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Discovery headed to the Smithsonian

By   /  April 24, 2012  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

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Tweet Space Shuttle Discovery is on its way to the public eye at the Smithsonian. Earlier this week, the space shuttle was spotted hitching a ride to its new home on the back of a specialized 747 aircraft (pictured below).     Yesterday, April 19th, the Discovery “attended” a ceremony (pictured below) where it traded [...]

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Snowing Microbes

By   /  April 8, 2012  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

Tweet     Of all the places in our solar system (besides Earth) that are most likely to harbor life, none is better than Enceladus, Sat­urn’s sixth largest moon. Although extremely cold, it has been recording spouting geyser-like plumes of liquid water high into the air. Enceladus is one of only a few other places [...]

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TOP 11 IN 2011

By   /  January 1, 2012  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

Tweet 2011 has been a tremendous year for astronomy. It has been a marvelous year for discoveries, yet we look forward to the future as the space program evolves to continue without the space shuttles. Here at the Wetherbee Planetarium, we would like to take a moment to reflect on some of our favorite stories [...]

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Phobos-Grunt a Failure

By   /  December 25, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

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Tweet Russian aerospace company NPO Lavochkin is expected to make the announcement soon that Phobos-Grunt, an unmanned probe mission to Mars, has failed. The probe launched early last month and its last booster rocket failed to go off, leaving the probe stuck in Earth orbit with a full tank of fuel. The probe’s intended destination [...]

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THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM

By   /  December 24, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

Tweet THIS WEEK’S WORD FROM THE WETHERBEE By Jim Friese- museum guide, & Allison Young- program coordinator   THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM Originally published December 20, 2010 Throughout time, one object in astronomy has continually puzzled astronomers. Only one source in all of history has recorded it, yet it has fascinated the faithful and obsessed [...]

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DEEP SPACE PLANET CONFIRMED IN “LIFE ZONE”

By   /  December 19, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

Tweet   A planet roughly 2.4 times the size of Earth has been discovered orbiting its star in the “life zone” or “habitable zone.” Found by NASA’s Kepler mission, the planet is in a solar system approximately 600 light-years away.   The “life zone” is the sort of “sweet spot” around a star that is [...]

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AMATEUR ASTRONOMER CAPTURES PHOTO OF YOUNG SOLAR SYSTEM

By   /  December 5, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

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Tweet An amateur astronomer in New Zealand has managed to take and clean up a photograph of a new solar system in the works. The stunning part? He was doing it with his own, homemade, 10-inch telescope. That’s some pretty good aim! The system is Beta Pictoris, 63 light-years away in the southern hemisphere. The [...]

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FOR NOW, NEUTRINO CALCULATIONS HOLDING TRUE

By   /  November 27, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /  Comments Off

Tweet   Scientists at Cern have validated some of their calculations regarding neutrinos, tiny particles that they think can travel faster than light. We say that with some uncertainty, though, because as soon as the Opera (Oscillation Project with Emulsion [T]racking Apparatus) collaboration published their findings regarding the particles, physicists started desperately trying to find [...]

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SCIENTISTS RE-THINKING THEORIES FOR LIFE ON MARS

By   /  November 7, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet   New interpretations of data from NASA and European orbiters are beginning to come together, suggesting that the possibility for life on Mars is not so strong on the surface, but much more promising for the subsurface directly underground. This interpretation comes after researchers have discovered clay and certain types of minerals in the [...]

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Telescope Solves Ancient Historical Mystery

By   /  November 7, 2011  /  Words from the Wetherbee  /   Comments

Tweet      Astronomers recently used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to unravel a 2,000 year old mystery. In 185 A.D., Chinese sky watchers made note of something they noticed in the sky. They called it a “guest star” at the time, and continued to make notation of its visibility for about the next 8 months. [...]

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