Science News

The Planets Parade in the Evening Sky

02 May 2012
On the evening of 1 May 2012, a conjunction of the Moon and Mars was visible in the skies of Egypt. When two or more celestial objects are located close to the line of sight, they are in conjunction. Mars was visible to the unaided eye as a bright reddish star close to the nearly 10-days old Moon. Observing from the BA Plaza, Senior Astronomy Specialist, Aymen Ibrahem, photographed the conjunction.

Interesting Images of Planet Uranus

24 April 2012
NASA recently published unique images of Uranus, the blue giant planet, showing, for the first time, auroras on Uranus. The planet’s faint rings are also visible in the images.

Dust Storm Over Libya

21 April 2012
In mid-April 2012, dust plumes blew off the coast of Libya, over the Gulf of Surt and the Mediterranean Sea. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color image of this dust activity (Fig. 1), on 16 April 2012.

A Curious Dust Storm

18 April 2012
In early March 2012, Saharan dust blowing off the west coast of Africa concentrated into a thick, narrow plume that blew northward over the Atlantic Ocean. On 11 March, NASA’s Terra satellite acquired Fig. 1, a natural-color image, showing the wonderful dust storm.

Mars' Giant Whirlwind

14 April 2012
NASA recently published a wonderful close-up image of Mars (Fig. 1), acquired by the Mars-bound MRO spacecraft. The image shows a huge Martian dust devil, a type of whirlwind, roughly 20 km high. The dust devil was photographed while swirling along a Martian plain, on 14 March 2012, by a sophisticated camera on MRO. Despite its height, the dust whirl was only a little more than 70 m across.

The Moonbuggy Race

11 April 2012
In the early 1970s, NASA astronauts drove lunar rovers, also known as moonbuggies, four-wheeled vehicles for exploring the Moon, across the Moon's surface, during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. Approximately 100 teams of students from seven countries will rival for a top-three final at the annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, 13-14 April, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. The racing buggies are based on the design of Apollo’s original lunar rovers.

Astronaut Images a Volcano in Eruption

08 April 2012
NASA recently published an interesting image (Fig. 1) of a volcanic eruption in Pagan Island. The image was acquired by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Earth’s largest artificial satellite orbiting at an altitude of about 350 km.

NASA Creates Glowing Clouds in the Upper Atmosphere

04 April 2012
NASA’s Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) successfully launched five rockets in the early morning hours of 27 March 2012, from the Wallops Flight Facility, as part of a study of currents in the upper atmosphere. The ATREX rockets launched at intervals of 80 seconds.

Space Telescope Pictures a Wonderful Galaxy

01 April 2012
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a joint project of the US space agency, NASA, and the European Space Agency, ESA, has imaged the "UFO Galaxy" (Fig. 1). Also known as NGC 2683, the UFO is a spiral galaxy that resembles a typical science fiction spaceship. This is why the astronomers at the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory in Florida gave it its interesting nickname.

Spacecraft to Approach a Bizarre Saturnian Moon

27 March 2012
On 27 March 2012, NASA's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft will make its closest flyby yet over the south polar region of Saturn's geologically-active moon Enceladus, where icy particles and water erupt from fissures. This lowest pass will be at an altitude of about 74 km, above Enceladus’ surface.

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