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Venus, Jupiter to Converge This Weekend

Planets' conjunction best viewed early Saturday

(Newser) - Despite being millions of miles apart, Venus and Jupiter appear to meet in the night sky about once a year in what's known as a conjunction. But skywatchers who take in the sight this year are in for a real treat, as the planets will appear much closer than...

At Auction: Moon Dust Collected by Neil Armstrong

It'll be quite a payday for Illinois collector Nancy Lee Carlson

(Newser) - A rare piece—or rather pieces—of space history are about to go to the highest bidder. Five samples of moon dust collected by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission will be sold at a Bonhams auction on Wednesday. Thought...

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings
Scientists Baffled by
Neptune's Temperature Swings
NEW STUDY

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings

Temps should be 'slowly growing warmer, not colder' amid southern summer

(Newser) - Neptune's southern hemisphere has spent the last 17 years in its summer season, yet global temperatures have plummeted. It's a head-scratching finding that leaves astronomers with more questions than answers. "Since we have been observing Neptune during its early southern summer, we would expect temperatures to be...

He Discovered an Asteroid—Then Its Earth-Bound Path
He Discovered an
Asteroid—Then Its
Earth-Bound Path
in case you missed it

He Discovered an Asteroid—Then Its Earth-Bound Path

It soon after struck Earth's atmosphere over Norwegian sea, as NASA system predicted

(Newser) - An asteroid was spotted for the first time Friday only about two hours before it entered into Earth's atmosphere. NASA's early warning system that detects near-Earth objects was put to the test after astronomer Krisztián Sarneczky at the Piszkésteto Observatory in northern Hungary notified the Minor...

Here's What It'll Look Like When Rocket Crashes Into Moon

Moon dust to fly hundreds of miles from impact crater, which is expected to be quite large

(Newser) - The moon is about to get walloped by 3 tons of space junk, a punch that will carve out a crater that could fit several semitractor-trailers. A leftover rocket will smash into the far side of the moon at 5,800mph on Friday, away from telescopes' prying eyes, the AP...

China: Rocket Set to Crash Into Moon Isn't Ours

Experts disagree, say Chang'e-5T1 booster will make impact March 4

(Newser) - China is denying responsibility for a wayward rocket expected to crash into the far side of the moon next month. Though the rocket was initially misidentified as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that failed to return to Earth after launching a weather satellite in 2015, experts— including those at NASA'...

40 of 49 New SpaceX Satellites May Have Already Burned

Company says geomagnetic storm on Friday is cause

(Newser) - SpaceX launched 49 of its Starlink satellites on Thursday, only to report days later that up to 40 are doomed to fall from orbit and burn up in Earth's atmosphere. The company attributed the loss to a geomagnetic storm on Friday. That storm increased atmospheric density some 130 miles...

In Our 'Galactic Backyard,' Signals Never Seen Before
'Spooky' Find Could
Be New Kind of Star
NEW STUDY

'Spooky' Find Could Be New Kind of Star

Signals never observed before may point to ultra-long period magnetar

(Newser) - Something in our galaxy was emitting radio wave beams every 20 minutes, unlike anything observed before, and astronomers think they know what it is. "It's definitely not aliens," says Natasha Hurley-Walker, radio astronomer and lead author of a study on the mysterious object, published in the journal...

NASA Spacecraft Officially 'Touched' the Sun
'Humanity Has
Touched the Sun' 

'Humanity Has Touched the Sun'

Scientists confirm the Parker Solar Probe flew through the corona

(Newser) - A NASA spacecraft has officially "touched" the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona. The Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft’s eighth close approach to the sun. Scientists said it took a few months to get the...

ISS About to Open Doors to a Rare Guest

Expect to hear from billionaire space tourist Yusaku Maezawa on YouTube, Twitter

(Newser) - Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has been launched into space on what CNN calls “the first self-funded tourism mission to the International Space Station in a decade." "In total, seven self-funded individuals have visited the space station and Mr. Maezawa plans to be the 8th and the first...

William Shatner Books Trip to Final Frontier
William Shatner's
Blastoff Date Is Set
UPDATED

William Shatner's Blastoff Date Is Set

Blue Origin rocket will carry TV's Captain Kirk, age 90, into space on Oct. 12

(Newser) - Update: We now have a launch date for William Shatner. The AP reports the Star Trek actor will blast off from West Texas on Oct. 12. "Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!'" the nonagenarian tweeted Monday, adding , "It's...

4 Space Tourists Will Orbit Earth for 3 Days
It's a 'Major Milestone
in Human Spaceflight'
THE RUNDOWN

It's a 'Major Milestone in Human Spaceflight'

4 tourists, expected to launch Wednesday, will orbit Earth for 3 days

(Newser) - Another billionaire is headed to space, this time with an all-civilian crew, in what CNN reports is the "first orbital mission in the history of spaceflight to be staffed entirely by tourists or otherwise non-astronauts." A retrofitted SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule dubbed Resilience will spend three days orbiting...

Fire, Smoke Alarms Sound at Space Station

Issue may have been related to battery recharge

(Newser) - Fire and smoke alarms sounded on a Russian segment of the International Space Station early Thursday as the smell of burnt plastic drifted into the US section. Russian space agency Roscosmos described an issue in the Zvezda module, which houses living quarters and has lately been dealing with an air...

Unwanted Space Station Discovery: Cracks

'This is bad and suggests that the fissures will begin to spread over time,' says engineer

(Newser) - The first part of the International Space Station to arrive in space has developed cracks that experts fear are likely to spread. Russian cosmonauts discovered "superficial fissures … in some places on the Zarya module ," a Russian-built, US-funded section of the space station also known as the Functional...

Odds of Asteroid Hitting Earth Inch Higher
Odds on Asteroid
Hit Going Up

Odds on Asteroid Hit Going Up

It's still very unlikely Bennu will strike in the next century

(Newser) - The good news is that scientists have a better handle on asteroid Bennu's whereabouts for the next 200 years. The bad news is that the space rock considered one of the two most hazardous known asteroids in our solar system has a slightly greater chance of clobbering Earth than...

Russian Module's Arrival Triggers Emergency at ISS

Surprise rocket firing moved space station out of position for nearly an hour

(Newser) - Routine is definitely not a word with which to describe Russia's Thursday docking of a module at the International Space Station, its first in more than a decade. The long-delayed Nauka laboratory module, the largest space lab ever launched by Russia, reached ISS after several "hiccups in orbit"...

Bezos Says View of Earth Changed His Priorities

Amazon's founder announces his recommitment to environment work

(Newser) - Jeff Bezos has made plans and donations to combat the effects of climate change, but he's been criticized for not doing more, even by Amazon employees. Now that he's satisfied his space itch, Bezos said his focus will turn to environmental issues. He gained a new perspective up...

What Time Will Jeff Bezos Go to Space, and More Answers
Jeff Bezos' Flight
Will Last About 10 Minutes
the rundown

Jeff Bezos' Flight Will Last About 10 Minutes

Amazon founder is launching Tuesday morning

(Newser) - It's launch day for Jeff Bezos: In a rocket and capsule developed by the Amazon founder's private space company, Blue Origin, the billionaire will participate in the company's first crewed launch of the New Shepard on Tuesday. Some inevitable questions in the lead-up to the flight, and...

Black Hole Seen Swallowing Densest Object in Universe

That would be a neutron star

(Newser) - Talk about a heavy snack. For the first time, astronomers have witnessed a black hole swallowing a neutron star, the most dense object in the universe—all in a split-second gulp. Ten days later they saw the same thing, on the other side of the universe, the AP reports. In...

Some Unusual Petitions About Bezos Are Circulating

10K want Amazon CEO denied re-entry to Earth, others want him to eat art

(Newser) - The way Jeff Bezos tells it, his trip to space next month will be the fulfillment of a childhood dream . In the view of some 10,000 critics, it will instead represent the ascent of "an evil overlord hellbent on global domination." More than 10,000 people have...

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