Congratulations Pluto! We Earthlings have named two of your offspring Kerberos and Styx. You may have noticed that, in keeping with your Hellish roots, we’ve named your cute little bundles of rock after deities of the Underworld. What’s that? You’d rather one be named after a science fiction planet?! And Captain Kirk gave you his blessing?! Tough.
Voyager’s prolonged journey into interstellar space took another dramatic turn when the intrepid space probe last summer passed into a bizarre and unanticipated cosmic hallway between the bubble of space under the sun’s influence and whatever lies beyond. Read more
Brace yourself for another asteroid flyby
To quote science reporter Deborah Netburn:
It’s 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sticky black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby.
At approximately 1:59 p.m. PDT May 31, Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make a close (by galactic standards) pass by our home planet. Coming within just 3.6 million miles of Earth, the asteroid will be so close that many of its features will be visible on radar.
For more details on the asteroid, including its possible origin, at Science Now.
Photo: NASA / JPL / Caltech
You guys like Saturn, right? Here’s a whole gallery of Saturn GIFs, from rings to moons, captured by the Cassini spacecraft. They’re part modern art and part science.
Next to the Voyager twins, I think Cassini might be the best satellite NASA ever launched. Certainly takes the best pictures. Tumblr’s own staceythinx has an iPad app called Cassini HD that features even more photos, plus color, plus science.
(GIFs by framesandflames)
At least 400 people have been injured after a meteor shower over central Russia blew out windows, interior ministry sources say. Brightly burning rocks could be seen for hundreds of kilometres as they crashed into the Ural region - BBC News
- As many as 950 people seek medical assistance after meteorite fragments fall in central Russia - @ria_novosti
- Russian Emergency Ministry denies reports military shot down meteor over Urals; saying ‘took no action connected to the incident’ - @RT_com
- Injury toll from Russian meteor is the largest known caused by an object from space, British expert says - @AFP
- Meteor damaged some 3,000 buildings in Chelyabinsk, including 34 medical facilities and 361 schools, city administration says - @RT_com
- Hole in Chebarkul Lake made by Russian meteor debris (PHOTO)#meteorite http://t.co/OlI9DoG4