Aug 24, 2009
With each nighttime space shuttle launch, residents of the U.S.'s eastern seaboard have a chance, weather permitting, to see the orbiter climbing into the sky. The launch of space shuttle Discovery, scheduled for 1:36 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time) Tuesday, is no exception and may provide the last such opportunity before the space shuttle program is terminated.
Over at SPACE.com, Joe Rao of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City has viewing tips for various regions of the coast in the seconds and minutes after liftoff. SPACE.com also has a map of the areas from which the shuttle should be visible during ascent, assuming clear skies and an unobstructed vantage point.
Feb 23, 2009 | 8
Early this week offers skywatchers their best shot at seeing the comet Lulin as it makes its nearest approach to Earth. In some locales it may be possible to spot Lulin with the naked eye, but a small telescope or even a pair of binoculars will help to pick it out.
To find the greenish comet in the sky, use one of Sky & Telescope's handy pdf charts, which track Lulin's location day by day. Tonight Lulin will pass just below Saturn in the night sky. (NASA has a sky map for finding Lulin before dawn on Tuesday.)
NASA's Swift satellite is already on the case, having given Lulin a once-over with its x-ray and ultraviolet/optical telescopes (see photo at left). Researchers are tracking what kind of dust and gas the comet is giving off as it passes near the sun—Swift measurements indicate that Lulin is losing nearly 800 gallons of water per second as it zooms through the inner solar system.
Deadline: Jan 12 2014
Reward: $10,000 USD
Deadline: Jan 11 2014
Reward: $20,000 USD
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