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SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket poised for launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in this updated artists concept. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket poised for launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in this updated artists concept. Credit: SpaceX
See Falcon Heavy launch and booster recovery animation below

SpaceX released a cool new animation today, Jan. 27, showing an updated look at their Falcon Heavy rocket and plans for booster recovery. See below. [click to continue…]

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NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captures blizzard near peak intensity as it moves over New York and Boston regions at 1:45 am EST, Jan. 27, 2015.  This view is a combination of the day-night band and high resolution infrared imagery from Suomi NPP showing the historic blizzard near peak intensity as it moves over the New York through Boston Metropolitan areas at 06:45Z (1:45 a.m. EST) on January 27, 2015.   Credit:   NOAA/NASA

NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captures blizzard near peak intensity as it moves over New York and Boston regions at 1:45 am EST, Jan. 27, 2015. This view is a combination of the day-night band and high resolution infrared imagery from Suomi NPP showing the historic blizzard near peak intensity as it moves over the New York through Boston Metropolitan areas at 06:45Z (1:45 a.m. EST) on January 27, 2015. Credit: NOAA/NASA

NEW JERSEY – Record breaking snow from the ‘Blizzard of 2015’ hit vast regions of the US Northeast today, Jan. 27, 2015, stretching from Long Island to New England.

NASA and NOAA Earth orbiting satellites are keeping track of the storm affecting millions of residents. [click to continue…]

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Animation of Ceres made from images acquired by Dawn on Jan. 25, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Animation of Ceres made from images acquired by Dawn on Jan. 25, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This is the second animation from Dawn this year showing Ceres rotating, and at 43 pixels across the images are officially the best ever obtained!

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now on final approach to the 950 km (590 mile) dwarf planet Ceres, the largest world in the main asteroid belt and the biggest object in the inner Solar System that has yet to be explored closely. And, based on what one Dawn mission scientist has said, Ceres could very well be called the Solar System’s “hipster planet.”

“Ceres is a ‘planet’ that you’ve probably never heard of,” said Robert Mase, Dawn project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We’re excited to learn all about it with Dawn and share our discoveries with the world.”

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Getting closer… the Moon and Aldebaran from May 2014. Credit and copyright: Ziad El-Zaatari.

The cosmos is continually in motion.

Be it atoms, stars or snowflakes from the latest nor’easter pounding the New England seaboard, anything worth studying involves movement. And as skies and snowbound roads clear, this Wednesday and Thursday evening will give us a reason to brave the January cold, as the waxing gibbous Moon pierces the Hyades star cluster to graze past the bright star Aldebaran. [click to continue…]

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An artist rendition of Kepler-444 planetary system, which hosts five planets, all smaller than Earth. Credit: Tiago Campante,  University of Birmingham, UK.

An artist rendition of Kepler-444 planetary system, which hosts five planets, all smaller than Earth. Credit: Tiago Campante, University of Birmingham, UK.

Using data from the Kepler space telescope, an international group of astronomers has discovered the oldest known planetary system in the galaxy – an 11 billion-year-old system of five rocky planets that are all smaller than Earth. The team says this discovery suggests that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, increasing the possibility for the existence of ancient life – and potentially advanced intelligent life — in our galaxy.

“The fact that rocky planets were already forming in the galaxy 11 billion years ago suggests that habitable Earth-like planets have probably been around for a very long time, much longer than the age of our Solar System,” said Dr. Travis Metcalfe, Senior Research Scientist Space Science Institute, who was part of the team that used the unique method of asteroseismology to determine the age of the star.
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