Art & Life

‘Black Moon’ Starts Friday

VOA News This Friday will see the rise of a black moon. And while that might sound ominous, it’s perfectly normal and probably doesn’t foretell the end of the world as some would say. A black moon is simply the second new moon, or dark moon, of the lunar month. It will be so dark, in fact, that it basically will be invisible because it's not lit by the sun, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. “While you can’t see the moon, it will be a great night for seeing the stars,” according to private forecasting service The Weather Channel. While…
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Art & Life

Rosetta Probe Ends 12-year Mission with Crash Into Comet

VOA News The Rosetta spacecraft's 12-year mission studying a comet came to an end Friday when it crash-landed on the surface as planned, snapping photos along the way. Rosetta, the first space probe to circle a comet, was ordered to fire its thrusters for 208 seconds, slipped out of orbit and collided onto the icy surface of the "67P" comet. Mission controllers said it was traveling about 90 centimeters per second on impact, about a walking pace. Before it crashed, Rosetta collected and transmitted a final collection of data and photos, including some close up images of the comet's surface.…
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Art & Life

Juno Probe Captures Images of Jupiter’s Poles

New images of Jupiter’s north pole taken by NASA’s Juno space probe show weather and storm activity “unlike anything previously seen on any of our solar system’s gas-giant planets.” The images were captured during Juno’s first of 36 orbital flybys on Aug. 27 when the probe was a mere 4,200 kilometers above the planet's clouds. “First glimpse of Jupiter’s north pole, and it looks like nothing we have seen or imagined before,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “It’s bluer in color up there than other parts of the planet, and…
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Art & Life

NASA Releases Panoramic View of Mars

VOA News NASA has released an interactive, panoramic view of Mars taken by the Curiosity Rover. The 360-degree photo was taken on Aug. 5, almost four years after the probe landed on the Red Planet, inside the famous Gale Crater. One of the most spectacular views is of the Murray Buttes. NASA says these outcroppings are relatively resistant to wind erosion, allowing a glimpse into a layer of rock that was once the Martian surface. Curiosity is traveling along this harder layer as it makes its way up the lower part of Mount Sharp, which is also seen in the…
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Art & Life

NASA: gran hallazgo en la mancha de Júpiter

La Gran Mancha de Júpiter es un reciente fenómeno atmosférico gigantesco, un remolino causado por una gran tormenta que se generó hace tan sólo unos 300 años de antigüedad. La NASA se mostró sorprendida por las altas temperaturas que está revelando la Gran Mancha de Júpiter, denominada también el Ojo de Júpiter. Se trata de una crisis de fiebre. De ante mano se sabía que la gran mancha de Júpiter era la tormenta más grande y permanente del sistema solar. Pero se ha descubierto que la gigantesca mancha roja de Júpiter genera calor y turbulencia, la cual causa ondas para…
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Art & Life

Strange Purple Orb Spotted in Deep Waters off California

VOA News Deep-sea researchers aboard the Nautilus have found a strange creature lurking in the waters off the Channel Islands near California. "This unidentified purple orb stumped our scientists onboard,” according to the Nautilus website. “After sampling, it began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes. This could possibly be a new species of nudibranch." Nudibranchs, sometimes called sea slugs, can be quite colorful. Some look like slugs, while others look almost spiny. The “purple blob,” as the scientists on the research vessel Nautilus called it, remains a mystery, but the researchers captured the sample and plan on analyzing it…
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Art & Life

NASA Releases 360-degree View of Mars

VOA News The space agency, NASA, has released a stunning 360-degree video of the surface of the planet Mars. The video was taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mast Camera on Dec. 18. “This view of the downwind face of ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars covers 360 degrees, including a portion of Mount Sharp on the horizon,” according to NASA's description of the video. “The site is part of the dark-sand ‘Bagnold Dunes’ field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp.” NASA says the bottom of the dune nearest the rover is about 7 meters from the camera. The center of the…
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Art & Life

Icebergs Float on Pluto’s Nitrogen Ocean

VOA News NASA researchers say they have have spotted iceberg-like “hills” floating on a sea of frozen nitrogen on Pluto. The hills, which are seen in the “Sputnik Planum” plane inside the so-called “heart,” are from one to several kilometers across, according to photos beamed back to Earth from the New Horizons probe. NASA believes the hills are made of water ice because water is less dense than nitrogen. The hills, NASA says, move much like Earth’s icebergs and are “likely fragments of the rugged uplands that have broken away and are being carried by the nitrogen glaciers into Sputnik Planum.”…
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Art & Life

Centenarian Defies Stereotypes of Aging

June Soh Centenarians, people who live to be 100 years old are currently the fastest growing age group in the World.  And the has more than any other country, well over 50,000.  Living longer may be more common than it was, but living well and continuing a healthy, active lifestyle into the second century can be a challenge. VOA went looking for a centenarian to talk to and met Marbel Sawhill born in 1913.  She has maintained an extraordinary lifestyle and is managing to defy nearly every stereotype of aging. On a weekday, Sawhill is busy serving at a luncheon…
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Art & Life

Scientists May Have Found 9th Planet to Replace Pluto

VOA News One of the scientists responsible for demoting Pluto in our solar system may have found a replacement. California Institute of Technology Astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have run the numbers and say they are convinced they have found a giant planet way out in the farthest reaches of our sun's gravitational reach. The scientists say they have not seen the planet, but have determined that something they call a "distant eccentric planet" is pushing around a bunch of smaller objects out in deep space.  They do know, by its gravitational effects, it is huge, likely at least…
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