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The Countdown, Episode 2: A Mars Party, Star versus Black Hole, Thunderous Gamma Rays, Meteoroid Fireworks, Money for Space Taxis


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Story 5

NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on Mars early Monday morning, setting off a worldwide celebration.

Links:

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars
Video: NASA Lands Car-Sized Rover Near Martian Mountain
Curiosity Targets Gale Crater
Mars Party of the Decade Reaches Fever Pitch

Story 4

Black holes have the size and mass to devour entire stars, although this has never been observed–until now.

Links: 

Satellites Watch Stellar Death Throes

Story 3

Scientists are beginning to understand how thunder clouds produce powerful gamma rays–and antimatter.

Links:

Thunderclouds Make Gamma Rays—and Shoot Out Antimatter, Too [Preview]

Story 2

Early in the morning on August 12th, you’ll be able to see the Perseid meteor shower, named for the constellation Perseus.

Links:

August Perseid Meteor Shower Has Long Legacy, Bright Future
Perseid Meteor Shower Weather Forecast
EarthSky’s Meteor Shower Guide for 2012

Story 1

NASA recently granted three companies 1.1 billion dollars to develop private space taxis, which will ferry astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit.

Links:

NASA Chooses SpaceX to Return US Astronauts to Space
NASA Awards $1.1 Billion in Support for 3 Private Space Taxis
NASA Press Release

About the Author: Eric is the resident video producer and an associate editor at Scientific American. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in biochemistry and New York University with an M.A. in science journalism. His work has also appeared on the websites of Nature, Nature Medicine, Popular Science and The New York Times among many others. Follow on Twitter @EricROlson.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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