With Christmas less than two weeks away, your neighborhood is probably aglow with beautiful lights. However they will pale in comparison to nature's own light show, the Geminids. Though this annual celestial display that has been nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers has been visible since December 4th, their best showing will be on the night of December 13th and the early morning of the 14th, until about 2.00 am local time.
Kids News - Space Articles
After a day's delay caused by a wayward boat, bad weather, and some technical problems, NASA's next generation spacecraft Orion, blasted off to space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7.05 EST on Friday, December 5th. Perched atop a Delta 4 heavy rocket, it soared through the Earth's atmosphere and disappeared into space.
On November 28th, 1964, NASA's Mariner 4 launched off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a historic mission - to carry out the first-ever flyby of Mars. Though it took a little over six months, on July 15th, 1965, the spacecraft successfully entered the Red Planet's orbit and sent back 22 images - providing scientists with the first ever close look at the surface of another planet from deep space. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this successful mission, crowd-sourced space-themed company Uwingu, ("sky" in Swahili), organized a global shout-out event.
On Wednesday, November 12th, an unmanned spacecraft made history by landing perfectly on its target - a speeding comet that lies at a distance of 310 million miles from earth. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the brainchild behind this audacious project, the Rosetta space probe that housed the 220-pound washing machine-sized Philae lander, released its passenger to its destination perfectly - not an easy feat given that the Comet 67P was hurtling through space at a speed of 41,000 mph.
Each year around this time, stargazers anxiously await nature's finest fireworks show - the Perseid meteors. The 'fireball' champions of all annual meteor showers have already been streaming through our skies at the rate of about a dozen an hour, for the last few weeks. However, things will really heat up from early August 11th to the 13th, when between ninety to a hundred meteors will come zooming across the skies, making them easy to spot, even with the naked eye.
Usually when NASA scientists report on new planets, they talk about one or two. However, on February 26th, the US Space Agency stunned space lovers when they announced the discovery of 715 new worlds, almost doubling the size the galaxy, which had previously been thought to have comprised of 961 planets.
On November 20th, 1998, a Russian rocket launched off with an unusual piece of cargo - Zarya ('sunrise' in Russian), the module that became the first piece of the largest manmade structure every built in space - The International Space Station (ISS). Designed to be the power source for the ISS, it orbited earth for two weeks, before being joined by Unity.
We are all familiar with the rocky, red surface of present day Mars - After all, that is why it is nicknamed the 'Red Planet'. And while It's definitely not a place most of us would want to live on in its present state, what if it had been filled with huge lakes, lush green fields and giant cliffs? Just like . . . Earth?