ASTRO SPACE NEWS
Weird, Wild & Breaking News Stories in Space and Astronomy From Around The World 24/7 Weekly With Updates. It's a FREE Service To The Public and ALL Media, It's Safe and Reliable. (Est. 2002)

FEATURED STORIES - September 2020

This newsletter is emailed weekly to requesting radio stations across Australia. Enquiries for interviews or info Ph: (02) 6585 2260 Mob: 0400 636 363 Email: davereneke@gmail.com 

'Astro' Dave: David Reneke is one of Australia's most well known and respected astronomers and lecturers with links to some of the world's leading astronomical institutions

Have Telescope Will Travel - We Come To YOU!

Ask Yourself Have You Ever... looked through a large telescope? Touched a real space rock? Seen the rings of Saturn, Jupiter's Moon? Viewed star clusters thousands of light years away OR seen huge craters and 'seas' on the Moon up close?

We come to you at your home, club, caravan or holiday unit. Marvel at our Laser Guided Sky Tour of The Milky Way AND take your own photo through the telescope with your smartphone. Expert astronomer and we use large Hi-Power Telescopes. (Mid Coast NSW Only) MORE INFO: Click

Tom Cruise And Doug Liman Set Liftoff Date With Space X, Space Shuttle Almanac Reveals

Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman's may head into space for their film in October 2021, images from the Space Shuttle Almanac reveal.

On Monday the Twitter for the Space Shuttle Almanac shared a photo of spacecrafts and countries set to launch in the next three years. While the chart may seem like an assuming collage of names, flags and spacecrafts at first, upon a closer look the chart reveals some names near and dear to Hollywood.

Under the October 2021 part of the chart reads "SpaceX Crew Dragon," with an image of a small space vehicle beside it. Next to the illustration are a list of three names: SpaceX Pilot Lopez Alegria, Tourist 1 Tom Cruise and Tourist 2 Doug Liman. The tourist flight also shows a vacant spot for a third visitor.

While it's unsure whether the October 2021 trip is just a preliminary one for Cruise and Liman to scope out the extra-terrestrial territory or whether marks the production for the first-of-its-kind film, it's clear Cruise may get his space legs soon enough.

In May, Deadline learned that Cruise is teaming up with the Elon Musk company for NASA's first narrative film. Deadline learned in July that Universal will back the $200 million space film.

NASA's new $23 million space toilet is ready for launch

NASA is launching a new space toilet to the International Space Station next week for astronauts to test out before it's used on future missions to the moon or Mars.

The $23 million toilet system, known as the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the toilet currently in use on the space station, and can support larger crews. The toilet will launch to the space station aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo capsule on Sept. 29, as part of a routine resupply mission.

Once on the space station, astronauts will test how the new toilet performs in the microgravity environment on the station. The system will be installed adjacent to the current toilet in Node 3 of the space station, NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Logistics Reduction project manager Melissa McKinley said during a news conference Thursday (Sept. 24).

Expedition 63 astronauts Chris Cassidy and Ivan Vagner have started preparing for the space toilet's delivery. The crew will use the orbiting lab's Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the Cygnus spacecraft, according to a statement from the space agency.

"The toilet was designed for exploration and it builds on previous spaceflight toilet design," McKinley said during the press conference. "The big key to the exploration piece of the design is looking to optimize mass volume and power usage, which are all very important components of a spacecraft design."

The space toilet's advanced design includes a urine funnel and seat that is created to be more accommodating for female crew members. It also features a 3D-printed titanium dual fan separator, which was developed by Collins Aerospace and creates a strong airflow that, in lieu of gravity, helps to pull the astronauts' urine and waste into the toilet.

The titanium design also improves upon the existing pretreat system used to collect and treat astronauts' urine before it is processed and recycled for reclaimed water.

The UWMS measures roughly 28 inches (71 centimeters) tall, which is comparable to the compact toilets used on campers, McKinley said during the conference. The toilet also has an automatic starting system, rather than an on and off switch like current toilet models on the space station.

The new system will be used routinely by the crew on the space station and tested over the next three years to make sure everything works as planned. Prior to launch, the system was tested in environments designed to simulate that of the space station, NASA officials have said.

Astronomers May Have Detected a Planet in Another Galaxy

Humanity spent years wondering if there were planets outside our solar system, and now we know the answer: very much yes. There are thousands of exoplanets in just our little corner of the galaxy, and there's every reason to expect the same is true of other galaxies. In fact, a researcher from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has found strong evidence of a planet orbiting a pair of stars in the distant M51 galaxy. It's not the first potential extragalactic planet detection, but it's shaping up to be the most likely candidate.

We lack the technology to image exoplanets directly (usually), even when they're right next door in Proxima Centauri. Planets are so dim compared with the stars they orbit that we can only infer their presence by the way they affect the star's gravity (radial velocity) or luminance (transits). Most exoplanets have been detected by the transit method, which involves watching for dips in brightness caused by planets passing in front of their host stars. That's very similar to what astronomers did to spot the M51 planet candidate, which they've dubbed M51-ULS-1b.

Past detections of extragalactic planets have relied on gravitational lensing, but M51-ULS-1b was detected via what appears to be an X-ray transit. However, that's only possible because it's orbiting a very strange pair of stars. It's a perfect storm; M51-ULS-1 is a binary system, and one element of it is a neutron star or black hole that's devouring a nearby star. That makes M51-ULS-1 a very bright, compact source of X-rays. In 2012, the Chandra X-ray Observatory was scanning M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, when the X-ray signal from the M51-ULS-1 system dipped. 

No one was watching for this, so it went unnoticed until just recently when Rosanne Di Stefano at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center took a closer look.Humanity spent years wondering if there were planets outside our solar system, and now we know the answer: very much yes. There are thousands of exoplanets in just our little corner of the galaxy, and there's every reason to expect the same is true of other galaxies. In fact, a researcher from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has found strong evidence of a planet orbiting a pair of stars in the distant M51 galaxy. It's not the first potential extragalactic planet detection, but it's shaping up to be the most likely candidate.

We lack the technology to image exoplanets directly (usually), even when they're right next door in Proxima Centauri. Planets are so dim compared with the stars they orbit that we can only infer their presence by the way they affect the star's gravity (radial velocity) or luminance (transits). Most exoplanets have been detected by the transit method, which involves watching for dips in brightness caused by planets passing in front of their host stars. That's very similar to what astronomers did to spot the M51 planet candidate, which they've dubbed M51-ULS-1b.

Past detections of extragalactic planets have relied on gravitational lensing, but M51-ULS-1b was detected via what appears to be an X-ray transit. However, that's only possible because it's orbiting a very strange pair of stars. It's a perfect storm; M51-ULS-1 is a binary system, and one element of it is a neutron star or black hole that's devouring a nearby star. That makes M51-ULS-1 a very bright, compact source of X-rays. In 2012, the Chandra X-ray Observatory was scanning M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, when the X-ray signal from the M51-ULS-1 system dipped. No one was watching for this, so it went unnoticed until just recently when Rosanne Di Stefano at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center took a closer look.

First commercial rocket blasts off from Australian soil

Air Force launched its first ever sub-orbital rocket from Australia to the edge of space. The payload included an Australian-designed and made miniature radio frequency receiver prototype. (Sean Jorgensen-Day/DEWC Systems Engineer)
Air Force launched its first ever sub-orbital rocket from Australia to the edge of space. The payload included an Australian-designed and made miniature radio frequency receiver prototype. (Sean Jorgensen-Day/DEWC Systems Engineer)

The first commercial rocket to be launched from Australia to the edge of space has blasted off from a range in South Australia.

The 34kg, 3.4-metre-long DART rocket was launched from the Koonibba Rocket Range last week  and carried a payload for the Royal Australian Air Force. It reached a height of 100 km.

The project was a joint partnership between Defence, Australian companies Southern Launch and DEWC Systems and Dutch company T-Minus Engineering.

The launch forms part of the Air Force's Plan Jericho, a program to detect and track targets. The program also includes high altitude balloon launches.

"The rocket is unlike any rocket ever launched in Australia, and is part of what is known as 'New Space' technologies - small rockets carrying reduced sized satellites using commercially available technologies," Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said.

The launch came after a failed attempt last Tuesday and was done in consultation with the local Indigenous community. 

NASA astronauts will soon film their first commercial in space

NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.The International Space Station has served as the world's most unique laboratory for two decades, hosting hundreds of scientific experiments, crews of astronauts and even the occasional slime.

But now, NASA, one of the space station's primary operators, is preparing to oversee the largest push of business activity aboard the ISS. Later this month, up to 10 bottles of a new Estée Lauder (EL) skincare serumwill launch to the space station, a NASA spokesperson told CNN Business. NASA astronauts are expected to film the items in the microgravity environment of the ISS and the company will be able to use that footage in ad campaigns or other promotional material.

If the footage is used in a commercial, it would not be the first advertisement filmed in space; nor will it be the first time NASA has worked with corporate advertisers. But it will mark one of the most high-profile cases of NASA offering up the American portion of the space station for capturing zero-gravity footage of a product.

The Estée Lauder partnership will continue NASA's years-long push to encourage private-sector spending on space projects as the space agency looks to stretch its budget beyond the ISS and focus on taking astronauts back into deep space. Those efforts include allowing the space station to be used for marketing and entertainment purposes.

The Estée Lauder products, a new formula of the company's "Advanced Night Repair" skin serum, are expected to launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, tucked alongside 8,000 pounds of other cargo, experiments and supplies. NASA astronauts will be tasked with capturing "imagery and video" of the product.

The astronauts themselves, however, won't be appearing in any cosmetics ads: The space agency's ethics policies strictly bar astronauts from appearing in marketing campaigns.

Estée Lauder president Stephane de la Faverie hinted at the company's plans last month."I'm a risk taker, and that tends to basically come with ideas that are a little bit, you know, outside of the normal, traditional ways of doing marketing," he said during a panel at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics's virtual Ascend Summit in August.

At that same panel, de la Faverie spoke about Estée Lauder's plans to help NASA and CASIS, the organization that manages the US laboratory on the space station, fund research aimed at developing more sustainable packaging materials. A CASIS spokesperson told CNN Business on Wednesday, however, that the partnership has not yet resulted in firm plans to a send a scientific experiment to the ISS. CASIS is not involved in the plans to film Estée Lauder product footage in space.

Rather,the in-space footage will be part of a Space Act Agreement the company signed with NASA headquarters, which builds off a mandate from Congress and a 2019 directive for NASA to "catalyze and nurture" a business economy in low-Earth orbit.

Space Hero: A new reality show where the winner goes to the space station

This July 1, 2020 photo made available by NASA shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon, right, docked to the International Space station (NASA via AP)
This July 1, 2020 photo made available by NASA shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon, right, docked to the International Space station (NASA via AP)

Reality TV just reached the next level - and that level is approximately 200 miles above the Earth - with the announcement of a new show where the prize is a trip to the International Space Station. What a time to be alive, right?

News sources report the new show led by a production company called Space Hero, founded by Thomas Reemer and Deborah Sass and led by former News Corp Europe chief Marty Pompadur.

The entire series will be an international search for the first elected space explorer to fly to the International Space Station. The winner will receive astronaut training before launching to the ISS and spending 10 days in orbit.

There are still a lot of unknown details that need to be worked out before anyone gets too excited. How the chosen citizen astronaut will get to the space station is yet to be determined, according to Axiom, the private space company partnering with Space Hero to train the astronauts and get them into orbit.

The show also doesn't have a home yet, Space Hero is seeking a network or distribution partner to air the first space reality show.

"When Thomas and I started this venture we were very clear that there was nothing like it on the planet. Today we have started our mission to find our distribution partner and are ready to take it to the next stage and get the World excited about Space Hero," Sass said in a statement.

The application process for the show opens April 12, 2021, according to Space Hero, which also happens to be the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

To apply, interested space travelers can download the free Space Hero app to start the process. The show will begin broadcasting later in 2021 and a six-month training program for the winner will happen in 2022 with a launch to the ISS in early 2023.

This new reality show takes commercialization of the orbiting home for astronauts into a new arena. Last year, NASA announced it was opening up the space station for private companies to conduct marketing and citizen astronaut flights.

NASA approved Axiom Space, a Texas-based company, to begin building private modules onto the ISS in 2024 to eventually launch a private space station that would be fully functional by the time the ISS is scheduled to retire.

Axiom has also hired SpaceX to launch three private astronauts on the Crew Dragon to the ISS. This summer, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch NASA astronauts to the ISS and bring them home. Four astronauts, three NASA and one Japanese, will launch on the second crewed flight for the Dragon spacecraft in late October from Kennedy Space Center.

Axiom has not announced if SpaceX will launch the Space Hero contestant winner.

China to Launch Space Mining Bot

Photo: Xinhua/Zheng Taotao/Getty Images
Photo: Xinhua/Zheng Taotao/Getty Images

The possibility of space mining has long captured the imagination and even inspired business ventures. Now, a space startup in China is taking its first steps towards testing capabilities to identify and extract off-Earth resources.

Origin Space, a Beijing-based private space resources company, is set to launch its first 'space mining robot' in November. NEO-1 is a small (around 30 kilograms) satellite intended to enter a 500-kilometer-altitude sun-synchronous orbit. It will be launched by a Chinese Long March series rocket as a secondary payload.

This small spacecraft will not be doing actual mining; instead, it will be testing technologies. "The goal is to verify and demonstrate multiple functions such as spacecraft orbital maneuver, simulated small celestial body capture, intelligent spacecraft identification and control," says Yu Tianhong, an Origin Space co-founder.

Origin Space, established in 2017, describes itself as China's first firm focused on the utilization of space resources. China's private space sector emerged following a 2014 government decision to open up the industry. Because asteroid mining has often been talked of as potentially a trillion-dollar industry, it is no surprise that a company focused on this area has joined the likes of others developing rockets and small satellites.

Another mission, Yuanwang-1 ('Look up-1'), and nicknamed "Little Hubble", is slated to launch in 2021. A deal for development of the satellite was reached with DFH Satellite Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China's main state-owned space contractor CASC, earlier this year.

The "Little Hubble" satellite will carry an optical telescope designed to observe and monitor Near Earth Asteroids. Origin Space notes that identifying suitable targets is the first step toward space resources utilization.

Beyond this, Origin Space will also be taking aim at the moon with NEO-2, with a target launch date of late 2021 or early 2022. Yu says the lunar project plan is not completed, but includes an eventual lunar landing. 

New coins celebrate Indigenous astronomy, the stars, and the dark spaces between them 

Two new coins have been released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Two new coins have been released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Look up on any clear night and you can see myriad stars, planets, and the Milky Way stretching across the sky. The chances are that you know some of the constellations. The International Astronomical Union recognises 88 constellations, ranging from the giant water-serpent Hydra to tiny Crux (the Southern Cross).

These are largely based on the mythology of the ancient Greeks. But they share remarkable similarities with the constellations of the oldest living cultures on the planet.

Two new coins have been released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They feature artworks from Wiradjuri (NSW) and Yamaji (WA) artists that represent two of the most famous features in Aboriginal astronomy: the great Emu in the Sky and the Seven Sisters.

Both celestial features are found in the astronomical traditions of many Aboriginal cultures across Australia. They are seen in similar ways and have similar meanings between cultures on opposite sides of the continent and are observed to note the changing seasons and the behaviours of plants and animals and inform Law.

The project has been three years in the making, with the third and final coin in the series to be released in mid-2021.

New Movie Review: Space Dogs

Review: Space Dogs
Review: Space Dogs

Most readers are familiar with the tale of Laika, the first animal in space. A stray picked up off the streets of Moscow, Laika was flown on the second Sputnik satellite in November 1957, claiming yet another first for the Soviet space program. The flight was a one-way mission from the beginning, since Sputnik 2 has no capability to survive reentry. Laika, as later historical research revealed, likely died from overheating just a few hours after launch.

The Austrian film Space Dogs, making a limited release in US theaters this month and also available by video on demand, opens with that flight, or at least a surreal depiction of it: the spacecraft's eventual reentry looks like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. An unseen narrator explains that, in Russia, some believe the ghost of Laika returned to Earth and lives among Moscow's strays today.

The movie, according to a press release about it, "documents a pack of Moscow street dogs and traces the story of Laika, the first dog in space." But in Space Dogs, there are far more dogs than space, a warning to those who might think of this as a documentary about Laika or the early Soviet space program.

The directors uncovered archival footage-rarely, if ever, seen before-of the early Soviet effort to send dogs to space.

Indeed, after that opening scene talking about Laika's demise, the movie focuses on a couple of stray dogs wandering through the city, with extended periods with no narration. The dogs meander through city streets, scavenge for food, and, in one particularly brutal sequence, chase, capture, and kill a cat. It's often left for the viewer to figure out the connection to Laika and the Soviet space program's early use of dogs to determine if humans could survive spaceflight. (In one particularly odd tangent, the narrator discusses how Americans used chimpanzees instead of dogs; this is illustrated with footage of a chimpanzee being taken with handlers in Moscow to a birthday party and then a nightclub.)

There are some historical interludes in the film. The directors uncovered archival footage-rarely, if ever, seen before-of the early Soviet effort to send dogs to space. That includes preparations for their flights, like being placed in centrifuges and being instrumented for their flights. There's also film from a later flight with dogs who did survive their mission and returned to Earth, and puppies later born from those dogs. That footage is interesting, but there's far less of it than contemporary video of those Moscow strays.

Publicity material for Space Dogs says the film has "meditative pacing that recalls the work of Andrei Tarkovsky," the Russian director of Solaris fame. That pacing is perhaps better described as ponderous, or simply slow, at times straining the patience of viewers who thought they were going to see dogs in space. The film is less about the "story of Laika" and instead an artistic interpretation of the journeys those dogs took into space, seen through the prism of those who, like Laika once did, roamed the streets of Moscow.

Hubble Just Confirmed The Largest Ocean World in Our Solar System And Its Not On Earth

"The Ganymede ocean is believed to contain more water than Europa's," says Olivier Witasse, a project scientist working on ESA's future Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE). "Six times more water in Ganymede's ocean than in Earth's ocean, and three times more than Europa."

In March of 2016, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope revealed the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon --larger than Mercury and not much smaller than Mars. Identifying liquid water is crucial in the search for habitable worlds beyond Earth and for the search for life, as we know it.

"This discovery marks a significant milestone, highlighting what only Hubble can accomplish," said John Grunsfeld, now retired assistant administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "In its 25 years in orbit, Hubble has made many scientific discoveries in our own solar system. A deep ocean under the icy crust of Ganymede opens up further exciting possibilities for life beyond Earth."

Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system and the only moon with its own magnetic field. The magnetic field causes aurorae, which are ribbons of glowing, hot electrified gas, in regions circling the north and south poles of the moon. Because Ganymede is close to Jupiter, it is also embedded in Jupiter's magnetic field. When Jupiter's magnetic field changes, the aurorae on Ganymede also change, "rocking" back and forth.

Just as Saturn's moon, Dione is perennially overshadowed by Enceladus and Titan, Ganymede's fame is eclipsed by its sister ocean world, Europa, slated for flybys by NASA's Europa Clipper mission in the 2020s.

Ganymede's cycles of auroral activity on the surface, detected by the Hubble Space Telescope, reveal oscillations in the moon's magnetic field best explained by the internal heat-generating tidal sloshing of a huge ocean hundreds of kilometres below the surface.

JUICE will fly by the moons at distances between 1000 and 200 kilometres, orbiting Ganymede for nine months, with the latter four months at an altitude of about 500 km. While the oceans of Jupiter's moons are likely buried at significant depth below their icy crusts, radar will be able to help piece together clues as to their complex evolution.

For example, it will explore Europa's potentially active regions and be able to distinguish where the composition changes, such as if there are local, shallow reservoirs of water sandwiched between icy layers. It will be able to find 'deflected' subsurface layers, which will help to determine the tectonic history of Ganymede in particular.

The distinction between ice and non-ice materials will also be possible, perhaps enabling the detection of buried cyrovolcanic reservoirs. On Callisto, radar profiling will help to understand the evolution of large impact crater structures that are apparent on the surface, which typically display multiple rims and a central dome. Their nature provides clues to the nature of the surface and subsurface at the time of the impact

On the way, reports NASA the space craft will make several flybys of another potentially ocean-bearing Jovian moon, Callisto. "We think that Callisto also harbors a subsurface ocean, but the available data is unclear," Witasse says. "What we hope to do is to check whether there is an ocean or not-and if yes, at which depth."

Fishing By The Moon Phases

Every fisherman dreams of a bigger catch! Is it possible to know ahead of time when to plan a trip to enjoy some fishing, catch more than usual, and come home feeling 100% satisfied? There is so listen up!

When most people started fishing the best time for them was whatever time happened to suit. They tried different lures, baits and techniques until they spent a small fortune in a quest to improve their fishing catch. Time to introduce our Moon as a fishing buddy.

A group of fishing buddies once explored whether there was any truth in the moon's effect on the best fishing times. They kept a record of every trip made over a period of 18 months. All information related to the moon's phases, the weather conditions and the catches they made were carefully logged.

What they discovered convinced everybody that moon phase fishing really works! A bonus was the fact that it wasn't anywhere near as complicated as many would have us believe.

Every fisherman knows that the best fishing times are when the fish are feeding. This tends to be during dawn and dusk, but what often goes unnoticed are the two periods elsewhere in the day, moonrise and moonset.

Because the moon has an effect on a variety of factors surrounding the fish, including the live fodder they hunt, these periods, combined with the moon's phase, are what trigger feeding. The Moon has always known this but you didn't, right?

So, by choosing times when sunrise or/sunset and moonrise or moonset coincide with new or full moon phases, you'll increase you chance of a good fishing catch. Assuming there are fish in the area you're fishing in of course.

It's not complicated, it's just a matter of knowing ahead of time exactly when the sun and moon will rise and set. There is a phone app for this. Fish are most active during 90 minute windows surrounding each of these four daily events. That is 45 minutes before and after these four daily points. Want even better catches? Read on.

If you keep in mind what we've said then plan wisely to ensure you're at the water's edge on the days of new or full moon. You can use these 'windows' to reel in a catch like you've never done before. If you have to choose between sunrise/set and moonrise/set, always go with the moon as the moon is the stronger influence.

Keen hunters and fishers have always known that fish and game are most active at dawn and dusk, sunrise and sunset, but their activity surrounding moonrise and moonset is less noticeable because these events usually occur without the changes in light values we're used to.

If you carry a Smartphone with you here's a tip. Download any one of the new mobile 'Moon Phase' apps for mobile devices. I have a couple and they give me accurate Moon and Sun details at a moment's notice. There are real time images of the current Moon phase, complete with technical data.

Quickly see if the Moon is above the horizon along with Moon rise and set times and precise Moon position in the sky. If you also want to know Sun rise and set times, look at the Solar Position screen.

Be aware that it is possible to have a month without a full moon. This occurs in February, but either January or March will have two moons. By the way, when a month has two full moons, the second full moon is called a blue moon.

Keep in mind that even though full moon is a cool sight, and we write so many songs about how beautiful it is, it's also the worst time to look at the moon through a telescope or binoculars. There's so much light hitting your eye! The best time to enjoy a full moon is at moonrise when the moon is just above the horizon.

Now you know that moon phase fishing really works you can start to increase your own catch by being at the ready with your rod during the best fishing times available. It's easy and it works! Good luck!

6 Cool Space Facts - 'Did You Know?' 

1. Earth was named after the Roman goddess of the land, Terra. Many languages today still use her name for Earth (for example, the French word for our home planet is 'La Terre').

2. Possibly beneath Jupiter's moon Europa's surface ice there is a layer of liquid water, perhaps as much as 80 km deep. If so, it would be the only place in the solar system besides Earth where liquid water exists in significant quantities.

3. According to astronomers at the University of Adelaide, about 19,000 meteors hit the Earth's atmosphere every day.

4.  When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, the impact caused the moon's surface to vibrate for 55 minutes.

5. On the Apollo 11 insignia patch worn on the space-suits for first Moon landing mission all names were excluded as a gesture of respect for all the unrecognized contributors to the mission.

6. The International Space Station loses some 25 meters per day in altitude, and the crew needs to adjust the orbit approximately every three months to compensate. 


Welcome - OUR NEW SPONSOR of Astro-Space News and Mid North Coast Astronomy

Everything that is in stock is actually in stock and the website reflects what we have on hand.

Testar has several hundreds of items imported from all across the world, ready to be shipped to you so you don't have to wait or pre-order. Just get your gears fast and easy! Everything that is in stock is actually in stock and the website reflects what we have on hand.

Testar has several hundreds of items imported from all across the world, ready to be shipped to you so you don't have to wait or pre-order. Just get your gears fast and easy! Everything that is in stock is actually in stock and the website reflects what we have on hand. Testar has several hundreds of items imported from all across the world, ready to be shipped to you so you don't have to wait or pre-order. Just get your gears fast and easy! Go visit the website and check out the range: TESTAR

SUPPORT OF SPONSORS/ADVERTISERS

Mad About Science is the home of unique science products - toys, kits, gizmos, novelties, supplies and teacher resources - designed to amaze as well as educate. With over 2000 product listings, our unique and extensive product range covers all your home and school science needs. Our science inspired toys and STEAM products appeal to a wide range of ages  They also make great gifts with a difference!


Cosmos Centre: In a galaxy not so far away..., actually it's just right here in the our very own Charleville Queensland, the absolutely gobsmacking Cosmos Centre and Observatory.  This is truly the place to actually spend the night under the stars, either for a romantic star gazing experience or just a stunning opportunity to clear appreciate the cosmos.


Skywatch Observatory View the stars or visit the other attractions of Coonabarabran and the Warrumbungle Shire. We offer a place to enjoy your own suite of rooms in our private residence.  We're centrally located,  Each evening discover the majesty of our night sky in our observatory as well as smaller telescopes on the viewing platform.

**Leave a message or comments on this website or any of the stories in box below:

NB/ Please Include Your Name and Email address If You Require An Answer.