Astronews Daily Extended Edition (2455540)

December 9, 2010 12:05 by scibuff

Videos

On December 8, 2010 at 15:43 GMT a Falcon 9 launch vehicle took to the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL as it transported a Dragon Capsule into orbit. Space X's Dragon capsule will demonstrate several objects on this flight, which will include space down and recovery.

This is the Webcast for the Falcon 9 Flight 2 from Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX. The second Falcon 9 rocket launched for SLC-40 in Flordia carrying the first Dragon COTS demo unit

  

Top Stories

Spectacular meteor ‘fireball’ explosion over Britain leaves stargazers buzzing ahead of Geminid space shower – The “very bright” meteor lit up the skies from Somerset to Aberdeen, leaving the astronomy world abuzz. Despite lasting just five seconds, witnesses thought they were watching a rare meteor shower because it was such a dazzling display. -Andrew Hough / The Telegraph

How to Settle, Once and for All, the Whole “What’s a Planet?” Debate – When I was a kid, I knew exactly what a planet was: It was something big and round, and it orbited the sun. There were nine such beasts in the celestial menagerie. We knew Pluto was a misfit—smallish, distant, and orbiting on a weird elliptical path—but we had no doubt it was part of the family. The other planets certainly fit my description, and all was well. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Keck Observatory Pictures Show Fourth Planet in Giant Solar System – Astronomers announced the discovery of a fourth giant planet joining three others orbiting a nearby star with information that challenges our current understanding of planet formation. The dusty young star named HR8799, located 129 light years away, was first recognized in 2008 when the research team presented the first-ever images of a planetary system orbiting a star other than our sun. –Keck Observatory

Stunning ISS View of Volcanos on Earth – What a view! This photograph taken by one of the astronauts on the International Space Station shows several snow-covered volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

NASA’s Plan to Save Astrophysics From Space Telescope’s Budget Overruns – The $1.5 billion in cost overruns needed to complete the planned successor to the Hubble Space Telescope had NASA astrophysicists fearing for the future of other projects. But it appears NASA won’t suck funds from other astrophysics research to pay for the telescope. –Wired

WASP-12b: A Carbon Rich Exoplanet – Since its discovery in 2008, WASP-12b has been an unusual planet. This 1.4 Jovian mass, gas giant lies so close to its parent star that gas is being stripped from its atmosphere. But being stripped away isn’t the only odd property of this planet’s atmosphere. A new study has shown that it’s full of carbon. -Jon Voisey / Universe Today

What would happen if the sun went dark – Perhaps you caught the moon last night in the southwestern sky – a thin crescent lit by sunlight. If your timing was right, with the sky not too bright and moon not too low, you may have also seen the entire outline of the moon. –Astrobob

[more stories]

Photos

NGC 6960 - Veil Nebula

NGC 6960 - Veil Nebula

NGC 1499 - California Nebula

NGC 1499 - California Nebula

NGC 2239 - Rosette Nebula

NGC 2239 - Rosette Nebula

M81 and M82

M81 and M82

  
Launch of SpaceX Falcon9

Launch of SpaceX Falcon9

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9

Dragon spacecraft

Dragon spacecraft splashdown

Sunspots at Sunrise

Sunspots at Sunrise

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft lift off

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft lift off from Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 10:43 a.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. In orbit, the Dragon capsule went through several maneuvers before it re-entered the atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles west of the coast of Mexico. This is first demonstration flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which will provide cargo flights to the International Space Station in the future. - Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O'Connell

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.

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