Washington, D.C. -
A 20-ish year old scientist from Italy, Marco Tantardini, has managed to convince NASA to launch a mission to lasso an asteroid and drag it close to the moon so that future missions can study the 25 foot wide, 55 ton object.
Marco Tantardini had proposed the mission while interning for Lou Friedman of The Planetary Society and after a lot of persistence, managed to get Friedman on board with the idea.
The mission will now be considered by the House science committee who's chair, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, has said he want to hear more about the idea.
Astronomers working with NASA have discovered that the moon's orbit has degraded sharply and is slowly loosing orbit. The discovery was first made by Jeff Harrington at American Lunar Institute and was subsequently confirmed by scientist in England and Australia.
Though Harrington said there is no explanation as to why the moon's orbit is degrading, based on calculation, the moon will impact earth in about 30 years.
Later tonight, everyone on earth will be granted a little extra time as International Timekeepers will be adding one second to Saturday night. Clocks will have the unusual reading of 11:59:60 before going to 12:00am. What are you going to do with your extra free time?
The timekeeper say this is needed to adjust for earths slowing rotation due to tidal effects of the moon (which is slowly getting closer to earth) and our atomic clocks (the most accurate timeclock available to humans) are running just a tad fast.
Geologist Marek Zbik, of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has discovered nano particles in dirt from the moon's surface, something not present in dirt on earth.
Zbik used a synchrotron-based nano tomograph to study dirt samples from the moon, which makes a 3-D image of the particles being studied, and found that trapped inside molecular sized glass bubbles were nano particles. Until now, scientist did not have the ability to see particles this small, therefore had no idea these nano partices existed.
The moon rose over Orlando on May 5th, reaching its perigee, or closest approach to earth, this evening and spectators were out in force at Lake Eola.
The during the moon's perigee, it was also a full moon, an astronomical illusion made the moon appear larger than it really is. It began to rise at 7:55pm over the east-southeast horizon as a bright orange disk before rising fulling as a granite shining crater pot-marked celestial satellite of earth.
We counted about 25 other photographers around Lake Eola's northwest coast in downtown Orlando.
May's full moon on Saturday coincides with its perigee and will appear extra large in the night sky about 11:35pm.
Astronomers both professional and amateur will be treated to a special event this Saturday as the full moon appear very bright and larger than life while making its perigee, or closest approach to earth. This is just one of the six celestial events that will happen in May.
Los Angeles, CA -
The Cassini satellite is set to make its lowest pass yet over the Saturn moon Enceladus and its southern pole, which many scientist believe may hold liquid water. Cassini will pass just 46 miles from the surface of Enceladus which will allow it to fly through the expected water jets coming from the seismically active moon.
Scientist at NASA's JPL believe the lines coming from the souther pole of the moon are in fact water vapors being released from an under the moon's icy shell. Cassini will make its pass by the moon at 2:30 p.m. eastern time today.
Cape Canaveral, Fla. -
The twin satellites GRAIL launched by NASA have arrived at the moon and are due to begin mapping the moos gravity this weekend.
"Grail will improve our knowledge of the Moon's nearside gravity by more than 100 times over what was previously known, and by more than 1,000 times over what was known on the far-side," the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher said.
The duo were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, last September, and have taken a long spiral out to their destination.