA astronomers have observed the Moon flashing at them not just once but one hundred times. "They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center...

2007-12-28 12:29:52

December is the month of the winter solstice, which a large part of mankind associates with such festivals as the Nativity. Among the many varied customs linked with this special season for thousands of years, the exchanging of gifts is almost universal. The moment of the solstice occurred on Dec. 22 at 1:08 a.m. EST. The sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reached that point in the sky where it is farthest south of the celestial equator.  Mother Nature herself offers the sky...

2007-12-24 09:35:00

It's Christmas Eve, and you're snuggled cozily in your den. A glowing fire gently crackles and pops in the fireplace, and your head starts to droop as you nod off. Just then, something cold and wet nudges your cheek. You open your eyes to stare directly into a large black nose. It's time to take the dog for his walk. Grumbling in vain, you put on your coat, snap the leash onto the wiggling dog's collar, open the door to a rush of cold air. You step outside and enter a magical landscape. The...

2007-12-09 14:34:22

What could be the best meteor display of the year will reach its peak on the night of Dec.13-14. Here is what astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg have written of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower: "If you have not seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor." The Geminids get their name from the constellation of Gemini, the Twins, because the meteors appear to emanate from a spot in the sky near the bright star...

2007-08-12 07:30:00

Got a calendar? Circle this date: Sunday, August 12th. Next to the circle write "all night" and "Meteors!" Attach the above to your refrigerator in plain view so you won't miss the 2007 Perseid meteor shower. "It's going to be a great show," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "The Moon is new on August 12th--which means no moonlight, dark skies and plenty of meteors." How many? Cooke estimates one or two Perseids per minute at the...

2007-08-07 15:51:18

As the Perseid meteor shower becomes visible in all its glory on August 13, natural fireworks will fill the sky. Showers of meteors, or "Ëœshooting stars', appear as bright streaks of light in the sky. The display runs through the night. Dust trails are left behind by every comet as it nears the Sun. As Earth's orbit crosses the dust ejected by the comet Swift-Tuttle, a regular occurrence every August, it provides a fabulous spectacle for viewers on Earth. As the particles enter the...

2007-03-03 00:20:00

Picture this: The year is 2025 and you're on the moon. "Home" is 100 meters away"”an outpost on the rim of Shackleton Crater. NASA started building it five years earlier, and it is growing fast. You're one of the construction workers. As always in these polar regions, the sun hangs low, barely above the craggy lunar horizon. You adjust your visor. It amazes you how bright a low sun can be when there's no atmosphere to dim it. Suddenly, the lights go out. Up in the sky, a big black disk...

Latest Astronomy on Mars Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Positional Astronomy -- Positional astronomy is the study of the positions of celestial objects. This is the oldest branch of astronomy and dates back to antiquity. Observations of celestial objects are important for religious and astrological purposes, as well as for timekeeping. Ancient structures associated with positional astronomy include: -- Chichn Itz -- The Medicine Wheel -- The Pyramids -- Stonehenge -- The Temple of the Sun The unaided human eye can...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Perseids Meteor Shower -- Like most meteor showers, the Perseids are caused by comet debris. As comets enter the inner solar system, they are warmed by the sun and peppered by the solar wind, which produces the familar tails that stretch across the night sky when a bright comet is close to Earth. Comet tails are made of tiny pieces of ice, dust, and rock which are spewed into interplanetary space as they bubble off the comet's nucleus. When Earth encounters these particles on its...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

The Moon -- The Moon is the largest satellite of the Earth, and is occasionally called Luna (Latin for moon) to distinguish it from the general use of the word "moon". The Moon is distinguished from the satellites of other planets by its initial capital letter; the other moons are described in the natural satellite article. The words moon and month come from the same Old English root word. The Moon makes a complete orbit of the celestial sphere about every four weeks. Each hour the...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

The Planet Mars -- in astronomy, 4th planet from the sun, with an orbit next in order beyond that of the earth. Physical Characteristics Mars has a striking red appearance, and in its most favorable position for viewing, when it is opposite the sun, it is twice as bright as Sirius, the brightest star. Mars has a diameter of 4,200 mi (6,800 km), just over half the diameter of the earth, and its mass is only 11% of the earth's mass. The planet has a very thin atmosphere consisting...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Mars' Moon Phobos -- in astronomy, innermost moon, or natural satellite, of Mars. Phobos orbits Mars at a distance of only 9,378 km (5,627 mi), closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. In fact, it is so close that the force of Mars's gravity is stronger than the force keeping the moon in its orbit, so the radius of Phobos's orbit is decreasing at the rate of about 1.8 m (about 6 ft) per century. In 40 million years, Phobos will either break apart into a ring...

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Word of the Day
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.