Space

NASA satellite captures comet plunging into Sun at a mind-boggling 373 miles per second!

A sungrazer comet (technically known as Kreutz sungrazers) crashed into the sun on August 4, 2016 and lucky for us, the entire event was captured on video by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Analysis of the video shows the comet plunged into the sun at a mind-boggling 373 miles per second! That’s million miles per hour! At that speed, you could drive completely around the earth in about a minute. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments of larger comets, called Kreutz comets, that have broken apart as they neared the sun. When the sun pulls these smaller fragments toward it, they accelerate until eventually, they are vaporized by the intense forces near the sun. Kreutz comets travel around the sun on a path called the Kreutz…
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Space

Greatest meteor shower of the year occurs this weekend – meet the Geminids meteors

Forget the often-disappointing Perseids meteor shower – Geminids is not only better, it’s predicted to be especially cool this weekend. The Geminids shower has been strengthening in recent years and already surpasses every meteor shower of the year. This year, we’re holding out hope that the show is even better than last year’s brilliant display. The space big-wigs are predicting 120 meteors per hour (visible from a dark sky) but more realistically, we can expect to see 60-80 per hour – which is still a lot! Also, unlike most meteor showers which require we wake up early or stay up all night, Geminids produces a good show before midnight. Geminids meteors shoot across the sky at about 22 miles per second. Colors can vary from…
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Space

European Space Agency’s Rosetta/Philae mission to land on a comet

It may sound like science fiction but alas, this is really about to happen. On November 11, 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) will land a small robotic spaceship, known as Philae, on a comet. It will be the first comet landing in the history of mankind. Rosetta’s (and Philae’s) mission The mission to land on a comet began on March 2, 2004 when the solar-powered robotic space probe, Rosetta, was launched by the European Space Agency attached to an Ariane 5 rocket engine. Rosetta’s objective was simple – to study the comet 67P/C-G. To do so, Rosetta carried on board a small robotic lander, Philae (pronounced Fie-Lee), named after the Philae Island where an obelisk was found that was used along with the Rosetta Stone…
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