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Video Caption: New video recorded during NASA’s Orion return through Earth’s atmosphere provides viewers a taste of what the vehicle endured as it returned through Earth’s atmosphere during its Dec. 5 flight test. Credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Newly released NASA footage recorded during the first test flight of NASA’s Orion crew capsule this month gives an astronauts-eye view of what it would have been like for a crew riding along on the ‘Trial by Fire’ as the vehicle began the fiery reentry through the Earth’s atmosphere and suffered scorching temperatures during the approximately ten minute plummet homewards and parachute assisted splashdown. [click to continue…]

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NASA’s NuSTAR Scans the Sun with X-ray Vision

The west limb of the Sun imaged by NuSTAR and SDO shows areas of high-energy x-rays above particularly active regions (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)

The west limb of the Sun imaged by NuSTAR and SDO reveals areas of high-energy x-rays above particularly active regions (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)

What if you had x-ray vision like Superman? Or if those funny-looking glasses they advertised in comic books in the 60s actually worked?* Then with those our Sun might look something like this, lighting up with brilliant flares of high-energy x-rays as seen by NASA’s super-sensitive NuSTAR Space Telescope (and with a little help from SDO.)

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2015_Wall_Calendar_images_1333x1000_A

If a 2015 calendar hasn’t made its way in to your holiday space stocking yet, here’s the perfect solution: this year’s edition of Steve Cariddi’s wonderful Year in Space Wall Calendar. It’s not too late to get your own copy, and Universe Today readers can purchase the calendar for only $13.95 or less (using the “Internet” discount), and get free U.S. shipping and discounted international shipping. There are also volume discounts.

But here’s your chance to win a copy! We’ve had two giveaways of this amazing calendar in the past month, but thanks to Steve, Universe Today now has an additional 5 copies to give away. To be entered into the drawing for our giveaway, just put your email address into the box below (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Monday, December 29, 2014.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 361: Modern Women: Maria Zuber

Maria Zuber is one of the hardest working scientists in planetary science, being a part of six different space missions to explore the Solar System. Currently, she’s the lead investigator for NASA’s GRAIL mission.

Maria Zuber with students. Credit: NASA

Maria Zuber with students. Credit: NASA

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast!

We record Astronomy Cast as a live Google+ Hangout on Air every Monday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch here on Universe Today or from the Astronomy Cast Google+ page.

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Credit and Copyright:

A fine capture of Comet Q2 Lovejoy on December 21st from Dunedin, New Zealand. Credit and Copyright: Ian Griffin (@Iangriffin)

Keeping warm? Yesterday marked the start of astronomical winter for the northern hemisphere, meaning long nights and (hopefully) clear, cold skies. But we’ve also got another reason to brave the cold this week, as Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is set to put on a show for northern hemisphere observers. [click to continue…]

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