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The Countdown, Episode 7 – Planet Centauri, Endeavour‘s L.A. Road Trip, DayGlo Comet, Moon Mystery Modeled, a Not-Quite-Space Jump

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


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Story 5

Astronomers have discovered an Earth-mass planet circling Alpha Centauri B, a star only four light-years from our own solar system.

Links:
The Exoplanet Next-Door: Astronomers Discover World in Nearest Star System

Story 4

The retired Space Shuttle Endeavour cruised the streets of Los Angeles on the way to its new home at the California Science Center.  Endeavour was the last vehicle launched into orbit as part of  thirty-year U.S. Space Shuttle program.

Links:
Space Shuttle Endeavour: ‘Mission Accomplished’
Time-lapse video: Space shuttle Endeavour’s trek across L.A.

Story 3

A comet with the unwieldy name C/2012 S1 (ISON) is likely to pass close enough to Earth in the winter of 2013 that it will appear brighter than the moon. 

Links:
“Once in a Civilization” Comet to Zip past Earth Next Year

Story 2

Why is the moon made mostly from the same material as the Earth and not the giant object that struck the Earth 4.5 billion years ago?  Two new papers in the journal Science seek an answer to the lunar mystery.

Links:
Giant Impact Theory of Lunar Formation Gains More Credibility

Story 1

Eight million people tuned in to watch Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking “space” jump on October 14th. The only problem– it wasn’t really from space.

Links:
Why Red Bull’s Stratos Jump Was Just a Publicity Stunt—and Only Partially Successful
Could You Look Down from 24 Miles Up and Jump? Felix Baumgartner Just Did


 

About the Author: Eric is multimedia journalist and producer who specializes in science and natural history. His work has appeared on the websites of Scientific American, Nature, Nature Medicine, Popular Science, Slate and The New York Times among many others. He is a former video producer & editor for Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @EricROlson.

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





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