SKYWATCH: ASTEROID APPROACHES EARTH, GEMINID METEOR SHOWER, AND MORE

Observing
Toutatis

JPL / Steve Ostro

“Sky-Is-Falling” Asteroid Flies By

December 7, 2012 | The Earth-crossing asteroid Toutatis is making one of its close flybys, creeping across the stars and awaiting your telescope from December 12th through 15th. It’s magnitude 10.9 to 10.5. > read more

Geminid Meteors to Peak the Night of Dec. 13th

December 6, 2012 | If it’s clear late Thursday night, December 13th, keep a lookout overhead for meteors of the Geminid shower. > read more

Tour December’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

November 30, 2012 | Mars lurks low in the west after sunset, just as Jupiter rises dramatically in the east. Meanwhile, a mythic tale unfolds among the stars and constellations overhead. > read more

News

GRAIL's gravity maps

NASA / GSFC / Science Visualization Studio

Gravity Probes Unlock Deep Lunar Secrets

December 7, 2012 | Just by circling the Moon every 2 hours while keeping hyper-accurate track of each other’s motions, twin spacecraft named Ebb and Flow have mapped the lunar gravity field in unprecedented detail — and opened a window on the Moon’s ancient, battered interior. > read more

Voyager’s On-ramp to Interstellar Space

December 4, 2012 | Now more than 11 billion miles from home, NASA’s long-lived interplanetary probe is immersed in a flow of particles coming directly from beyond the heliosphere — an experience that mission scientists have hoped for since the 1970s. > read more

Making Planets Around Brown Dwarfs

December 5, 2012 | Astronomers searching for forming planets have a new place to look. Even the thin disks around brown dwarfs are capable of forming grains large enough that, one day, they could potentially coalesce into a rocky planet. > read more

Van Allen Probes Peek at Earth’s Radiation Belts

December 6, 2012 | The twin Van Allen Probes have only been spaceborne for 60 days, but they’ve already returned heaps of data about the radiation belts, whose “killer electrons” endanger satellites. > read more

Curiosity Gets a Whiff of Organic Matter

December 3, 2012 | When NASA’s newest rover cooked up its first samples of Martian soil, one instrument reported finding traces of organic molecules. But they’re probably false alarms, say mission scientists. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Dawn view

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

December 7, 2012 | Lots happening this week! The Geminid meteor shower, a flyby of Toutatis, Vesta at opposition with Ceres nearby, and more. > read more

SkyWeek Television Show
View SkyWeek as seen on PBS click here to watch this week’s episodeSponsored by Meade Instruments

December 3 - 9, 2012 Powered by TheSkyX from Software Bisque

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