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Monday, February 18, 2019

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space highway 

 NASA's Voyager mission took advantage of a once-every-175-year alignment of the outer planets for a grand tour of the solar system. The twin spacecraft revealed details about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune -- using each planet's gravity to send them on to the next destination. Voyager set the stage for such ambitious orbiter missions as Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini to Saturn. Today both Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable science from the far reaches of our solar system. 

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 Color Moon Blood GIF

Skywatchers around much of the world watched a complete lunar eclipse in 2018 that is the longest of this century which coincides with Mars’ closest approach in 15 years. The so-called “blood moon,” when it turns a deep red, was visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon. The total eclipse lasts 1 hour and 43 minutes, with the entire event lasting closer to four hours. For about half the world, the moon will be partly or fully in Earth’s shadow for six hours and 14 minutes in all. The only total lunar eclipse of 2019 took place on Saturday, January 20, 2019 according to NASA.

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Rotating Stars 

Mysterious signals have been picked up from distant galaxies. When fast radio bursts or FRBs, as they are called, reach Earth's telescopes they shine brightly for a few milliseconds, then disappear. Astronomers have detected dozens over the past decade, and have just announced they've found more of them, including a rare repeating signal. We don't know exactly what they are or where they're from, but here are several theories.

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 China Landing in Far East side of the Moon CUp

China reached a milestone in space exploration on Thursday, landing a vehicle on the far side of the moon for the first time in history, the country’s space agency announced. The landing of the probe, called Chang’e-4 after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, is one in a coming series of missions that underscore the country’s ambitions to join — and even lead — the space race. The mission “has opened a new chapter in humanity’s exploration of the moon,” the China National Space Administration said in an announcement on its website. The agency said the spacecraft landed at 10:26 a.m. Beijing time on January 3, 2019 at its target on the far side of the moon.

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Firs Mars Image from Insight landing

After six months of travel from Earth, the InSight spacecraft landed on the red planet on Monday, November 26, 2018. About three hours before landing, mission navigators adjusted InSight’s timing or alignment to avoid any perilous Martian dust storms. Then they separated from the cruise stage 13 ¾ minutes before landing. Before InSight entered the Martian atmosphere, the spacecraft will split away from its solar-paneled cruise stage and switch to battery power. Light and communications will now take 8 minutes and 7 seconds to reach Mars from Earth. See above the first image received after Insight landing on Mars.