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Moon’s-eye view of total solar eclipse

30 August 2017 Astronomy Now

During the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera captured an image of the Moon’s shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee.

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Two asteroid missions get nod from NASA

11 January 2017 Stephen Clark

NASA has selected two robotic missions to visit asteroids in the early 2020s from a field of proposed interplanetary probes, approving projects to explore a metallic relic from the early solar system and a half-dozen so-called Trojan objects left over from the formation of the outer planets.

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Small impacts are reworking the Moon’s soil faster than scientists thought

13 October 2016 Astronomy Now

The Moon’s surface is being “gardened” — churned by small impacts — more than 100 times faster than scientists previously thought. This means that lunar surface features believed to be young are perhaps even younger than assumed. It also means that any structures placed on the Moon as part of human expeditions will need better protection.

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What happened after the lights came on in the universe?

15 September 2016 Astronomy Now

The National Science Foundation has approved funding to expand the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) in South Africa. Upgrading the number of antennas from 19 to 240 by the year 2018 will enable HERA to study more clearly the impact of cosmic dawn, the moment a few hundred million years after the Big Bang when the first stars and galaxies blazed awake.

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Exiled exoplanet kicked out of star’s local neighbourhood?

1 December 2015 Astronomy Now

A planet discovered last year sitting at an unusually large distance from its star — 16 times farther than Pluto is from the Sun — may have been kicked out of its birthplace close to the star in a process similar to what may have happened early in our own solar system’s history. The planet’s 13-million-year-old parent star is known as HD 106906 and lies 300 light-years away.

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Mars’ moon Phobos is slowly falling apart

10 November 2015 Astronomy Now

Orbiting a mere 3,700 miles above the surface of Mars, Phobos is closer to its planet than any other moon in the solar system. Mars’ gravity is drawing in the 17 × 14 × 11 mile body by about 6.6 feet (2 metres) every hundred years. The long, shallow grooves lining the surface of Phobos are likely early signs of its structural failure as scientists expect it to be pulled apart.