Space The Final Frontier: What Geeks are Talking about from The New York Times


Here is the latest Space News from The New York Times.

Trilobites: What Spring Looks Like from Space
An image from the Meteosat-9 satellite shows Earth on the vernal equinox, the official start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Pluto and Its Moons
Pluto’s four smaller moons — Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos — are brighter and smaller than astronomers had expected, as revealed by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Mars Mission Blasts Off From Kazakhstan
The ExoMars spacecraft consists of an orbiter that will measure methane and other gases in the Martian atmosphere and a lander that will study dust storms.

NASA Says Scott Kelly, Record-Setting Astronaut, Will Retire
Mr. Kelly, who holds the American record for most time spent in space, will retire on April 1, a month after returning to Earth from a nearly yearlong mission.

Mars Mission Set to Launch to Study Gases and Storms
The ExoMars 2016 mission to Mars, a collaboration between the European and Russian space agencies, is scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan on Monday.

Trilobites: This Week’s Other Solar Eclipse
More than 22,000 miles above Earth, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been getting a full blackout each day.

Trilobites: How an Amateur Meteorite Hunter Tracked Down a Fireball
Since last October, citizen scientists have uncovered fragments from three different fireball sightings using online reports.

NASA Reschedules Mars InSight Mission for May 2018
Problems with the enclosure for a seismic instrument forced a two-year delay, but the mission is back on the schedule.

Jeff Bezos Lifts Veil on His Rocket Company, Blue Origin
Mr. Bezos introduced reporters to Blue Origin for the first time on Tuesday, offering updates on his space tourism plans and a new engine that is being developed.

Scott Kelly Says a Year in Orbit Felt Like ‘Forever’
The astronaut Scott Kelly, back on Earth after 340 days in space, said he was feeling fatigue, soreness and a sensation “almost like a burning feeling” on his skin.

Trilobites: Stealing a Clear Look at an Elusive Star
Astronomers released a new image of rare O-type stars visible only using telescopes sensitive to certain wavelengths.

Trilobites: It’s Very Unlikely That Asteroid 2013 TX68 Will Hit Earth
The asteroid, estimated to be 100 feet in diameter, is expected to zip past Earth sometime next week. But not close enough to panic.

Scott Kelly, American Astronaut, Is Returning to Earth After 340 Days in Space
Mr. Kelly’s time at the International Space Station is the longest trip to space an American astronaut has ever taken.

Scott Kelly Poised to Set NASA Record for Consecutive Days in Space
When Scott J. Kelly returns to Earth next week after 340 days in space, he will be studied for insights into the health issues long space flights, like to Mars, might pose.

Trilobites: A Black Hole That Has Stopped Swallowing Stars
At the core of a galaxy some 300 million light-years away is a supermassive, inactive black hole that is about 21 billion times the size of the sun.

Trilobites: So You Wanna Be an Astronaut? Pretty Unlikely.
By the deadline on Thursday, more than 18,300 people had submitted their resumes in hopes of joining the next group of NASA astronauts.

Sinosphere: Alien Telescope Project to Displace 9,000 Villagers in China
China is relocating thousands of villagers in Guizhou Province to build a $184 million telescope to detect signs of extraterrestrial life.

Opinion: Finding Beauty in the Darkness
Einstein’s “ripples” should matter to everyone — not just physicists.

Trilobites: Scientists Chirp Excitedly for LIGO, Gravitational Waves and Einstein
Before a big physics announcement, scientists took to social media to share their best imitations of two black holes colliding.

Out There: Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right
Scientists say they heard the faint chirp of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, fulfilling Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

That Wasn’t a Meteorite That Killed a Man in India, NASA Says
A “land-based” explosion was the likely cause, not an object from space, which would have been a first of sorts in recorded history.

Edgar D. Mitchell, Sixth Moonwalking Astronaut, Dies at 85
Commander Mitchell, a member of NASA’s first lunar mission devoted exclusively to scientific research, Apollo 14, spent just over nine hours on the moon on two moonwalks.

Trilobites: Goodness Gracious, Fireballs in February
Dashcams, rooftop cameras and a GoPro on a small airplane captured footage of bright objects streaking night skies in recent days.

App Smart: An Expanding Universe of Space Apps
While becoming an astronaut is out of reach for most of us, there are plenty of apps that can take your mind on a journey to the final frontier.

Op-Ed Contributor: The ‘Benefits’ of Black Physics Students
Black students’ responsibility in the classroom is not to serve as ‘seasoning’ to the academic soup.

Mars Rover Finds Changing Rocks, Surprising Scientists
The changes found by Curiosity, the NASA vehicle on the planet, show how the climate and environment changed there more than 3 billion years ago.

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket After Launch of Satellites Into Orbit
The launch and landing could become a familiar sight in spaceflight, allowing rockets to be refurbished and reused.

Physicists in Europe Find Tantalizing Hints of a Mysterious New Particle
One possibility is that the particle — assuming it is real — is a heavier version of the Higgs boson, a particle that explains why other particles have mass.

Leaks in Instrument Force NASA to Delay Mars Mission Until 2018
The Mars InSight mission will miss its March 2016 launch date, and will remain earthbound for at least two years.

Timothy Peake, British Astronaut, Dials Wrong Number From Space
Mr. Peake, aboard the International Space Station, took his flub to Twitter, apologizing to “the lady I just called by mistake saying ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’”

Observatory: New Type of Rock Is Discovered on Moon
Chinese researchers operating an unmanned mission discovered the basaltic rock, which is rich in a black mineral called ilmenite.

Observatory: Pouring a Foundation on Mars
Researchers devise a building material that could be made from materials on the planet.

Stories Spill Out as Spotlight Is Shined on Sexism in Astronomy
Female students and professionals have been using the hashtag #astroSH to share stories of how sexism has affected them.

Observatory: Supernova Has Energy of Hundreds of Billions of Suns
Scientist may have found the most powerful supernova ever seen.

National Briefing | Washington: Contracts Announced for Runs to Space Station
NASA announced on Thursday the companies it had selected for a second round of contracts to take cargo to the International Space Station.

Satellite Tracking Rising Seas Launches Successfully
The Jason-3 mission will use radar to determine the height of the sea as global temperatures increase and will help to predict hurricanes.

Video: SpaceX Rocket Landing Ends in Explosion
The latest attempt by Elon Musk’s company to recover one of its rockets after a launch failed in a ball of fire on Sunday.

Ninth Planet May Exist Beyond Pluto, Scientists Report
Two professors at the California Institute of Technology laid out an argument for the existence of a planet perhaps 4,500 times the mass of Pluto.

Trilobites: How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle
For the first time in more than a decade, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye through Feb. 20.

A Space Station, With Surveillance Cameras for Hire
Two cameras owned by the Canadian company UrtheCast are available for surveillance jobs from their low-earth orbit on the International Space Station.

Trilobites: How to Get Five Planets Into a Single Photograph
The trickiest aspect of capturing Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the same image is knowing where to look.

Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon
Scientists have found a small clay tablet with markings indicating that a sort of precalculus technique was used to track Jupiter’s motion in the night sky.

How Moon Dust Languished in a Downing Street Cupboard
The moon dust’s fate was revealed by Britain’s National Archives, which released 178 pages of correspondence on the subject going back 30 years.

Trilobites: Let the Moon Be Your Guide in Finding Five Planets
Learn a low-fi method for spotting five planets at once.

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