A near-Earth asteroid with the “roll off your tongue” name of 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth onÂ FebruaryÂ 15th.
This asteroid will pass so close Â that it will actually pass between Earth and the Moon, Closer than some communication satellites. This asteroid is about 45 meters across. There is no danger however of it hitting Earth.
But with it passing so close you should get a good view of it through any smallÂ binocularsÂ or telescope.
For our latitude the best time to view the asteroid will be between 21:00 and 22:00 on the night of February 15th. To find it look towards the plough, it will pass between the handle star and the bowl star between 21:30 and 22:00. The forecast is also predicting that the terrible weather will clear on Friday night so hopefully we will get a good view.
The Curiosity Rover on Mars has finally drilled deep enough to acquire powdered samples. This material will be sieved and inspected and then delivered to the on-board labs for analysis. This type of exploration is central to Curiosity missionÂ and it is an historic event. This is the first time that we have drilled into another world which will allow us to probe through the history of the planet. Curiosity first drilled a small 2cm holeÂ to test the rock, it then drilled aÂ deeperÂ 6cmÂ hole, both of which can be seen in the picture above.
Sir Patrick Moore died this morning at the age of 89. He passed away peacefully at his home in West Essex.
Sir Patrick was the definitive voice of Astronomy and surely was responsible for inspiring some of the most gifted … Continue reading
Due to the masterful efforts of an international team of astronomers, a new super-Earth planet has been discovered within the habitable zone of a star just 42 light years from Earth. Part of a six planetary system, the super-Earth known as HD 40307g has several promising attributes in terms of its ability to support life and because of its relative proximity it may soon be possible to observe the planet optically.