October 18, 2013 DEEP IMPACT
solar system labeledAsteroid 2013 TV135 – A Reality Check
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 18, 2013 – Newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 made a close approach to Earth on Sept. 16 when it came within about 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers). The asteroid is initially estimated to be about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as about three quarters of the distance to Jupiter’s orbit and as close to the sun as the Earth’s orbit. It was discovered on … more

Russia Readies Proton Rocket for October 20 Launch
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Oct 18, 2013 – A Proton-M carrier rocket with a US telecoms satellite will be transported early Thursday to a launch pad at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan in preparation for launch on October 20, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said. According to Roscosmos, the Proton rocket with a Briz-M booster and the Sirius FM-6 satellite has been cleared for the launch by a special state commission on Wedne … more

US ‘Itching’ to Join Russia in Anti-Asteroid Nuclear Defense
Washington (RIA Novosti) Oct 18, 2013 – US scientists are “itching” to work with their Russian counterparts in putting nuclear weapons technology to use in new systems to defend Earth from threatening asteroids, an investigative journalism outlet reported Wednesday. “In recent years, advocates of the use of nuclear weapons to counter space threats have been gaining ground,” the non-profit Center for Public Integrity (CPI) said i … more

Astronomer see misaligned planets in distant system
Ames IA (SPX) Oct 18, 2013 – data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a distant planetary system featuring multiple planets orbiting at a severe tilt to their host star. Such tilted orbits had been found in planetary systems featuring a “hot Jupiter,” a giant planet in a close orbit to its host star. But, until now, they hadn’t been observed in multiplanetary systems … more

Curiosity confirms origins of Martian meteorites
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 18, 2013 – Earth’s most eminent emissary to Mars has just proven that those rare Martian visitors that sometimes drop in on Earth – a.k.a. Martian meteorites – really are from the Red Planet. A key new measurement of Mars’ atmosphere by NASA’s Curiosity rover provides the most definitive evidence yet of the origins of Mars meteorites while at the same time providing a way to rule out Martian origins of oth … more

Astronomers find clues to decades-long coronal heating mystery
New York NY (SPX) Oct 17, 2013 – Drs. Michael Hahn and Daniel Wolf Savin, research scientists at Columbia University’s Astrophysics Laboratory in New York, NY, found evidence that magnetic waves in a polar coronal hole contain enough energy to heat the corona and moreover that they also deposit most of their energy at sufficiently low heights for the heat to spread throughout the corona. The observations help to answer a … more

Russia to Make Second Attempt at Mars Moon Mission
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Oct 17, 2013 – Russia will take a second crack at bringing back dust samples from Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, after an attempt in 2011 ended in the spacecraft crashing back to Earth, a top scientist said Tuesday. Russia’s next bid to recover material from Mars’ largest moon will take place between 2020 and 2022, Lev Zelyony, the director of the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sci … more